Your performance in a job interview is the key to your success. It is the single most important factor that would determine whether or not you will get the job. Therefore, you have to take steps to prepare for certain things before your interview so you will have a better chance of being hired by the potential employer.
A) Before the interview, you should :
1. Know Your Audience
You have to start by examining who you would be talking to. In addition, before your interview make sure that you do your homework and research on the company so that you would be able to use the knowledge you have gathered to impress the interviewers. A good idea would be to start reading about them through the latest annual or quarterly report that the company has published for the shareholders, if it is available. You also have the option of reading about the latest updates about the company or organization online to be more aware of their current state of being.
Just to give an example, if say you are trying to get a job with an airline company. You might want to research about the company based on its current FAA record, the places it serves, the fleet it has and even any recent stories about that company. This information might prove to be helpful when you consider how a single company can run the various aspects of its businesses in so many different ways
2. Research about the Company
The problem with so many people who are applying for jobs is that they know what a job entails but they lack substantial knowledge about who they want to work for. You can avoid this problem by researching the company you are applying for. You clearly need to sound knowledge about the company or organization so that you will have a better chance of landing yourself the job that pays well.
B) During the interview, you should :
1. Be Very Specific
During the interview, you must scope your replies in a way that relate closely to the job description. You need to also be very specific when asked about certain things and should avoid answers that seem to be “less concrete” in terms of examples. If and when you are asked about your past employment, be honest but yet non-judgmental about it. Highlight the main areas that helped you grow professionally and personally. That way, your answers will most likely be interpreted as legitimate and positive.
Most interviewers would place prior experience rather high in the priority of desirable traits, because they want their employees to have good knowledge of their area of work. You will need to elaborate on your experiences by elaborating how you would handle certain situations. Whatever it is, the key point to note is that everything you say should relate in one way or another the scope of work that you are being interviewed for.
2. Focus on the Critical First Few Minutes
The first few minutes of an interview is actually the most important part of an interview. The interviewer would typically know within the first two to three minutes of an interview if you are someone who is worth hiring.
They say the “first impressions last”. Thus, by focusing on doing very well in the first part of the interview, you could sail through the rest of the interview. Indeed, the rest of the interview will be easier to facilitate when you started off correctly.
3. Flaunt Your Ability and Skills
As the saying goes, “If you have it, flaunt it.” One of the most common things that the interviewer would be looking out for is whether the prospective employee is ready for them. For example, an airline company that wants to hire pilots would expect the candidate to display the licenses and training results for pilots. The candidates would also probably even have to go through a series of simulators to see if they are capable of handling different types of planes.
Clearly, you have to be prepared to show that you are able to perform your job well. A candidate who can display the desired competencies would be more likely to get a job. So, flaunt what you have, preferably, even before being asked, so that they will be impressed with the relevant training, experience and qualification that you possess.
4. Be prepared for the Possible Questions
There are many questions that will be directed at you in the thirty to sixty minute interview. Employers often ask certain questions to have a better understanding about you – so stay calm and do not be intimidated by the questions they asked. Some examples of the questions they may ask include why you left your last job or why you want to work for a particular company or what relevant experience you have. They can also start the interview asking you to tell them “more about yourself.” This is your chance to highlight your strength and experience and be confident about it! The other questions may include:
- What other jobs have you applied for?
- What motivates you to do well?
- How would you react when you have to work under pressure?
- How much are you expecting to earn monthly?
- Why are you looking to get this job?
- What is your main weakness?
- Where do see yourself a few years from now?
Do not be caught off guard when asked these questions. Be as honest as you can when you are answering these questions. If you managed to impress them with your honesty and earnestness, you will have a higher chance of being employed.
5. Come to Terms with your Employment History
The question about your past will always be asked during a job interview. As explained above, you have to be prepared to explain why you left that job. You can also take advantage of a question like this by highlighting the major achievements, your experiences and how you have grown having been in the previous job.
If the situation does not demand for it, you need not really go into details . Refrain from being too emotional or judgmental and making unflattering statements about the previous jobs or the interviewers may get a hint that things were not all well for you previously. It would also be good if you could get someone from your previous job to be your referee so your potential employer could contact them to inquire about your performance. Ensure that you get someone who can give you positive comments about your ability and skills.
6. Be Clear about their Expectations
In order to not seem to be too self-centered and blowing your chance of getting the job, you may turn the table and instead ask them about their expectation of the person that they are going to hire or you could also ask about their future plans with regards to expansion and diversifying their services. However, you should not stop there but instead, give them your opinion after that and explain how you could assist in their future plans.
This would almost certainly win them over as they would think of you as a team player who has the company’s interest in mind. You would definitely score higher than a person who is seen to be self-centered because he may be too fixated talking only about what he wants out of the job.
You should use these tips and rehearse in front of a mirror or a friend before the interview to ensure that you are well prepared on that day.
7. Resolve your Problems!
It would be a good idea to also see if there are potential solutions that you could provide the company or organization. On the day of the interview, you could offer them credible and tangible solutions that have a good chance of succeeding. Explain to them how you could come in as well to help resolve the situation. They would appreciate you more if they see that you could be a potential solution provider.
For instance, let us pretend that you were interviewing for a job at a supermarket. You might want to think of how to provide solutions to situations where when a product is not available to a customer or when a customer complained that the price of one item is listed incorrectly. You have to consider how you would resolve such an issue to the benefit of the customer. The company will have a better impression of you if you can think critically about how to resolve issues in the workplace.
8. Prepare a list of Questions to ask Them
To meaningfully engage the interviewers, you should also think about some questions that you may want to ask. In fact, most employers l would prefer it when people are a little more inquisitive. To give you some ideas, the following are some example of the questions you can ask. For instance, you can ask them about:
- The company’s plan in the near future
- What job the interviewer used to do in the past.
It can be a way to bond with them if you can get them properly engaged. But you have to find the right time to ask this as some potential employer may not like it if you seem to want to know more than what they thought is necessary.
- What questions do you have with regards to what the interview is about?
- How the interviewer feels about the future of the company.
Caution has to be taken though when you ask them the above mentioned questions. Use the right tone and do not sound like you are interrogating them. Otherwise it may look like you are interviewing them instead!
9. Get yourself Dressed for Success
Last but definitely not the least, you need to get your fashion sense right as it could also make or break the deal. Be selective in looking for the right attire. In short, you should really “dress to impress.” Avoid anything that might be too flashy or bright as it may make you look unprofessional and out of place!
The old adage “your face is your fortune” would also be a good reminder for any candidates wanting to go for the interview. It is an unusual consideration but at times, when an employer has to choose between two candidates of similar qualification and experience, some may have the tendency to choose the better-looking applicant. Thus, pay close attention when it comes to grooming for the interview as it may just increase your chances to earn that job.
A final word of advice: Be very sure that you have fully understood the expectations required of you pertaining to the job. Do your reading way before going into the interview room. Having made the necessary preparation will not only boost your confidence but will make you an attractive candidate for the job.