15 STEPS ON HOW TO PREPARE FOR INTERVIEWS
Are you a fresh graduate preparing for an interview? Or perhaps you have an upcoming interview in the next few days? Then by now you already know there are certain tips you need to practice to effectively prepare you for an interview.
Here are 15 steps to effectively prepare you for an excellent interview meeting
1. Research the company. Before you set out to go for a job interview, company research is a critical part of interview preparation. For a concise understanding of the company, check out the company website, specifically the “About us” page. Its important to find out as much as you can about the company. Researching employers is one of the best ways to become a stand out candidate during the hiring process. First of all, find out what the company looks for in their ideal candidate. As you research your potential employer, pay attention to what is written on the company’s website regarding its values and missions. You can also learn more about the company by following the organization on its social media handles. As a potential employee, you need to have a basic idea of the type of work you’ll be doing once you’re hired. By researching the company, you will have a general idea of who the company’s clients are and the type of products and services they offer. This will make you better prepared for the interview.
2. Analyze the job. Another important step in preparing for an interview is to take out time to analyze the job posting. Take time to review the job description to determine what the organization is seeking in a potential employee. Make a comprehensive list of the skills, knowledge, also, include the professional and personal qualities that are required by the employer and that are critical for success in the job. How does your unique skill set fit into the roles required from their ideal candidate? How can you match your skills and experience with the job description for the job offered. Outline all the skills, knowledge and abilities required and determine where and how the position fits within the organization.
3. Practice interviewing. When preparing for an interview, try practicing an interview with a friend or a family member ahead of time and it will be much easier for you when you’re actually in a job interview. Try conducting the practice interview in the same format as a real interview, for example, if it is a phone interview, ask a friend to call you on phone, then practice answering questions over the phone. If it is a panel interview, ask a bunch of people to act as a panel to conduct the mock interview. Prepare in advance by studying and reviewing common job interview questions and answers and think about how best you will respond. Everything from your dressing, to your walking and sitting posture, to your composure should be well rehearsed for an optimum interview preparation.
4. Your clothes. Don’t wait until the last minute to make sure your interview clothes are ready. Always make sure you’ve got already-prepared interview clothes at all times, this way you don’t have to think about what to wear while you’re scrambling to get ready for a job interview. Dress better than suggested by the organisation. To stay safe, it’s best to just wear a professional suit. Regardless of the type of job you are applying for, that first impression is paramount. When dressing up for any job interview whether it’s a professional position or it’s a job in a more casual environment such as a store or a food restaurant, it’s safer to just dress in a neat, tidy and well-groomed business attire, to present a positive image to the recruiter. Also, consider the proper application of makeup and accessories when dressing up for any interview. Find out how to properly accessorize for professional interviews, so you don’t show up at the interview looking like a theatre performer.
5. Your hair. The interview is certainly going to notice everything about your physical appearance, so you also need to pay attention to how you style your hair. How you style your hair for a job interview is just as important as the interview clothes you wear, after all, you only have just a few seconds to make the best impression you can, so make it count. Before you decide what to do with your hair, find out what hairstyles or haircuts best suit the job interview for the job position you’re filling in for. Neglecting your hair do is a terrible mistake, avoid it!
6. Listen attentively and ask questions. During a job interview you need to pay special attention to every information that is being communicated during the process, it is one of the best times to employ your listening skills. Listening during the interview is just as important as answering questions. If you’re not paying attention, you will not be able to give a good response. During the interview session, it is very crucial to listen to the interviewer, to pay attention, and to take time, if need be, to compose an appropriate answer. Be ready to engage the interview, and as such the interview should involve a give and take in dialogue. Before the interview, prepare a list of questions you want to ask the interviewer. Remember, you MUST ask questions. An absence of questions from your end doesn’t project the right kind of image in the eye of the interviewer. It shows a lack of interest and engagement
6. Prepare a ‘thank you’ note. Consider your thank you letter as a follow up sales letter, so when preparing for an interview, you need also prepare in advance a thank you letter to deliver to the company after the interview. It is important to follow up a job interview with a thank you note which should reiterate your interest in the job. Having a thank you letter in place will also afford you the opportunity to discuss anything of importance which your interviewer neglected to ask or that you neglected to answer convincingly or as well as you would have liked to. So, you should keep in mind the importance of following up your interview with a thank you letter and have it prepared before the interview. Your thank you letter will serve as a perfect closure for the hiring process.
7. Plan what to bring. During the preparation phase of a job interview, plan ahead of time the things you need to carry. It’s important to know what to bring and what not to bring to a job interview. Important items to carry along include; a file or portfolio, writing materials like pen and paper, your resume, a list of referrals, a list of questions you plan to ask the interviewer, and also photocopies of all your credentials and the originals.
8. Your story. Be ready to answer typical interview questions about yourself with a story about you. To effectively prepare your story, write down and memorize three achievement stories. Talk about certain achievements you’re proud of. These stories must highlight hard-to-measure qualities like judgement, initiative, leadership, and teamwork. Anytime you talk about your accomplishments, make sure you quantify them, for example, “I increased revenue by 40%.” You can also talk about non-work related achievement stories
9. Key players of the organization. Make sure you know all the key players of the organization. The keys players of an organization are those employees who hold important positions in the company. Ensure that before the interview, you run a background check on the people who make the big decisions for the company. You can find out the key players of the organization by going through the “About” page on the company’s official website
10. The interviewer. When preparing for the interview, ensure that you find out who the interviewer will be. This will give you an edge over other candidates because you’ll have a better chance of connecting with them and sparking up a meaningful rapport. With a little investigation, finding out who the interviewer is should be very easy, otherwise look round your own network to see who may have information about the identity of the interviewer. With this information, you can learn about the interviewer’s background, their position with the company, and very important, find out about any common interests which you both share
11. Recent scoop. When preparing for an interview, ensure you’ve got inside scoop about the company. Research any relevant inside details about the company like recent gist and news, that can’t be found on the company’s website
12. Get directions. While preparing for the interview, you will need to make sure you know the exact location for the job interview ahead of time. By getting directions to the venue of the interview you’ll avoid running late for the interview
13. Make a match. As a preparatory step for a job interview, review the job requirements, your list of assets and your examples prior to the interview so that you’re well prepared to share them during the interview. Compile a list of at least 10 of your top assets that match the requirements of the job. These might include your skills, your qualities, certifications, experiences, professional qualifications, abilities, computer skills and knowledge base. Compare and match all the job requirements highlighted by the company, to your qualifications
14. Practice interview etiquette. It is very important to practice interview etiquettes. Pay attention to nonverbal communication. Watch your body language. Shake hands firmly, make eye contact as you articulate your points. Observe specific etiquette practices like saying hello to the receptionist, greet your interviewer and everyone you meet at the interview venue. Maintain a cheerful attitude. Find out basic etiquette tips depending on the type of interview you’re preparing for. The more positive an impression you make, the better your chances of landing the job. Practicing good job interview etiquette tips will help you make a lasting impression on the recruiter.
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