So you have an interview this morning, and you feel nervous. Different thoughts rush to your head on what to say, how to keep your composure, what to wear, and most importantly, how you don’t make a mistake. Well, it’s completely human and natural to have these feelings. But the right frame of mind and the right preparation will have you feeling confident and buoyed to go get your dream job and ace that interview.
This article provides step by step process on how to have your perfect interview.
PREPARING FOR AN INTERVIEW
BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
1. The first and most important step is to do enough research. do it and do it again. research the company and position description by using the company’s website, CEO resources, LinkedIn, and networking with contacts and employees.
2. most interviewees these days rely heavily on their resumes and cv’s to get them over the line. however, more often than not this is not the case. You should always be prepared to give specific examples from your experience, education, or skills that are relevant to the job and organization. it’s good to always have a very good CV but you should be prepared and well drilled to back everything written on your CV with examples. That way, you’ll feel confident in yourself.
3. Practice, Practice, Practice! Visit the company’s website to know more about them. it’ll help give you a perspective on what you need to do. Also, it’s good to always practice mock interviews.
4. Create a portfolio with samples of your work, reference letters, awards, and other relevant materials that demonstrate your abilities.
5. Always be prepared for the unexpected. As anything can happen on the interview day so you should always plan. You should leave home about two hours early for your interview. Be prepared for uncertainties.
DAY OF THE INTERVIEW
1. Make sure that you look professional. It is appropriate to dress more formally for the interview even if the environment is casual.
2. Avoid heavy use of scented body products as others may be sensitive to the scent
3. Arrive at least fifteen minutes early
4. Bring a professional-looking folder or portfolio with two copies of your resume, a list of preferences, a pen, and a notepad.
5 Demonstrate enthusiasm and interest by making eye contact, smiling, and a firm handshake.
6. Be courteous to everyone you meet; others not directly in the interview process may be asked to express an opinion about you.
DURING THE INTERVIEW
1. Give clear and concise answers with specific examples about your past experiences, skills, and abilities that directly relate to the position or company goals. Always mention your accomplishments whenever possible.
2. Clearly articulate your career goals and how they relate to the position you are getting interviewed for.
3. Avoid talking negatively about your past supervisors, co-workers, or companies of employment.
4. Avoid asking about salary and positional benefits during the interview.
5. Ask at least two of your pre-prepared, well-thought-out questions to determine if this organization and job is the right place for you.
6. Maintain eye contact and avoid fidgeting during your interview. calm nerves.
7. You need to be fully engaged in the conversation, so turn off your mobile phone and anything else that might happen to get you distracted.
8. Do not chew gum, eat or drink (unless offered to you)
9. The most important rule, just to be yourself.
AFTER THE INTERVIEW
1. Send a thank you letter within two days to the people who interviewed you. Reiterate your interest and some key points that were discussed during the interview. You can also use thank you notes to expand on a point that you discussed in the interview or ask any additional questions if you have any.
2. Follow up with a phone call within a week if you have not heard back. Be persistent to a fault and try to stay optimistic.
3. Be sure to always check your mail and send any additional material such as transcripts, applications, or references promptly.
TYPES OF INTERVIEWS AND TIPS FOR EACH TYPE
Many types of interviews serve different scenarios. Knowing what to expect can help you to meet your goals.
1. Informational Interview
In an informational interview, the objective is to seek advice and learn more about a particular employer, sector, or job. Interviewing experts in their field is one more way to add to your employment knowledge base. As a result, gaining this information means you are more prepared. It is also an excellent way of networking and adding to your contacts.
2. Screening or Telephone Interview
Phone interviews – these types of interviews are proving to be a more cost-effective way to screen candidates. Slots range from 10 to 30 minutes. Firstly, prepare for it as if it is an open book exam. Secondly, make sure you have your CV, the job description, list of references, and prepared answers noted in front of you. A large part of communication is visual and as they can’t see your body language, it is critical to have positive and sharp answers delivered with enthusiasm. Finally, don’t forget to ask what the next step will be.
3. Individual Interview
Often referred to as a “personal interview” this is the most common type of interview and is usually held face to face at the company’s offices. Find out the approximate length of the interview to prepare; they range from 30 to 90 minutes. Shorter interviews will mean delivering concise answers that are to the point. On the other hand, longer interviews allow you more time to go into detail and support your answers with examples.
4. Small Group or Committee Interview
These types of interviews mean meeting a panel of decision-makers at once. This can be daunting and intimidating if you are not well prepared in advance. However, more than one interviewer means efficiency and an opportunity for different opinions of the same answer. Try to build a rapport with each member of the panel and be sure to make eye contact with everyone, not just the person asking the question. It is also worth trying to find out the names and roles of those on the panel.
5. The Second or On-Site Interview
The second interview means you have been successful on the first occasion and they would like to know more. As a result, these types of interviews can be longer, some lasting half or a full day. They often mean meeting three to five people which can include Human Resources, the line manager, office staff, and the head of the department. Most importantly, be ‘on the ball’ and show enthusiasm! Try to find out as much as possible about the agenda for the day as this will go some way to making you feel less anxious about the whole process. This is usually the last stage before an offer of employment is made.
6. Behavioral-Based Interview
Known as Critical Behavioral Interviewing (CBI), the theory is that past performance in a similar situation is the best predictor of future performance. This method of interview probes much deeper than the usual interviewing techniques. Have specific examples ready that highlight your attributes in core areas such as teamwork, problem-solving, communication, creativity, flexibility, and organizational skills. However, be structured in your answers and explain your examples in terms of the situation, the task, the action you took, and the outcome achieved.
7. Task Oriented or Testing Interview
These types of interviews are structured in a way that allows you to demonstrate your creative and analytical abilities in problem-solving through varied tasks or exercises. It may include a short test to evaluate your technical knowledge and skills. Other tasks can be delivering a presentation to a group to determine your communication skills. Relaxing is key!
8. Stress Interview
This method of interview is rare and involves the interviewer baiting you to see your response. The aim is to highlight your weaknesses and see how you react under pressure. Tactics can vary from constant interruptions and odd silences to provoking and challenging interrogation-type questions used to push you to your limits. Moreover, it is worth asking yourself do you want to work for an organization that is willing to go this far even before an offer is put on the table?