Preparing for a Job Interview

  • 01Feb, 2021
    Preparing for a Job Interview

    Know what to expect in a Job Interview

    Job interviews are never fun. It is like exams. No one likes taking them but yet you still have to, if you want to get a job of course.

    A job interview gives you the opportunity to wow your potential new employer. You only get one chance to show him/her that you are the right person for the job. In order to achieve this, you have to be fully prepared for the meeting.

    In this article, we will take a look at how you should prepare for a job interview and what questions YOU should ask your possible new boss.

    Research the company that is interviewing you

    Before stepping into an interview, make sure you research the company. Find out what they do and take a look at their website. The interviewer will most probably ask you what you know about their business. Rather than just sitting there, know the core business and their objectives. This will show the employer that you actually give a damn and are serious about the job position.

    Dress the part

    It is important that you always look neat and tidy when going for an interview. You want to give a good impression as soon as you walk in the room. Your outfit should also be in line with the type of job you are applying for.

    Always wear neutral colours. Bright tones often are too ‘loud’ and ‘creative’, which could make potential new employers less likely to hire you.

    In a recent survey, CareerBuilder asked 2,099 hiring managers and human resource professionals what they thought about the style and colour of clothes interviewees wear. The survey concluded that black and blue are the best colours to wear when going for an interview. Orange is the worst colour. 

    Common interview questions you should prepare yourself for

    Tell me about yourself?

    In a job interview, never go into detail about your personal life. The interviewer just wants to get idea of who you are. Telling people about your crazy family and wild social life can be quite off-putting, especially if you are being interviewed by a professional that means business.  

    What are your strengths?

    Always mention tangible skills first. Choose skills that align with the job you are applying for. For example, you wouldn’t mention your photography skills if you are applying for a job in office administration. You could however mention a proficiency in a specific computer programme or strong organisational skills.  

    What are your weaknesses?

    Instead of telling your interviewer you suck at answering a telephone or dealing with difficult individuals, mention struggles that you have overcome. For example, “I always struggled talking to strangers, but have recently motivated myself to initiate a conversation with people I don’t know. It is going great”.

    What are your goals?

    Tell the interviewer what you would like to achieve career wise. For example, “I want a stable job that pays well, so that I can reach my personal goals e.g. provide for my family, buy my own house etc.”. Or you can say something like, “I am looking for a job with career growth opportunities”. Keep your personal life goals to yourself.   

    Why should we hire you?

    To me, this question is pointless. No matter what you tell them or how much you promote yourself, it will always come down to whether you have the attributes or qualification the company is looking for and whether they think you are suitable for the position. However, you cannot tell them that. You CAN tell them that you are a fast learner who loves a challenge and that you have the skills they are looking for. You can also speak about how you are a good problem solver or team player.  

    Why do you want to work here?

    Once again, another question that is pointless. Obviously you are looking for a job, a decent salary and possibly benefits. That is why most of us apply for a job. However, you cannot really say that in an interview.

    Here you should tell the interviewer what experience you have and how your skills are exactly what they are looking for. You can also mention the business culture and how you would like to be part of it and grow with it. 

    Know the exact location of where the interview will take place

    Most importantly, make sure you know exactly where the place is you are going to be interviewed. Search the location on Google Maps and drive there or take the public transport. Not only will you know exactly where you have to go on the day of the interview, but it will also give you an idea of how long it will take to get there.

    Never show up late for an interview, it gives a really bad first impression and might just ruin your chances of getting the job. 

    The day of the interview

    On the day of the interview, show up early and calm yourself before you enter the interviewing area. You might not be aware of this but your body language also plays an important role in whether you will get the job or not. Individuals who are extremely nervous and fidget all the time often get canned.

    Pay attention to your body language:

    • Sit up straight in the chair with your hands either in your lap or on the table.
    • Give a firm handshake when you meet the interviewer.
    • Make eye contact when you speak or are spoken to (even it makes you uncomfortable).
    • Do not make awkward movements, but also do not sit there stiff as a board.
    • Do not make any weird hand gestures or noises.    

    Things you need to negotiate before accepting the job

    Regardless of what the company advertised in the job ad, confirm the job position, working hours, salary and other benefits. If you do not agree with the proposed offer and they refuse to negotiate, thank them and move on.  

    It is useless to accept a job you are going to quite in a few months. You will have to go through the entire interviewing process again, which no one enjoys. 

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