Preparing for a job interview is always nerve-racking, and it can make people more anxious than the interview itself. On the other hand, preparing well for the job interview and planning it properly will always make you closer to your dream job.
If you are preparing for a job interview, admittedly, you are well aware of your skills, accomplishments, and goals! Just as the sellers must be well equipped to handle all inquiries regarding their product, so too you must be able to know all your skills and must know how to sell (present) them to the interviewer.
Your skills, achievements and goals will help you first to land the right job. The closer your skills and attributes are to the job description, the better your chance of getting the job.
Unfortunately, many of us have unique skills but don’t know how to present them in the right way or don’t have the technique to present them in a professional way, and even can forget everything as a result of pre-interview anxiety!
The surprise is that we aged while preparing for a job interview in a completely wrong way, but here at Winners we have prepared a comprehensive guide for you that will qualify you to get your dream job opportunity.
Now you may be wondering, why should I spend the time preparing for a job interview? Answer simply, in order to be more prepared to answer questions and position yourself as a more effective candidate.
As for how to prepare for it, here you will find answers to all the questions on your mind, and we will reveal all the secrets that have always been kept from us, so keep reading and we will guide you through practical steps in preparing for a successful job interview.
Take a deep breath… and let’s start preparing for your next job interview!
First, research the company before the job interview
We know how important it is to know the company we’re going to for an interview, but how many of us actually do proper company research?
Of course the answer will be a little. In fact, your research about the company will help you to come up with a perfect answer to any question that is asked, and thus it is a very important step in preparing for a professional job interview.
When the interviewer sees that you are actually providing them with relevant information, and that you have done your homework well, it will enhance your chances of getting a job.
So, your search for the company will definitely help you and will put you in the shoes of the intellectual during the job interview.
It is not a difficult task. You just need to spend some time compiling all the relevant information from the official website of the company and store it in your mind, so that you can access the correct information when needed.
So we have an idea of why we should do good research and prepare for the interview. But the big question now is how do we get started in this process? What will you look for?
When you do your research, you should know what to look for.
So here are some points that you need to focus on researching and writing down:
- The age of the company.
- Company size.
- Products and services offered by the company.
- The company’s goals and future aspirations.
- Company’s problem-solving strategies.
- biggest competitors.
- Company Headquarters.
The good news is that it is now easier than ever to get to know the company and the employer before a job interview. Take some time up front to learn as much as you can online. Do your research and you will make a better impression on the hiring manager.
Here are some steps on researching companies before the interview:
1. Visit the company’s website
Start by visiting the company’s website. There, you can review everything about the organization, its history, products, services, and management, as well as information about company culture.
The information is usually available in the “About Us” or “About Us” section of the Site. Pay attention to the topics that appear frequently on the site. As much as the words companies choose to describe themselves tell us, like any stated corporate values, they are often an exaggeration.
So here you have to pick out the buzzwords that the company constantly chooses to describe its work environment and its aspirations.
2. Browse social media
Next, check out the company’s social media accounts. Visit their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter pages.
This will give you a good idea of how the company wants consumers to see it. You’ll find some information you might not have otherwise, and follow the company for updates.
3. Use LinkedIn
LinkedIn company profiles are a good way to find more information about a company you’re interested in. You’ll be able to see what might connect you with the company, new hires, promotions, jobs posted, related companies, and company statistics.
And don’t forget to take a look at the interviewer’s LinkedIn profile to get an insight into their job and background, too, if you know them.
Look for any connections you have in common. Do you know the same people? Did you go to the same school? These shared connections can help you establish a relationship during the interview, which is a very positive thing.
4. Use Google
Search Google for the company name. This can be invaluable. You may discover that the company is expanding into Asia, for example, or has recently received a development.
Or you may discover that a recent product has been performing poorly or needs to be introduced in a different way. This knowledge can help shape your responses to interview questions.
5. Contact your company acquaintances
Do you know someone who works for the company? Consider contacting him. This person can not only give you a good motivational word, but they can also share their point of view about the company and give you tips that will help you pass the interview.
6. Know the service and competitors
In addition to researching the company, it makes sense to review the services offered as a whole. If you are interviewing for a job at a telecom company, for example, it is helpful to be aware of telecom technology trends.
Learn about the company’s biggest competitors and identify their successes and drawbacks as well. The insight into the company’s industry and competitors is bound to impress the interviewers.
So how do we use this research during job interviews?
During a job interview, interviewers ask questions to get to know the candidates. But their main goal is to determine if the candidate is a good fit for the position and company. Your research about the company will make your responses to the questions compelling and show that you will be useful to achieving their goals and bottom line.
In addition, your knowledge will help you give a definitive answer if you are asked why you want to work for the company. You can also share details about the things you find impressive about the company, its mission, or its culture.
In short, don’t go to a job interview without becoming a company educator, no matter how big or modest!
Second, look for a job title
A few hours of researching a job title is your second step in preparing for a job interview. This information helps you to answer job interview questions effectively and ask the most appropriate questions during the interview.
You probably did this when you first applied to a job interview, but it may have been weeks or months ago and you may have applied for multiple similar jobs with other companies at the same time. Therefore, it is a good idea to go back to the original job description and explain exactly what the role requires.
Write down the skills required and a list of job responsibilities, then spend some time thinking about how your experience matches the qualifications.
The more information you have, the better prepared you will be for whatever comes your way. And do not forget to read your resume to remember what information the interviewer has about you.
Be aware of any gaps you have in your job title requirements, and try to come up with a response to each of your deficiencies by making up for other qualifications you have.
In short, carefully study the job title and qualifications required and compare them to your experience and expertise while trying to fill in the gaps you have while preparing for a job interview!
Third, start doing a self-assessment while preparing for a job interview
One of the most important things that we often neglect while preparing for a job interview; It is an attempt to accurately assess our own qualities and skills. Make sure to identify these skills and traits before the interview.
This is very important or else you will not be able to bring out those qualities to the interviewer that can be very dear to you in the long run. You will definitely be asked to use some of these traits to “present” yourself in the interview.
So try to assess your weaknesses and strengths, as we will explain in the following lines, which will help you assess your perception of your competence, and determine your quality and skill.
1. Determine strengths
- enthusiastic and energetic
- take the initiative
- Responsible and competitive
- continuous learning
- fast learning
- communication skills
- self control
During an interview, the hiring manager will likely ask you to describe your strengths at some point. Many candidates are probably wondering how to answer your strengths without showing off too much or risking appearing narcissistic.
Your answer should be formulated with a high degree of self-awareness and professionalism. It is important that you are prepared for this question and have a statement ready. Even if you are not asked this question, you will be aware of your strengths and what you can bring to the position.
This will help you clearly weave your strengths into other areas of the interview. Having a story ready to tell when you are asked this question will also help you stand out from other people who list their strengths as an enumeration without providing any experiences or examples.
Instead of just slurring in a self-assessment and answering, “I am detail-oriented and hard-working,” or simply listing your strengths, craft a compelling way to present your story while highlighting what you can achieve in the position.
And be sure to include a range of strengths, including knowledge-based skills, developable skills, interpersonal skills and personality traits to demonstrate the versatility and complementarity of your qualifications.
And if you’re having a hard time finding your strengths, ask a close friend or former colleague to help you out, or build on feedback from previous performance evaluations. Once you can clearly identify your strengths, the stories and examples will fall into place.
2. Identify weaknesses
List of weaknesses:
- too introverted
- very open
- Intense attention to detail
- too sensitive
- Weakness in certain skills
What do you say when asked to describe your biggest weakness? Sure, you’d sound arrogant if you said you had no flaws, but if you mention too many negative traits, you could jeopardize your chances of getting hired.
Thus, you must appear humble and willing to learn without intimidating the hiring manager with an immense weakness that you cannot overcome.
Preparation and a ready response is critical to a successful job interview. So when considering your weaknesses, it is essential to proactively choose the traits you work on or demonstrate the steps you are taking to turn that weakness into a strength.
Yes take the opportunity! Turn your weaknesses into strengths during a job interview; By telling a relevant story or explaining how you worked to change this weakness in order to enhance your capabilities.
If you can’t decide how to find your weaknesses, turn to a close friend or co-worker to help determine what you can improve. Always remember that weaknesses are not permanent, and just because you have some weaknesses doesn’t mean you are doomed to fail.
Once you know their identification, you are beyond failure and are able to identify areas for improvement, which indicates that you are a well-rounded candidate.
Note: While preparing for a job interview, practice standing in front of the mirror. Work hard on modifying your voice and unlocking it. Make your speech clear, record your voice, and do a self-assessment. Because during the interview, you have to be quick and prepared.
Fourth, think about your answers to common interview questions
The job interview is designed to test you. You are asked questions about yourself and your experience and expertise and your answer is supposed to show the interviewer how you can handle your situation on the spot. However, this is not always the case, because there are always foolproof questions that you can anticipate and that you have to prepare for in advance.
There are some interview questions that you are almost certain to encounter, such as “Tell us about yourself” and “Why are you interested in this position?”
So any 30-second speech summarizes who you are and what you do. This way you won’t find yourself wandering aimlessly a long way when asked about your background or why you want the job.
You should have some specific winnings in your pocket that you can withdraw when asked to talk about your professional experiences. For example, think of a time when you succeeded in meeting a challenge or rose to a higher level despite the difficulties you faced.
So how would you formulate your answers to describe these scenarios? You definitely know it, but you need to prepare it in advance to appear more professional and confident.
1. Tell me about yourself?
This question can strike terror in the heart of even the most experienced. It is designed to test your ability to handle a disorganized and possibly unexpected line of questioning and to test your wit. Your answer will show the interviewer how confident you are.
As with all interviews, preparation is key here, make sure you have a 2-3 minute narrative prepared to demonstrate your strongest professional qualities. Start with your most recent and relevant job and explain why you are a perfect fit for the role. Practice this novel and be the hero in it.
Try to avoid the question for now, “What do you want to know?” Instead, when preparing, think about what the interviewer will be most interested in hearing and match your experience and qualifications to the job specifications.
2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
One of the most common interview questions most of us have encountered or will encounter at some point is “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”.
Even the most experienced candidates can have a hard time describing their strengths, so we emphasized the importance of conducting a self-assessment while preparing for a job interview.
When it comes time to answer this question, you need to be very specific. Evaluate what you think are your personal strengths.
You see, being able to tell a story with your answer will give you an edge over the competition. The more you can articulate your biggest strengths, the better with examples you will be able to seize the opportunity.
Identify strengths and weaknesses that you can mention in the job interview to stand out and best answers that will impress the interviewer.
As for “What is your biggest weakness?” Prepare for this question. Show that you are able to acknowledge responsibility and accept criticism. Give an honest answer and be able to show the interviewer that you have learned from the experience and are still working on that weakness. Knowing how to answer in a good way will set you up for success in a job interview.
3. How would you describe your career success?
Be honest without appearing arrogant. Use the notes others have made about your work’s strengths or creativity. In this you can also list facts instead of opinions.
For example, talk about how your role was influential in the company you were working with previously, and how this affected the company’s development or increased profits…etc.
4. Why do you want this job?
Be able to explain why you are truly interested in applying to this company at the expense of any other. What about them and about this opportunity that caught your eye? What are your ambitions? What do you want from this position? What can you submit for the position?
5. Why did you leave your previous job?
If there is any job mentioned on your resume, you have a very clear reason why you should move from each job to the next. Any strong executive can be expected to stay with the company for a number of years (at least 3) before moving on, but if not, be prepared to explain why.
6. What do you do outside work hours? (your identities and activities)
Regardless of whether you’re a trainee or a CEO, every business owner wants to know what kind of personality they might be working with.
Thus, you can tell them about any hobbies or interests, where you live, volunteer activities, what you like to read, whether you like to travel, etc. Prepare to show yourself as a fit, healthy and happy candidate.
7. Tell me about a time when you failed
Once again, be honest! If you can’t give an example, the interviewer may decide that you don’t have a great deal of experience.
How did you recover from failure? What is your decision making process? What did you learn from that? What would you do differently now? Show that you have been able to turn this negative experience into a positive learning outcome.
8. What is your expected salary?
The job interview is going well. Then all of a sudden you hear this awkward question: “What is your expected salary?”
In fact, many job candidates dread this question about salary requirements. There is a concern that if you lower the number, you reduce your value. But if you give a number too high, you may lose the position. No matter where you are in your career, this is a tricky math exercise.
The good news is that when you discuss compensation expectations during the hiring process, there are strategies for giving numbers that are fair to you and within the employer’s budget as well. Timing, tact, and research are all key factors to your success when discussing salary with an employer.
It just needs a prior study from you by applying the following:
a) Research market and salary trends for the job you are applying for.
b) Consider giving a salary range, not a number.
c) Formulate your answer by briefly citing points that you think are salient to you. Even better if you can frame it in a positive way. for example:
“I am really excited about the challenges you described! The amount (sic) seems to be the appropriate starting salary. There is a lot to be done, and I am confident that I will succeed in this role.”
or ‘I’m thinking about an amount (sic).’ This is a big job I’m familiar with and a perfect fit for it. I led a similar team in my previous job, and we achieved all the goals that were assigned to us. I’m so excited to take on another challenge like this! “
In short, make your answers positive and friendly. Be confident, polite, and logical.
Finally, practice a line or two that you can use if the question is a surprise to you. For example, if the interviewer decides to go the odd route with questions to embarrass you, you can buy a few seconds to think something like, “That’s an interesting question! I never thought about it before, but I can say…”
Fifth, prepare your own questions
Most interviewers will wrap things up by giving you a chance to ask your own questions. Don’t take this for granted! But this process is also meant to help you decide if the company and job are right for you.
The type of questions you ask will set you apart from other applicants. Here are some good topics to ask about:
- What does success in this position look like?
- What are the opportunities for professional development?
- What did previous employees of this job do?
- How would you describe the company culture here?
- What projects will the person in this position undertake during the first few weeks?
- What are the next steps in the interview process?
but! Remember, this is not the time to ask about vacation days and other perks. This is later in the hiring process (however, you can deduce some answer to these things with a decent question like “How would you describe the work-life balance here?”).
Another big topic you might be wondering while preparing for a job interview is money. In general, at this point it is best to let the employer take the lead in discussing the salary.
If the topic does not come up, it is best to wait until you have a better idea of whether you will receive an offer before asking about salary.
Sixth, have effective communication skills
Stress and anxiety makes us unsuccessful interlocutors, unfortunately! So focus in your interview on establishing a good relationship with the interviewer, by focusing on effective communication skills .
Here are the top communication tips for job interviews:
1. Start with some appropriate short talk
A job interview often starts with some short talk, asking questions about getting to the interview, the weather, etc.
Respond appropriately in a conversational tone but avoid overcommunicating. Stay away from problems or negatives like describing how bad the traffic is.
Make a few polite conversation-type notes, eg commenting positively on the building or surroundings.
2. Address the interlocutor by name
Pronouncing the name in any dialogue gives comfort and focus in communication and dialogue. But it is advisable to formally address the interlocutors so that they suggest otherwise.
That is, avoid abbreviating the interviewer’s name unless asked to do so. For example, if his name is “Muhammad”, do not start calling him “Abu Hamid” even if the interviewer shows his kindness! Rather, “Professor Muhammad” addressed him.
3. Match your communication style with the interviewer
Important job interview tips include matching your communication style with that of the interviewer. Avoid making jokes and funny stories.
If the interviewer is more formal, adjust your communication style accordingly by responding in an informal tone while still showing respect.
It should be the interviewer who sets the tone for the interview, not the candidate. A good interviewer will try to comfort the candidate, don’t interpret this as trying to be your friend! Always treat a job interview as a professional meeting.
4. Don’t talk too much
A common mistake that candidates make is speaking too much. Listen to the question asked, and make sure you are clear about what is needed and come up with the information.
It is easy to get away from the main topic and gossip about unrelated topics. Effective communication means keeping your answers short and specific and making sure that you answer what is needed.
It is advisable to ask for clarification if you are not sure what the interviewer means or wants. Don’t make any assumptions, this usually leads to an inappropriate response. Say something like, “So you want me to tell you about….”
The interviewer can then correct you if I misunderstood. There is no need to fill the silence with unnecessary talk. Silence occurs naturally as the interviewer gathers his thoughts or formulates the next question. It is important to be comfortable with the silence.
Interview anxiety may cause candidates to talk a lot. Controlling your nerves will help you communicate effectively during a job interview.
5. Avoid interrupting axes
One of the most important communication tips during job interviews is to avoid interrupting the interviewer. Make sure he’s finished before responding. You can do this by allowing a pause before you start speaking.
Taking some time to think about a question rather than rushing to an answer also helps you organize your thoughts and prevents verbal fillers like “umm” and “you know.”
This type of comment always comes across as unprofessional. By taking the time to think before answering, you appear calm, confident, and polite.
Pay attention to the interlocutor’s body language. It will tell you quickly when your message hasn’t arrived correctly!
If you see that the interviewer appears confused or distracted, refocus the interview by asking a question such as: “Did that answer your question or is there something else you would like to know.”
6. Build a relationship
Build a relationship with your interlocutor and establish your own personality. Having a fit for the organization is key, and how you communicate with recruiters and HR throughout the process will demonstrate how well you can manage people.
7. Stories and experiences
Your success stories and specific examples are key, and these are what interviewees will remember the most after the interview and are likely to be passed on to the rest of the hiring team the most. Prepare examples that demonstrate your strongest professional qualities, eg leadership, business development, strategy, planning, etc.
Now, what if the interview is remote (online)?
We must be in a time when there is a lot of online dealings, including conducting work interviews from home, which is similar to being easy. But do not worry! Follow the previous steps in preparing for a job interview, while adhering to the following tips:
1- Test the microphone and headphones from your device before your call, and open the calling application that you are going to adopt and verify it. This ensures that the interview runs smoothly and no time is wasted.
2- Adjusting the natural light from the window is best.
3- Check your download and connections speed, test it before the virtual interview.
4- Consider the angle of the camera. Test the camera beforehand to make sure you can make eye contact with the interviewer. This helps the interviewer read your facial reactions.
5- Keep the background behind you clean and neutral in a quiet place where there will be no noise. Keep your background clean and keep it super simple.
6- Make a good impression on the video of the interview using natural facial and hand gestures. Wear formal attire and be prepared as if you are meeting in a face-to-face job interview. Thus, you will be fully prepared for the job interview!
In the end, the first and last tip is practice, practice, practice. Training and practice is one of the most effective steps in preparing for a professional job interview.
If you are not well aware of your experiences and stories, you may forget about them or appear confused. With the right amount of practice, you will demonstrate your response and impress the hiring manager with your answer.
So use the 24 hours before your interview to set yourself up for success. Get a good night’s sleep the night before and wake up early in the morning from the interview. As much as possible, stick to your regular routine.
Just like any placement interview, it is important to be yourself. Try to remain calm in the interview and be honest about your experience.
At the end of the day, you know the answers to the questions because you’ll be talking about yourself and once you know a little bit about the company, you should be good to go.
Once you follow these interview preparation tips and give yourself plenty of time to prepare, you will be well on your way to a positive, successful job interview and, hopefully, the opportunity of your dreams. Good luck on your next interview!