An Interview is a face to face consultation wherein the client would put forth questions towards the job seeker after reviewing the resume. The questions are mostly directed in getting to know more about the job seeker and whether they would fit the requirements that is needed for the job.
The questions are mostly to know about the following criteria:
1. Technical Skills
2. Communications skills
3. Team work
4. Ability to learn
5. Critical thinking
6. Organisation skills
8. Problem solving
9. Maturity and Personal Management
10. Professional Judgement
Now, what is that you as a job seeker need to prepare yourself for? Many job seekers feel that they need to prepare by reading lots of questions and answers for attending the interview. There are other factors that you will need to take care before attending an interview. Those factors are highlighted below:
30 Best Tips to Prepare for an Interview:
1. Learn more about the role and organisation:
It is better to learn more about the job profile that you have applied for and also about the organisation. Knowing more about the role will help you to assess the strengths and the skills required to be able to face the interviewer’s questions. There are various means of knowing about the organisation through the internet or brochures or articles. After all most of the organisations or companies create their own websites with contents detailing their vision, mission, their products, top management etc. This makes your work easier!!
2. Check out how well you would fit the organisation:
By doing so you would be needing to gather further information on the aspects that is lacking and prepare to answer them accordingly. If your skill level is not as matching as asked for, try to prepare for the needed and show your eagerness to learn them in due course of time at organisation. Don’t be caught off guard!!
3. Update yourself on the trends in the same job description:
Read through the job descriptions of the job applied from various sites to understand the trends. From that you would be able to understand the main requirements that is needed for the job and prepare yourself.
4. Get to know what the employer is looking out for:
By knowing what the employer is looking for you would be allowing more time to prepare yourself mentally and be sure to answer the prospective questions!
5. Know more about current affairs:
Having knowledge about current affairs is a basic requirement and can help you to talk about it during discussion session at interviews. This should be a habit developed from childhood!! It does not come within a day! The tricky part of interview is that sometimes current affairs or matters related to the subject are often posed as a question to know about your awareness and how do you respond to matters surrounding you.
6. Find out how the interview will be conducted:
Interviews are mostly single to single, facing a panel of interviews, or group discussion. By knowing about the type of interview you can know how to prepare. If it is single then there is not issue. In case of facing a panel, try to answer in the same tone with all and listen to the question properly. In case it is discussion, then you will need to be audible and loud for your views to be heard.
7. Prepare questions for yourself:
By putting yourself in the shoes of the employer try to prepare a list of questions that you anticipate. Pull out all possible types of questions. One easy way is to look at job description and prepare at least one question for each point on the job described. From the questions posed you would be now in a position to anticipate the most probable.
8. Be prepared to answer about yourself:
This is a very important question that you will be facing at the start of interview as “Talk about yourself” or “Tell us about your achievements”. Hence, this is fundamental aspect that you will need to prepare by first writing it down in a piece of paper and practise speaking so that you wont stammer as “Well..uh..I…am good at..uh..” You will need to make it short and brief so that you describe your character and your personality.
9. Don’t show out your weakness:
It will only generate negative opinion about you and will not help you to get short listed. Like you may not be comfortable in making speeches as you did not have an opportunity but instead you could rephrase as saying that you had been heading a team and helped them out by addressing them.
10. Say why you want (like) this job:
Often the question may be posed as to “why are you interested in this job”. You will need to make notes of why you like this type of role and identify ‘key factors” for this role. See how it will fit you as a person and what you would do to make it interesting.
11. Practise speaking:
If you are going to attend interview for the first time, then practising to speak is key criteria. By practising, you would be able to correct grammar mistakes and hear for yourself your voice, the tone of speaking, and how loud is your voice. Sometimes, you can practise in front of your relatives like brother, sister, parents and allow them to give criticism of your way of speaking. The more you speak in front of them the more confidence you would develop.
12. Be cautious of your communication:
The factor ‘communication’ always denotes the way you are able to express ideas and your work. You might want to tell about certain idea but if you are not able to express them clearly and precisely, it means you have to improve your communication. Some people are adept in communicating their thoughts or are able to express their feelings well, but some are not able to get the right words. Hence, be prepared with right words and right thoughts about your work and experience gained in proper manner so as to express them effectively to the interviewer.
13. Organise all your file:
It is necessary to organise your file with covering letter, resume, credentials, educational certificates, experience certificates, training certificates, certificates for workshops attended and other important documents that you feel you need to present during the interview or might be requested by the interviewer. It’s better to organise all the contents of the file in arranged manner and prepare a small checklist with listed documents on a small sticky note and keep it inside the file for easy retrieval. Always keep a set of a minimum of 5 copies of all the related documents that you are carrying with you.
14. Carry your notepad:
Some of the interviews requires to work out some ideas or a problem where you would need to write down the calculations or points. Having a notepad and pencil would show your professionalism and would be necessary to explain thoughts or ideas implemented by explaining on writing. By doing so, you would be feeling comfortable by writing and showing them instead of writing in the invisible board!!
15. Copy of data:
If you have any slides or power points that you have sent beforehand, then make a copy of the slides on a USB drive or data stick. Carry it with you along with your documents. Label your USB device or keep it safe lest it gets lost.
16. Dress code:
The most important of all is to wear the proper dress for interview. As proverb says, “Clothes don’t make the man, but clothes have got many a man a good job.” Wearing the right attire is very important. Decide what you need to wear and keep it aside for the day of interview. Do not wear bright coloured costume or a jeans. It is preferable to wear a light or dark coloured dress to show your composure. But wear it neatly. Be appealing even if it is video interview!
17. Do not be late:
You would have been intimated about the interview prior at least a week or minimum of two days. Hence, in case you are working in other place or you are having other appointments then it’s better to take off or get permission from previous employer. Cancel or reschedule other appointments that is clashing with your timing of interview. This will help you to be on time at the interview. Being at least half hour before the time allotted would be better for you to know about the place. It would also show that you have interest in the job.
18. Review your resume:
It’s always better to review your resume before you attend interview as your resume will be the base document for the interviewer to ask relevant questions to verify your competency. Figure out what would be the practical examples you would be giving in case of each type of experience that you have been working on and how are you going to represent them or speak about it. It could relate to incidents during work, education or social life!! It’s always better to recollect the points and keep it as a sequence before you attend interview.
19. Recollect your best attributes:
All interviews are about knowing the personality characteristics of a person. Hence, figure out what is the best attributes or qualities that you would like to share with the interviewer in relation with the job. Of course, attributes in relation with work or the job is mostly sought for!! How could those attributes best fit for the job that you are applying be useful? Take a paper and pencil, list them out and correlate with the job description that you have seen. Preparing yourself for this is also one of the most important aspects of interview as this mostly counts during selection process.
20. Make points:
Writing down the points in a paper about the practical examples and your best qualities will be helpful before you enter the hall. How to write the clues in your list? Use words like ‘team player’ – give examples, ‘safety representative’ – give examples, etc. Sometimes you would not have worked as a team in the same manner during your work but would have participated at other places like college or projects. Recollect them and write it down! This will be particularly useful when attending telephonic interviews!
21. Take care of numbers:
Often in our panic, we forget the year of passing out or the year of completing the project or the number of years you have worked in previous firm. It is better to review them before attending interview and refresh yourself. Even you should be able to say about the achievements in terms of percentages or increase. Like, reduction in number of accidents at work site, increase in sales, number of assignments accomplished etc.
22. Preparing a list of references:
Mostly our resumes would not have references mentioned as it is not appropriate to have it. Hence, this is the time to keep a list of references whom you confide on and will give you an endorsement for your work. This list of references created should have the name, title, designation, department or division, telephone or preferably mobile number, email address, and lastly your relationship with them. It’s like how it is done on some professional networking like “linkedIn”.
23. Attending telephonic interview:
Sometimes overseas interview are mostly arranged via telephonic interview through “Skype” or “video calls”. In such cases you need to make note of the above aspects and be clear in your communication. Always ask for some time before attending such interviews. This is to pre-arrange for a quiet place to have an interview where there will not be any disturbance to your dialogues and helps to speak correctly without errors.
24. Attending video interviews:
These sort of interviews are conducted when the job is overseas or the client is overseas. To make confirmation for such an interview it is necessary to verify your internet connectivity and speed so that it is not disrupting in between. Fix a suitable time and place before informing them. See that you are not disturbed by your friends or family!
25. Need of being audible:
For attending interviews that are telephonic or video calls, it is very necessary for you to be audible. Try to speak loudly and clearly for them to understand what you are wanting to interpret. Ensure that your tone is enthusiastic and eager to learn. It is to show your positivity. If your voice is dull and inaudible it means you are a negative person and do not want to come out of the box!!
26. Seek clarity:
In case you are not sure what they have asked then you must seek for clarifying their query. Do not be haste in answering without knowing the question asked. It will give an impression that you are clear in your approach and would consider as a positive approach.
27. Packing for unexpected:
In case of interviews that are held away, you need to pack minimum 3 sets of clothes along with your necessary essentials for your trip, to be prepared for unexpected weather or climatic changes that may be encountered.
28. Making a prior booking:
Once intimated about the interview date and time, then it is necessary to make prior booking of the hotel or accommodation. Also make travel arrangements earlier so that you don’t have last minute panicking. Book your tickets such that you would reach at least 24 hours before interview so that in case there is a road block or strike or unexpected events you would be able to reach the interview place early.
29. Groom yourself properly:
Looking your best will make you to feel more confident and face with positive attitude. It could be having a shave, doing facial, having haircut or even buying new outfit! Once you feel good about yourself then it would boost up your confidence.
30. Do you need further details from them:
Some interviews have a last session wherein you would be allowed to ask few questions.. But be sure to ask ‘smart’ questions so that they would be impressed about you making an effort to know more about the company and the job profile.
Preparing for interview is tedious task and requires the right approach and attitude. By reading the above points it would seem a herculean task but finally it is like getting ready for a show or an event or your everyday work. When you are committed to your work, then attending interview would not be a hassle. If you are able to manage your time and work in your day to day life then all the above points would not be difficult to understand. If it’s taken in the right manner you are sure to get through it with flying colours.