Job interviews are the most asked topic we get a lot of questions about from our candidates who want to apply to their next career challenge. As your career consultants, it is our duty here to present you the very basic and essential steps of a job interview including what to do during a job interview and most importantly what not to do to help you with your job application process. You might have heard some of them before but since you’ve been still googling “how to prepare for a job interview” it’s no harm to have all the necessary information in one place and to ensure a killer impression on your next job interview!
How to overcome your job interview anxiety before the big day?
First things first, let’s talk about your biggest enemy in a job interview that can single-handedly cancel all the other preparations you will be doing for your job interview out: Anxiety.
The fundamental starting point to overcoming job interview stress is to understand what causes this exact state of mind and body. We often feel stressed before job interviews because we don’t know how the interview is going to go, how many people will be there to interview us, what kind of an outfit should we wear and most importantly how we are going to impress the interviewers. Another common reason to feel anxious in job interviews is that the outcome of it has a high value for us. Now knowing the main reasons for job interview anxiety, let’s have a look at the solutions to overcome it.
To get rid of the uncertainty of the job interview, you just need to do a very simple trick: Get prepared for your job interview. Decrease that uncertainty, all you need to do is get as much information as you can get about the interview and its exact time and location, the interviewer(s) and their roles, the company and their values and the most common interview questions to have at least some idea how a regular job interview would be like. In this way, you will be one step closer to master a stress-free job interview.
What to do before a job interview to get prepared?
Having the years of experience in recruitment with thousands of job interviews, we have realised that many candidates during an interview, surprisingly, show signs of not having a single clue about the role they applied for, and no idea about the interview process at Blu Selection as a recruitment agency even though all the information and steps are written and communicated everywhere and most importantly not knowing what they want to do. In order to not make the common job interview mistakes often made, make sure you read on.
Ask questions about how your job interview is going to be like
Right after you schedule the interview, make sure you ask the necessary questions to your interviewer. How long would the interview take? How many people would be there to interview and for which reason? How many steps you might need to take after this interview? What is the exact location of the interview place? If it’s online, what software will you use for the interview and will it be audio-only or a video call? Lastly, after having a sense of the dress code, prepare your interview outfit in advance not to have a last-minute rush.
Research the role and the company you will be interviewing
Before your job interview, make all the necessary research on the company and the role you are applying for. Read the job description again and clarify everything from your side. Note your questions to ask the interviewer later in order to know exactly what the job is about. Check the company website, learn about their company culture and values, facts and figures and extend your market knowledge for the position you apply for. Is the company active on social media? Find out their main channels of communication where they showcase the brand and values. Last but not least, check the LinkedIn profile of your interviewer to understand their position within the company or during the hiring process.
Get prepared for the common questions before your job interview
The next step is simple, just search for “common interview questions”. You will find many general and industry or role-specific questions that are commonly asked in job interviews. It is always better to have some sense of an understanding of a question and what is expected as an answer. For instance, one of the most common yet most feared questions is “why should we hire you”. Do you already have an answer for that? By checking this and other questions, you will also get a better understanding of what they expect from you and what added values you can offer to the company
14 common questions you could be asked in a job interview
Tell more about yourself
Describe yourself in one word
What are your strengths, weaknesses and interests?
What skills are important for the job?
What are your special skills?
Knowing how to introduce yourself in a job interview is the best leave a good first impression on recruiters. Match your experience with the job you are applying for to craft your personal story and show recruiters why you would be a good fit for the job.
What have you learned from a mistake in your job?
Why did you leave your last position?
What challenges are you looking for in a job?
What are your salary expectations?
Showing self-reflection, awareness and transparency during the interview might be your best shot to demonstrate your personality and prove your culture fit and reliability. It’s very important not to lie during the interview, in any condition. To answer questions regarding career path and salary expectations make sure you do your research and contemplate on your own expectations to find the best possible answer to your interview questions.
What do you know about the company?
Why do you want to work for the company?
What are your short, medium and long-term goals?
Which of your accomplishments are you most proud of?
Last but not least, why should we hire you?
These last ones might sound cliché but despite being such tricky questions, it is actually a great opportunity for you. Demonstrating motivation and self-confidence on how you can be a great asset to the company should be your closing lines to leave a great impression on your interviewers. So, how to answer the question of “why should we hire you”?
One way is to explain to the hiring manager, not only why you want to work for them and what’s in it for you but also what benefits could the company get from choosing you. Point out how hiring you would be a win-win situation for both of you. Try to sell yourself as a great asset to them and show yourself enthusiastic and proactive toward the job. Of course, don’t fall in the mistake of focusing only on one of the two. Mention what’s in it for you and what drives you to do a good job for the employer.
Show Your Value.
Another good strategy is to show what you have that others don’t. Of course, you would be a good candidate, but they probably have tons of that with your exact same skills. So you have to prove you’re worth more than them and provide the company with something unique. For this purpose, having a deep knowledge of the business can be a big plus for you. You will need to do some company research of course, in order to show a solid background rather than just a few general information. Showing off your knowledge in this sense will show your excitement for the position, and you will picture yourself as an insider who will be most likely easier than others to train.
Depending on the position you are applying for, you could point out how your skills could solve a problem within the company. In fact, it often happens that employers are looking for an employee to add a new point of view to the company and solve an issue they are struggling with. Focus on your future and on explaining how you could become a problem solver for the company.
Your checklist for the job interview day
Now you made all your preparations for the interview and the big day has arrived. What’s our last-minute checklist of what to do and what-not-to-do during your job interview?
What should you do right before a job interview?
Have your resume and cover letter in front of you
Make a cheat sheet for the main points you don’t want to forget
Have the necessary materials like a pen and paper to take notes
Check the dress code of the company to make sure you are not under or overdressed
For online interviews, have a stable connection, good lighting and a quiet environment
Switch off your phone and eliminate any distractions
5 minutes before the interview? Just take a deep breath and relax, you got this!
What should you not do before a job interview?
Eating something heavy that can disturb you during the interview
Not getting enough sleep the night before and lacking energy
Don’t be late but also don’t be too early not to get anxious
What to do during a job interview
Make sure to have a confident and open posture
Hold your back straight
Make hand gestures when talking & put them on the table
Nod when listening
Make eye contact
Smile and show motivation!
What does a typical day for this position look like?
What is the next step in the process?
Ask when you will get feedback
What NOT to do during a job interview
Lying on your CV
Appear uninformed about the function or company
Not answering the questions
Getting personal or too familiar
Speak negatively about previous/current employers
All in all, do your research, stay calm and show them who you are, why you are valuable and why you are motivated to get this job without having anxiety that brings you down. There’s nothing else you can do to attract the interviews. Good luck with your job search and for your next job interview