If you are currently on the job hunt, chances are you will have to pass an interview stage before you will be offered a job. Therefore, it is imperative that you prepare yourself thoroughly before any interview. An interview not only gives you the chance to show off your qualifications in detail but also allows you to explain why you believe you are the perfect candidate for the role. Moreover, an interview will also let your potential employer see who you are as a person, and if you will fit into the company.
However, it has been estimated that around 118 apply for any given job, and only 20% of these applicants get an interview. So, if you are lucky enough to get to the interviewing stage, you need to make sure that you do everything you can to ace the interview. This article will discuss the best ways you can prepare for an interview, as well as some tips and tricks for the day of the actual interview.
Get your CV prepared
Because only 20% of applicants get an interview, you need to make sure that you do everything you can to show off your experience, skills, and achievements so that you will be the one picked out of hundreds of potential applicants.
To do this, you have to ensure that your CV is up to date, professional, and consistent. One easy way to do this is by using a free online CV builder that has tools to help you create a professional-looking resumé that will stand out from the crowd.
Make sure you only include relevant information in your CV as it should only be two pages long. If written well, you will have plenty of time to talk about the information on your resumé in detail during the interview.
Research your potential employer
This is one of the most important steps, as it proves to the company that you are a serious candidate. Here are some ways you can research your potential employer:
- Browse the company’s website to learn about its history, recent announcements, values, and culture.
- Search for recent news about the company on social media to understand what they are currently working on and how they are improving their company.
- Get in touch with anyone you know who has worked for the company and ask them what stood out for them while they were working at the company.
Once you have a significant amount of knowledge of the company’s ethos, values, beliefs, and current projects, you will be able to tailor your CV so that your background ties together with the company’s values. Moreover, it will allow you to answer specific questions in the interview, and specifically, tailor them to the requirements that the company is looking for.
Practice answering interview questions
Before you have the interview, one way to get ready (and to help you feel less nervous) is to prepare answers to common questions that the interviewer is likely to ask.
Here are some of the most common questions that interviews ask, to help you get prepared for the day:
- Can you tell me about yourself?
- What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?
- Why do you want this position?
- Why are you leaving your job?
- Why should the company hire you?
Try and write some of your answers out on a piece of paper and, once you are happy with them, do your best to memorize them. Although you will never know everything that the employer will ask you, you stand a better chance of acing the interview if you have the above questions prepared.
If you have also done a lot of research into the company, you will also be able to further tailor your answer to what the company is looking for.
Get to know the STAR method
During job interviews, many hiring managers ask behavioral questions to assess how you would handle common situations in the workplace. To prepare for these sorts of questions, get to know the STAR method (situation, task, action, and result). Start by explaining the context of the situation, then discuss the task or role you have in this circumstance. Next, reflect on the actions you took to handle the challenge and the result of your initiative.
On the day
On the day of your interview, you need to do everything you can to make a good impression. If you don’t dress appropriately, you are likely to leave a negative lasting impression on the hiring team, which could prevent you from getting the position.
If you can, try and research the company’s website or social media to research the employee dress code, as this will act as a very good guide on what you should wear.
If in doubt, a formal business suit is a professional outfit that will prove to the interviewer that you mean business.
Try to stay calm
Interviews can be a stressful process, and it is not unusual if you are nervous on the day. If you are feeling particularly nervous, go to the bathroom before your interview. Take some deep breaths, and wash your hands if they are sweaty. Remind yourself that this is just one interview and you are well prepared. If the interview does not go to plan, you will have plenty more opportunities to ace another.
Follow up after the interview
Once the interviewer has finished the interview, make sure you take the time to thank them for their time, and reiterate your interest in the position. If you have any specific questions about the role, don’t be afraid to ask them.
Finally, make sure that you send a follow-up email to the employer that personally thanks them for their time. You can also use this email to mention any qualities you forgot to mention in the interview.
Interviews can be stressful, so make sure you follow the above advice to ace every interview you attend.