Attending an interview can be stressful and nerve-wracking. When you are nervous, the chances are you might fail to impress the employer and also fail to communicate effectively that you are the ideal candidate for this role. Being well prepared will curtail your nervousness and thus boost your confidence to get your dream job.
I have had my share of interviews. Based on my experience of attending interviews and taking interviews, I have collated the following preparation steps. By following these steps one-by-one you can be well prepared.
1. Know thyself – First and foremost, read your resume thoroughly. This is where all the questions for the interview will begin and end. For example, the interviewer might ask ‘I see that you have one year experience in technical communication. Can you tell me how that experience will be useful for this role?’ or ‘You have written in your resume that you are detail-oriented. Can you give an example how you used this skill in your previous employment?’
2. Know the roles and responsibilities – Read the job description of the role you applied for from top to bottom. While you are reading through it, identify the skills required for that job and align it with your skills. This way when you are asked, ‘What makes you the right candidate for this role? or ‘Why should we hire you?’, you are prepared to provide an answer, which is convincing and honest.
3. Research the company – Get in to the company’s website, read about their history, their services, their customers, and latest news (you can also check google news). You can use this information to showcase your interest to work for the company and also this will help you to come up with relevant questions to demonstrate knowledge of the company.
4. Prepare FAQs – Start writing a list of possible questions you may be asked. Collate all questions from your previous interviews that are relevant to the role and prepare your answers. Some of the common questions are as follows:
- Tell me about yourself?
- Can you give me an example of an issue you helped resolve? What improvement did you suggest? What happened? Was it implemented?
- Why should we chose you for this position? / Why should we hire you? / Do you think you are the ideal candidate?
- What skills does it take to be a successful in this role?
- What are your strengths?
- Why do you want to work for this company? Why are you interested in working for this company?
5. Prepare to ask questions - Many of the candidates say ‘No’ when the interviewer asks them if they have any questions. Most of the people don’t realize that this is not only an another opportunity to show how interested you are to work for the company but also it is an opportunity to find out whether the job is right fit for you. The best questions come from listening to the interviewer when he/she explains the company and the role and asking for additional information.
6. Identify your USP – This is term commonly used in the marketing field. When you are at an interview you are marketing yourself. So, what is your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)? By identifying your USP, you are setting yourself apart from your competitors. For example, for a person working in marketing, their USP is creativity, which is a key skill in marketing. Hence, during their interview, they share some of their creative ideas, which would bring the company’s product and the company in the forefront. This will not only impress the employer but will also get them thinking whether they are the ideal candidate.
7. Review – The word says it all. Whatever you have prepared, read it once, twice, thrice and more. The better prepared you are, the more confident you will be during the interview.
8. Look the part – We have all heard the famous adage, ’First impression is the best impression’. Studies have revealed that employers consistently ask the question, "Does the individual look right for the job?”. No matter what kind of job or how laid back the office environment is, you should always be dressed in a business-like, professional manner for an interview. By dressing your part you naturally convey confidence and a positive attitude. These nonverbal messages are as important in the interview as the verbal skills you use in marketing your qualifications.
By following these steps, I am sure you will be confident to demonstrate everything you have to offer for the company in your interview. All the best for your interview!