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How To Prepare For A Job Interview

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Observe The Presentation Rules

How to prepare for a job interview

Presentations are organized by the interviewer to allow every candidate to have ample time on stage. It’s important to understand and observe all the presentation rules. For instance, if the presentation lasts ten minutes, ensure you complete your presentation within the stipulated time. Use the time they allocate to you effectively to show that you are prepared. Following the rules also show that you are mindful of other people’s time.

Conduct Research On The Company

Find out who you might be working for.

If it’s been your goal to work for a particular company and you’ve been religiously following them for years, you may be able to skip this step but candidates who are unfamiliar with potential employers will need to do thorough research before they start preparing for a job interview.

Some things you may want to find out include:

  • Who they are, what they do, and where they’re located.
  • Founders and other key players.
  • Mission statement and goals.
  • Recent milestones and other significant achievements.
  • Projects and initiatives they’re involved in.
  • Specific details about the department you’ll be working in.
  • Conversations they’re currently having.
  • What role you will play and the contributions you can make.

You wouldn’t want to bring it up in an interview, but when conducting your research, also look for red flags, such as poor reviews and lawsuits related to the company. Part of being well-prepared is finding out everything you can about your potential employer.

Start your research by looking at their social media pages and company website. Companies usually include a link to their site in any email correspondence.

Determine who the key players are and find out more about them. They may show up in Google searches, but should also have LinkedIn and social media profiles you can access.

Run a Google search on the company and see what comes up. You may also find video testimonials from previous clients and employees, which can be helpful.

What Makes You Unique

Employers often ask this question to identify why you might be more qualified than other candidates theyre interviewing. To answer, focus on why hiring you would benefit the employer. Since you dont know the other applicants, it can be challenging to think about your answer in relation to them. Addressing why your background makes you a good fit lets employers know why your traits and qualifications make you a strong candidate.

To help you prepare this answer consider the following:

Example answer:”What makes me unique is my ability to meet and exceed deadlines. In my previous role, my manager consistently praised me for completing my projects efficiently with a high level of quality. This allowed me to take on additional responsibilities and eventually led to a promotion.”

Read more: Interview Question: What Makes You Unique?

Read Also: Cfo Interview

Body Language And Direct Eye Contact Are Key

Maintain a positive body language throughout the interview, speak clearly and in full sentences, smile frequently and make eye contact. During questioning, sit upright, listen to the questions and try to answer as clearly and concisely as possible. Also maintain good manners with any staff member or interviewers that you might meet before or after the interview, or even during the coffee break, lunch or dinner. Don’t forget that while you are with any of the institution’s or company’s staff, you are being assessed, whether the setting is formal or informal.

What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment

How to Prepare for an Interview!

Its easy to get hung up on figuring out your single most impressive accomplishment. Instead, think of a few achievements that showcase your work ethic and values. If you can, pick examples that also tie back to the job youre applying for. The STAR method is a great tool to ensure you highlight the parts of your story that employers want to hear.

Example answer:In my last role, I managed all social media content. I noticed other brands were experimenting with videos and seeing great engagement from their customers, so I asked my boss if we could do a low-budget test. She agreed, so I produced a video cheaply in-house that drove double the engagement we normally saw on our social channels. It also drove conversions with 30% of viewers visiting our website within a week of seeing the video.

Read more: Interview Question: What Is Your Greatest Accomplishment?

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How Did You Hear About This Job

When asked this during an interview, donât just say you heard about the job on a website. This is your opportunity to go into more detail about why you love this company and what motivates you to want to work there. Moreover, if you have a personal connection at the company, this would be a good time to mention their name!

During The Interview: What Makes You Stand Out

  • Give the interviewer a firm handshake
  • Make good eye contact with the interviewer
  • Body Language:
  • Try not to fidget or touch your face or hair too often
  • Keep an upright posture
  • Be confident and energetic
  • Highlight your personality and sense of humor. Employers want to see if you will fit well with the companys culture and team.
  • Be honest and listen carefully. Be attentive to the question being asked so that you answer the question to the best of your ability. Stay focused on the issue at hand rather than on issues that may arise later in the interview.
  • Believe it or not, it is alright to admit you are nervous. Some interviewer may find this to be a relatable quality
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    Work On Your Interview Technique

    A job interview gives you a chance to shine. What you say and what you do is going to either move you to the next round of consideration for employment or knock you out of contention for the job. The more you know about successful interview techniques, the smoother the interview will go. If you’re one of those people, and it happens to almost everyone, who gets really anxious about interviews, there are coping strategies you can use to help minimize stress.

    Know What Youre Bringing To The Table

    How to Prepare for a Job Interview

    Many people become uncomfortable at the idea of selling themselves, but presenting yourself in your best light does not have to feel gimmicky or disingenuous. The fact is, you do have skills and experiences that set you apart and it is completely acceptable to acknowledge that about yourself.

    When preparing for your interview, know how your particular skill set will translate to your job role and how it will help contribute to the overall goals of the team or department.

    Having stats on hand about how you have grown and succeeded in your previous roles will serve you well here. For instance, what percentage of overall sales were you responsible for in your last position? How much did your previous companies social media engagement grow when you were managing it?

    Whatever accomplishments you have that are relevant to the position will be a great asset for your interviewer to know. Dont be shy about sharing your accomplishments. Your interviewer is hoping you are a good fit as much as you are, so make sure they have all of the reasons why this job should be yours.

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    Think Of Some Stories

    Think of some solid stories you can tell about yourself. Write down and memorize three stories where you can highlight some of your most important achievements. Choose examples that make you feel proud of the work youve done.

    These stories demonstrate your soft skills like judgment, initiative, teamwork, or leadership. Wherever possible, quantify what youve done, e.g., increased sales by 20%,cut customer call waiting time in half,streamlined delivery so that most customers had their job done in two days.

    Remember: Non-work stories count toward your achievements if you volunteer for the local food pantry, write down a time you overcame a big challenge or a crisis there. These kinds of stories make you memorable, which is what you want.

    Take the time you needat least three hours on this task.

    The Job Interview Process

    A job interview is a conversation between you and the employer. During the interview, the employer will ask you many questions. You need to know how to prepare for an interview. It is one of the most important steps in getting a job.

    The employer will ask about your work experience. They will want to know about your education and any training you have had. Your answers to interview questions also show what kind of person are. You will show the employer that you are a good person for the job.

    Job interviews do not always take place in person. You may have a phone interview first. Use this chance to show how you would help the company. If you pass the phone interview, then you will be interviewed in person. For many jobs, you will have one phone interview and at least one in-person interview. Or they may set up a video call with you.

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    Tell A Personal Story

    Presentations require you to be professional and impersonal. That notwithstanding, you can include a personal story that allows you to connect with the audience. A personal story might emanate from a personal experience relevant to the presentation. For instance, you can give a brief experience of how you helped a previous company achieve particular success or overcome a difficulty. A personal story captures your audience’s attention and helps you deal with tension.

    What To Do After Your Interview

    How to Prepare for a Job Interview: 9 Tips to Getting an Offer

    For video interviews, if you decide to don a formal top with your jammies as bottoms, wait until the session ends to hop up, launch into celebratory gestures or any other untoward behavior. For in-person interviews, dont come out of character until you are far away from the interview site. In other words, keep your cool until the very end of the interview, then wait for news regarding the next step.

    No matter the kind of interview you have, be sure to follow up and send a thank you note. If you are working with a recruiter, they may give you immediate feedback, otherwise, you may have to wait until management gives an update.

    No matter the outcome, be sure to keep your interview skills fresh and your cover letters ready. The more you practice, the better youll get and the more likely you are to get the job offer you want.

    Recommended Reading: System Design Interview Preparation

    Job Interview Preparation Tips To Help You Stand Out

    Practicing job interview answers in front of a mirror helps you to identify anything that might distract from the substance of what you have to say.

    In brief
    • To prepare for an interview, study up on the role so you can explain how you meet each of the job requirements.
    • Be prepared to address your biggest weaknesses, such as gaps in your résumé.
    • The best way to learn how to interview is by practicing your Q& A with someone you trust, on camera or in the mirror.

    You have put time and effort into your job application, perhaps polishing up your résumé and crafting a well-constructed cover letter, earning you a coveted interview. Now is your chance to show why you are a great candidate and how you would fit in with your potential team. If you do your homework, you will be prepared for anything the interviewer throws at you.

    1. Study the job description.

    Get into the right mind-set by reminding yourself what the job entails and reading the employers mission statement, if it has one. Make a list of reasons why this job may be the right fit for your career journey, such as the skills, experience and network you would gain. Focusing on how this job will help you achieve your career goals is a good way to get excited about the roleeven if it is not your dream job. This will help you to express why you want the job and to convey enthusiasm during the interview.

    2. Prepare to address gaps in your background.

    Pamela Skillings, BigInterview.com

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    Print Hard Copies Of Your Resume

    Most employers ask for digital copies of your resume with the application, but they may not have easy access to it during the interview itself. Having copies to present to multiple interviewers shows that you’re prepared and organized. You should have at least three copies to provide for multiple interviewers, plus one for yourself to follow along.

    During your preparation, read over your resume and rehearse explanations for any gaps that may appear or other oddities. For example, you may have taken time off work to care for a child or family member, switched careers or had other legitimate reasons for employment gaps. These can be a concern for employers, so it’s best to prepare your explanation to show them that you’re not a risk.

    You may also encounter questions about your resume that are awkward. It’s important to be honest but diplomatic in addressing them. For example, you may have left a job because of your supervisor or manager, or policies that you didn’t agree with, but you don’t want to speak negatively about a former employer. Consider these possible questions and prepare your answers in advance, so you don’t accidentally say something you’ll regret.

    Like the rest of the interview, it’s best to prepare for these questions by writing notes and rehearsing your answers out loud multiple times prior to the interview.

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    What Is Your Greatest Weakness

    The typical follow-up question to your greatest strength is your biggest weakness. With this question, the interviewer is looking to see if youre open to criticism and have a desire to improve.

    How to Answer:

    Stay away from personal qualities and concentrate on professional traits. Think about skills that you’ve been trying to improve, or that you’ve made progress with recently.

    Regardless of your weakness, let the interviewer know youre currently working on turning the negative into a positive.

    Everyone has flaws, and saying you dont will likely lead to rejection.

    Example Answers:

    My greatest weakness is being too direct and outspoken at times in the workplace. Ill often get caught up in the moment and say whatever comes to mind without processing the information first. Ive been working on correcting this by analyzing all the details of a conversation before speaking up…

    My greatest weakness has been keeping everyone up to date with project status updates when I’m fully engrossed in the detail work of a project. I’ve been trying to be more proactive with sending out updates to the team by making a habit of taking some time at the end of the day to go over all my active projects and send out any relevant updates.

    Ask The Right Questions

    How to Prepare for a Job Interview

    Many employers would give you the chance to ask questions about the company and the position. It is a good idea to prepare these questions in advance so that the interviewers get the impression that you have taken the time to research the company and are also aware of what the position entails. Some questions that you could ask include:

    • What qualities do your most successful employees have?

    • What are the steps in your hiring process?

    • What type of in-house training programs do you offer?

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    Never Badmouth Any Previous Employers

    Even if you have had enough with your previous job, you should never badmouth a former employer in an interview. If specifically asked try to keep your tone somewhere between neutral and positive and try to emphasise on what you’ve learned in that job and what you’re hoping to do in the future which will blend nicely with the new job you have applied for. On a similar note, do not talk negatively or disrespectfully about any person that you have worked for/with in the past. This is disliked by panellists and it may give the impression that you were the cause of the conflict or problematic relationship.

    Why Are You Leaving Your Job

    Makeameme – Sayingimages

    This is another one of those behavioral interview questions.

    The specific reasons for your leaving are often less important to the interviewer than how you conduct yourself when discussing it.

    The interviewer is often looking to see if you speak ill of your former employer and/or left on good terms.

    How to Answer:

    When asked about why you are moving on, state your reason in a positive manner rather than being directly critical or accusatory.

    Focus on what you’ll get out of the change in employment. If you are currently employed, you can explain that your career goals dont line up with the company’s direction, and if you were recently let go, give them a brief overview about why, without ever bashing your previous employer.

    Example Answers:

    “My current employers vision has changed over the past few years and no longer lines up with mine.

    After 4 years with the organization, Ive made the decision to look for a company where I can utilize my skills and share similar values…”

    Also Check: Top 10 Behavioral Questions

    Reverse Thinking: Think About The Interview From The Interviewer’s Point Of View

    Inevitably you will need to do some brainstorming based on your detective work and introspection, during which you need to ask yourself the following questions:

    • What are the employers looking for?

    • How will they assess you?

    • What questions are they most likely to ask to help them judge these things?

    • How can you convince them that you are the best fit for the job and organisation?

    • What evidence have you got to support that?

    This brings you to the point where you should anticipate potential questions and prepare answers accordingly in advance. highlights the typical questions that you will be asked in most interviews.

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