In a previous article, I wrote about attire options you should wear at your following interview. Once you know what to wear to the interview, it’s time to learn what to do at the interview to get the desired position.
Research the company and your interviewer
First, it’s one of the fundamental subjects of HR education. Although the company will talk about themselves, it’s a must to learn about them before the interview and prepare a few questions about them. I’ve never seen a company before that wouldn’t have appreciated a candidate who asked questions about the company’s mission or history.
Second, once you’ve researched the firm, it’s time to learn a thing or two about your interviewer. If you are applying for a professional position, your interviewer is most likely up on LinkedIn. You can go through their past experience, education, and some of their interests. It is a great way to compare your knowledge to theirs or to learn something about them that can start a conversation. For example, you may have graduated from the same university or live in the same city.
Have a list of questions
As mentioned in the previous point, having a couple of questions is a must. Whether it is about the history of the firm or about the position – always have a few questions. Most of them will probably be answered by the interviewer during the interview, but if you have an additional 2-3 questions, they will appreciate it a lot. It is a sign of confidence and curiosity about the firm. If this will be your first interview and you don’t know what kind of questions to ask, I list a few below. Please note that each position requires different questions, but the following applies to most positions:
- Ask about the range of the wage.
- What is the ideal applicant for the position?
- Ask about the size of the team.
- What is the actual task or project?
- Is there a Trial period?
- What software and/or tools do you need to use for the position?
- What are the next steps in the interviewing process?
Try to avoid yes or no answers
When the interviewer asks a question, try to give a complex answer or say, „it depends”. It will make you seem more intelligent and professional. Simple yes or no answers are boring and won’t make you stand out from the dozens of applicants.
Practice your answers to common HR questions
No matter what company you are applying to, certain questions probably come up at all places like, „Why did you choose us?” or „What did you like in our advertisement?”. There are more complex questions on the internet, you can find blogs and videos about the topic, but I won’t list all of them. Try to come up with an answer to most of the questions, and eventually, you will be able to answer these new questions without preparation. Here you can see a list created by indeed.com.
Show your personality
„What makes you different from the other applicants?” If you had interviews before, you probably heard the following question. You have to be confident and 100% sure about why you are the best applicant for the advertised position. If you don’t think you are the best applicant for the job, they will feel the same and hire the best applicants. A common practice is to fake it till you make it. There are probably a dozen applicants with the same background as you. The one thing that will separate you from them is your personality, so show it. Show that you are precise, a leader type, or simply a fun person that can make others happy.
Dress to impress
You wouldn’t believe how important is what you wear for an interview. Dressing well is not only necessary for making a good first impression, but also for your self-confidence. If you’re wearing an uncomfortable outfit that you don’t feel confident in, you’ll be constantly adjusting or overthinking it, and the interviewer will see you nervous, which doesn’t make a good first impression in an interview. If you don’t know what to wear for your interview, I wrote an article about the topic, make sure to read it.
How to act in online interviews
I know we are starting to get back to the office and in-person interviews, but there are still companies and positions where you will have an online Teams or Zoom interview, especially for early rounds. Your situation is more painless at home because you don’t have to commute for a 30 minutes interview. You can do it from the comfort of your bedroom.
You can dress easier, so you probably should have to wear a shirt. And the last benefit is that you can have multiple displays, so you can have your CV and some notes open while doing your interviews. What you need to look out for is visualization. So, if someone speaks to you, you should look at them and move your head so they can get feedback from you. The second is to prepare for the interview like you would for an in-person interview.
Have a good night’s sleep the day before
You wouldn’t believe how important this step is. If you wake up tired and do the interview in the morning you will seem exhausted and unprepared. You should show the best version of yourself in an interview because you have only one chance to give the first expression. Have at least 7-8 hours of sleep before your interview.
Always tell stories
When they ask you a question about your past experience – answer their query with a story. You don’t have to be 100% accurate because there can be some confidentiality in your previous job, but you can tell almost exactly with a story what you did, how you solved a business problem, how you improved your knowledge, etc. When answering questions, try to use the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result).
Ask a friend to help you or record yourself
Finally, one of the best ways to get fully prepared for an important interview is to practice it with a friend or family member or to record yourself. This way, you can analyze your performance and improve the flaws, so when the day comes for the interview, you will be 100% ready.
To sum up, I am hoping I can help you with your interview preparation. Doing interviews shouldn’t be a hassle. I always loved doing them. It is a great way to learn about new people and industries. Also, to improve your negotiation and communication skills. If you follow the points listed in the article and practice enough, you will get the position you desire. I wish you good luck with your interviews.
Keep on reading: How to Dress Like a Gentleman: The Complete Guide – Our Top 10 Tips