“Hi, we would like invite you in for an appointment to discuss the possibility of you joining our team,”
Most of us after this call will go through three stages of emotions – first, exhilaration of joy, because you got that call you have been waiting for. Second, a motion of caution because you do not want to be overexcited, as you do not exactly have the job in hand. And finally, as the appointment or interview day closes in; sheer panic as you really want to ace this interview and get the job.
In every interview or appointment for a job position, senior or junior level, the interviewers are assessing you, critiquing your appearances, evaluating your skills and doing their best to determine if you are the best fit for their organisation. This is your best opportunity to set the stage and make a good impression.
We want to help you be a strong candidate for the job, so here are some tips to ace that interview.
Tip Highlight: Interviewers enjoy interviewing people who are interested in the actual job and not the benefits that the company is offering.
TIP 1: Research your potential employer
Okay listen carefully – long gone are the days, where you just browse the company’s website to learn about its history, executive officers or about its values and culture. These days, companies are interested to know if you have followed their announcements and achievements. So, look up articles online, research their social media posts and review their ratings on job portals thoroughly. Then contextualise your talent and background to what the company has done so far. The most important research item is to identify what is the goal of the company and to link that to your goals in life.
TIP 2: Review the job description you applied for
Most people always just read the title of the job advertisement and apply for the job. Then during the interviews, they fumble their way through because they are not sure what the roles and responsibilities are required of the incumbent. So, pay attention the listing, see if the skills and experience level matches your background, understand what is required of the role and consider how to align your abilities to what the company wants.
Interviewers enjoy talking to someone who has an actual idea of the job they are interviewing for and is able to demonstrate that they can fit in the role. So, before attending the interview, look at the responsibilities listed and match them with examples of accomplishment in your previous role.
TIP 3: Practice answering interview questions
No, we are not lying. And we hear you, how would you know what questions they may ask you? Simple, the questions will always be linked to the roles and responsibilities listed in the job advertisements. Always connect your experiences to the list of responsibilities listed. Read up on technical aspects of the job if required. Practice how you would answer them and keep the answers simple yet descriptive.
Do not use big words, remember they are trying to get to know you so be humble yet stay intelligent.
Interviewers like candidates who are able to focus their responses and examples on what they can bring to their roles if they are hired. Most importantly, do not fabricate a story about yourself, do not lie about the researched facts and do not mumble your answers. If you practice earlier, you will appear more confident.
TIP 4: Ask your own questions
Let us be clear, we all want to know what the benefits are, how much are we going to be remunerated and what is the yearly bonus structure like. But that is not what the interviewers want to hear you ask. If you really want to impress the interviewers, ask them to explain about the organisation, to give you an overview from an internal perspective. Another popular question that interviewers liked being asked is about the role itself, what is expected aside from what you have read, ‘is there a specific goal in mind for the person assuming this role or how do you see this role developing in the future’.
These types of question show your interest in the role is genuine and not just for its monetary value. If you have any other questions, write them down before you go for the interview. Remember to say thank you after the interviewer answers your question and a good way to do this would be “Thank you, that shed more light on this role, and it sounded very exciting.”
Insider Information: Many interviewers say, candidates these days ask questions but only touch on remunerations and benefits, and rarely on the role itself – so be different. Many of organisations will only tell you about the benefits or discuss remuneration packages after you have been offered the job.
TIP 5: Dress appropriately for your interview
Do not overdress or underdress. Do not overkill with the perfume and jewellery. The key is to keep it simple. Wear professional attire and bring a suit jacket with you. Once you reach the company, be nice to the receptionist and check to see if a suit jacket would be necessary. Men - keep the hair gel to a minimum and style your hair professionally – you are not attending a selection for a pop group. For the ladies, keep the make up simple, ditch the red lipstick and dramatic hair styles.
Most importantly, interviewers like looking at attendees who are neat, unruffled and confident. Oh and, brush your teeth on the day of the appointment and pop in a mint or two prior to the interview.
Good luck everyone and keep us posted via firstname.lastname@example.org on your interview stories.