Here is a step-by-step guide and proven job interview tips to help you pass a job interview and get the job you want.
RESEARCH YOUR POTENTIAL EMPLOYER
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. Look up articles online, research their social media posts and review their ratings on job portals thoroughly. 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.
THINK OF REASONS YOU ARE INTERESTED IN THE COMPANY
Use the research you have to identify a career related reason to why you are excited about this company. It could be anything from the business model, their projects and recent accomplishments. Connect it to your career goals and plans – see how their development matches your values and motives. If they make your heart beat faster – then you might have a match. On top of having a genuine answer when asked why you want to join the company and you will seem extremely well-prepared and well-rounded.
DRESS APPROPRIATELY, PLEASE
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. Do not overkill with the perfume and jewellery. 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 makeup 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.
YOU ARE MAKING A CAREER CHANGE AND GET ASKED WHY
You want to try something different, sure. Be positive, do not speak ill about your previous employment instead throw in some examples of how the experiences you have had can be beneficial in the role you applied for. Speak about personal growth and being part of something more exciting than what you were doing before. Explain your thought process and show them that it was not a spur-of-the-moment decision – this would show that you are not impulsive but very process oriented.
PRACTICE ANSWERING INTERVIEW QUESTIONS
The questions asked during the interview 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. Practice makes perfect.
DON’T SAY THESE WORDS
Never curse and keep your vocabulary simple. But there are other words that can also raise the red flag for interviewers such as starting the sentence with the word ‘Like’ or the words ‘Err…I don’t know’. Hesitations significantly reduces the chance you have in acing that interview.
REPEAT, AGREE AND ADD
Repeat back certain phrases that your interviewers say and add them to your own answers. For an example “ How you can you ensure a positive customer experience for the people who frequent our stores,’ and your answer can include ‘Amazing customers experience is what is going to bring back people into our stores and this is how I plan to improve customer experience’.
This shows you are listening to them and it demonstrates that you understand what the interviewer is saying. Reflecting listening alone is not enough. You often get statements from your interviewers that you might agree. But don’t just stop at nodding – you are not in school – add your own interpretation and thoughts or facts to the statement. This could help you propel further in impressing your interviewer.
SMILE AND EYE CONTACT
Be friendly and polite but be serious when you need to be. It is weird, but according brightside.me a person who smiles widely, is deemed unprofessional and not serious. You don’t have to constantly show your toothy smile to be polite, so keep those smiles polite and genuine but adopt a more serious attitude when you are in the interview. Make consistent eye contact when speaking. Even when you are being serious – make appropriate eye contact, where necessary. This does not mean you stare down your interviewer or inappropriately wink at your interviewer during an interview.