Interview questions and how to answer them, top tips for interviewing successfully
Interviews are a stage within the hiring process designed to narrow the volume of applicants further, so if you have secured a face to face or video interview, then you are one step closer to a job offer! Interviews enable you to showcase why you are the most suitable person for the role, by letting recruiters or hiring managers get to know you, how you engage with others, and how effectively you communicate. But it is not as easy as it sounds. See below for some top tips for when you are asked for an interview.
How to prepare yourself
It is hard to know where to start when preparing for your job interview; it is a big deal, and with it come nerves and excitement. It can be helpful to break it down into simple questions. First, what will you be doing in the role? The more accurately you understand what the job specifically entails, the better you can match your answers to fit it. Secondly, what is the company’s mission statement and set of core values? With many organisations now hiring based on a ‘culture fit,’ it is important to know the company’s message. Do some research and use this knowledge as a conversation starter.
If you are travelling to the interview, either via public transport, rideshare, or in your own car, ensure you plan your route a couple of days before, so you are not rushing or stressed on the morning of your interview.
Keep it positive and professional
Now it is the day of your interview. Make sure you get a good sleep the night before, and you look rested and bright. Even though it might sound cliché, you must dress to impress. With your clothes ironed and clean, you will appear presentable and confident; your clothes show your future motivations, and putting on your finest outfit can display your positive intent for the position.
First impressions count. Unfortunately, you do not get a second chance at making a first impression, so arrive at the meeting place 10 to 15 minutes early. Avoid fidgeting or nail-biting. Attempt to stay calm by breathing steadily, and make eye contact when you meet your interviewers. Start with a friendly smile, a straight back, and eye contact.
It is important to take some time to understand the role from an employers point of view. Read the job description think about the role and think about questions you would need to know if you were hiring this role. this will give you a clue to some of the questions that they may ask. Practice your answers.
Some typical questions are:
Tell me about yourself?
Why do you feel you are a good fit for the role?
What attracted you to the role?
What do you know about our organisation?
What do you think your weaknesses are?
During the interview
Now comes the most important part: the interview. It is essential to remember that an interview is not an interrogation. Rather, it is a two-way conversation designed to evaluate if you are right for the role, as well if the role is right for you. Answer questions confidently and transparently, attempting to answer only what is asked succinctly. If you do not know how to answer a certain question, tell the interviewer, and get them to reword it until you can formulate an accurate answer. Do not interrupt; listen carefully and actively and avoid rambling answers. Keep it clear and short, using examples from your past employment as context.
Even after you have said your goodbyes and thanked the interviewers for their time, the next step to ensure you are a top candidate for the position is to follow up. This can be in the form of either an email or letter, but there are a few critical elements to a follow up. Reaffirm your interest in the role; this will show that you are keen and will most likely accept the offer if it is made. Stay relevant by thanking the interviewers involved, and asking about the next step in the process. The follow up may just be your point of difference, making you stand out from the rest of the candidates.
Use these tips for your next job interview; prepare yourself, dress well, arrive early, listen carefully and engage. Smile and take a deep breath. You are now equipped with the tools required to ace any job interview, so good luck!