RESOURCES | Interviews: Five steps to make sure you are ready

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You find out you have been invited to interview for your dream job and you are feeling great! You have already shown the employer that you have relevant skills for the role, so they want to find out more. Now you need to prove that you are the right candidate and stand out from the crowd.

If you are like most people, you may also be feeling nervous. Don’t let any nerves or lack of confidence get the best of you. The most effective way to ensure you enter the room feeling confident and positive, is to make sure you are well-prepared.

Not sure where to start? Follow our five tips below to help you get there.

1. Research the business

 Competition can be tough, so in order to shine, you need to be prepared. Companies love it when you show you’ve done your homework on them. This means going beyond the obvious company website. Research the company’s social media presence, any latest news about them, and understand what is happening in the industry as well. Demonstrating your knowledge on the business and their competitors will definitely impress and it shows that not only are you thinking about the role, but also the part it plays in the business.

 2. Prepare examples of what you’ve done

It is most likely that you will be asked some competency questions. These are questions that are looking for you to demonstrate that you have the relevant skills for the role. Use the job description to highlight and understand the key skills they are looking for. Then, prepare some example stories that showcase real-life situations where you have demonstrated this skill.

 For example, a required skill could be “the ability to work as part of a team and independently” or “excellent presentation skills.” Think of some stories that you could apply to one or more of these, to show you have demonstrated these traits.

 Remember, always give examples that have a positive outcome.

3. Think of some commonly asked questions

 As well as preparing examples to show you have the required traits, preparation on how to answer some commonly asked questions will ensure you give well thought out answers.

 Some commonly asked questions you should think about are:

  1. Tell me about yourself
  2. What are your strengths?
  3. What is your biggest weakness?
  4. Why should we hire you?
  5. Why do you want the job?

With most of these types of questions, the hiring manager is trying to understand why you are qualified for the role. Keep this in mind so every answer is to the point and shows off your relevant skills and experience. The more you practice some answers to these questions, the more you will sound like a natural.  

4. Prepare Questions

Use the end of the interview to ask some smart questions, and don’t pass on this opportunity to find out more! Stick to questions that you cannot easily find out for yourself online. Instead, imagine yourself on your first day on the job. What kind of questions might naturally come to mind?

For example, will you be working as part of a team? Is there a training program? What does a typical day look like? You can also use your research on the business to ask questions on their visions and successes if you wanted to.

5. Be yourself

 If you are still feeling nervous, remember that interviews are a two-way process. Even though you want to impress to get the job, you also need to make sure the job is right for you. Be yourself. You don’t need to pretend to know something you don’t. You can be open about skills you need to develop and show you are willing to learn. If it’s a right fit, you’ll prove to them just how great you are for the job!

 

Written by Simran Takhar

Photography courtesy of studio tdes