- Tips for an interview
Getting a job interview is not a stroke of luck. The success rate of your interview depends on you more than it does on the HR!
You need more skill than talent to ace an interview. If you keep certain fundamentals in mind while presenting yourself for a job position and practice these intangibles until perfection then, you will definitely find yourself in the top 2% of the total candidates, the ones who are actually offered the job.
If you have a sales background then you would know that selling anything is the most difficult thing in a business. That’s when you need to explain the real utility of your product to the customer. If your product is not good enough, then the customer will easily move to the second available option because you are not the only one in the market.
When it comes to selling yourself, the case is no different! It is an art and some people are quite natural at it; but the more important thing is that by following certain guidelines and practising some etiquettes, you can become just good enough to get that job you were aiming for.
So, buckle up and follow through as we unfold the secrets to ace an interview.
∙ Research about the company. Do your homework.
-> Tap Your Connections
-> Visit the company’s website
-> Get to know the industry and specially your company’s competitors
-> Use social media.
∙ Maintain a professional dressing sense. The interviewer reads you before your resume.
-> To wear clothing that fits and is clean and pressed. A rule of thumb is to wear an extra layer of clothes than you usually do.
-> Make yourself look organized.
-> Keep accessories and jewelry to a minimum.
∙ Be punctual.
In corporate circles, being punctual doesn’t mean to reach on time. You must get there 15 minutes earlier.
∙ First impression really counts.
-> Be good with the receptionist.
-> Carry a genuine smile on your face.
-> Be always ready to make the first move.
-> Try not to smoke or eat right before the interview and if possible, brush your teeth or use mouthwash.
- During interview
∙ Be consistent
Make sure your answers are coherent with what you said in your phone interview and what’s on your resume. In the whole world, if one person has to know your resume by heart, then that person is you. It will be highly unprofessional if you mess up this thing.
∙ Answering the benchmark questions.
There are some fundamentals question which an interviewer always wants to ask you, in one way or the another. As Amanda Haddaway, author of “Interviewer Success: Become a great interviewer in less than one hour” nicely puts it, they evaluate your personality using a behavioral technique called STAR. If you formulate your responses using this tool, you can leave a lasting impact in a brief manner.
S: Situation – Describe a situation or a recent challenge from your past experiences.
T: Task – What were you required to achieve?
A: Actions – What did you do? Why you did it?
R: responses – What were the outcomes? Did you learn anything from it? How did it shape your current personality?
∙ Salary expectations
Salary can be a difficult topic for job seekers to discuss, however, HR professionals say strong candidates are ready to talk pay at any point in the process.
HR veteran and the author of “The Etiquette Book” Jodi R. R. Smith puts it perfectly, “The key is to first figure out what is your own acceptable compensation range and whether it matches with what the employer is prepared to pay for the job.”
How to follow this?
->Always try to give a range when talking about salary.
-> Try to find out what the company and industry usually pay for the position you’re seeking. Use your contacts or go to your best friend, Google.
-> Justify your salary figure by pointing out specific elements of your experience.
-> Don’t offer to take a huge pay cut if you find the employer’s range is wildly different than yours. Be professional and accept that the job probably isn’t a good fit.
∙ Body language
The interview always has an eagle eye for the nonverbal signals. You start getting evaluated as soon as you step in the interview room. Let’s take a look from interviewer’s point of view and note down the things you think you should work at.
|What your interviewer is reading.||Don’ts to follow|
|Body posture||Don’t slouch. Don’t get too much comfortable. Don’t lean back and sit on the chair’s edge.|
|Arm gestures||Don’t touch your face or hairs. Don’t cross arms. Don’t point fingers.|
|Eye contact||Too less can make you look inattentive and too many counts a being intrusive. Find your personal balance. Act normal.|
|Handshakes.||Don’t get too weak. Don’t forget to keep a genuine smile.|
- Post interview
Even if you have nailed it in the interview room. Your post-interview actions equally matter and have the potential of ruining that job opportunity for you. Try to keep in mind these things which you should never do after the interview:
∙ Don’t follow up too much
this will show it out to the recruiters that you desperately need this job. Instead, keep your options open and remember that the ball is now in their court.
∙ Don’t Change salary expectation
∙ Don’t stop looking for other opportunities
∙ Social media requests
Over socializing with your interviewer doesn’t leave a good impression. After all, there are some boundaries in professional relationships and they must be respected.
∙ Don’t burn bridges.
Let’s face it, you didn’t get the job and you don’t want to keep those relationships positive with your friends at the company. Sounds like a sensible thing to do, huh? Turns out it’s not. This will not only have a negative effect on your career but it might also cost you some great opportunities in the future.
The above guidelines are to just give you an idea of the important things that you can keep in mind for a general interview process. Sometimes, your company might have its own preferred idiosyncrasies, then your preparation might slightly depend on a case by case basis.
But the final takeaway is to maintain a professional attitude and don’t be afraid to do mistakes. Mistakes happen. Owning up to your mistake is seen as a sign of courage, if you handle them quickly and gracefully, you may recover. It shows accountability and willingness to admit and correct a mistake.
Always prepare yourself for a long-term goal. Even if you don’t get a certain job today, you should be gracious towards the hiring managers and also how interest in the future opportunities.
Always keep yourself on the lookout for future opportunities. You never know, somewhere something amazing is waiting to be found. Good Luck!