Michael has career development experience, having worked for various governmental and business organizations, locally and internationally.
Gearing Up for a Job Interview
Feelings of anxiety or nervousness before an upcoming job interview are neither strange nor unusual. This happens even to the most confident of candidates.
The key is to build a level of preparedness that counteracts the negative thoughts and feelings. Remember, one of the things the interviewer is trying to determine is whether you are confident in the skills you possess.
And if you are not, why should they be?
So the following are some tips on how you can build confidence and succeed in your interview.
First, study the information available on the company website and other reliable sources, regarding the history and growth of the company as well as the products and services it offers.
You can also check significant matters on record, for example, the revenue generated in the last few years. You do not need to know everything about the company and there will not be enough time to gather as much detail as you would wish to have.
However, ensure you memorize key achievements or milestones the company has lately gained in the course of its growth.
In the next article, I will show you a surefire method on how to quickly memorize and retain these and other important details before the interview.
Going into an interview armed with specific facts or statistics that you have committed to memory will position you as being intelligent, analytical and observant.
Demonstrable knowledge of the company does impress interviewers because it shows you have a genuine interest in the company. Interviewees have been commended because of being mindful and thorough in this regard.
For example, an opportune moment to showcase you have done your homework thoroughly is when you are asked the almost inevitable question as to why you want to work for the company.
Next, the following are the three categories of skills that you need to be conscious of.
These are skills that have been acquired through your past learning. They include education, training and other forms of informational or instructional intelligence. They will be evidenced by the certificates you possess, whether they refer to language classes you attended, computer courses you enrolled in, and so on.
These are portable skills that you can bring with you to the new company. These skills include customer service, project management, communication and so on.
These are part of your identity and typically help you respond to the question, "Tell me about yourself". They include being creative, flexible, detail-oriented, analytical, well-organized and so on. So in order to be well prepared for the interview, carry out a practical self-evaluation.
Bear in mind that the interviewing process is typically long and tedious for the interviewer.
Therefore, bring a level of warmth and anticipation with you into the interview that will make the company take notice. Enliven the occasion with a positively contagious attitude that will make it easy for them to set you apart as a candidate.
Distinguish yourself from all the other applicants, by being both professional and engaging.
The likely scenario is that your interviewers have already heard all the answers to their questions before. So it is not just what you say, but how you say it that will arrest their attention.
Hence, avoid the monotone voice and expressionless face and let yourself exude with excitement at the prospect of landing a new job. The more you come across as an ideal person who can represent the company well in future, the more chances you have of getting an offer of employment.
Be enthusiastic, but be careful not to overdo it. The key is being genuine and finding a balance.
For instance, if you are an extrovert who is socially outgoing and talkative, tone it down a couple of notches so you don't come across as one lacking self-control.
When identifying the right outfit to wear for your job interview, bear in mind that your appearance needs to be professional and in sync with the company.
The choice for men is much easier since the prevalent norm is a shirt and pant set with a tie or a suit. For women, the range of options within what is considered formal is much broader.
However, whether male or female, ensure the outfit you choose fits you properly and is comfortable.
The rule of thumb is to avoid anything that will be a distraction to both you and your employer. This includes attire that fits too tightly or loosely, colours that are too bright or patterns that are too bold.
Your choice of attire should make it easy for you and your interviewer to concentrate on the answers without being distracted. Remember there will be a mental assessment of the totality of your appearance and this goes beyond just your clothes and shoes.
Double-check your hygiene and grooming down to the small details - from clean and tidy hair to short and clean fingernails to fresh oral breath.
If you walk in with a strong scent of perfume, those in the room with you may not be comfortable. So put yourself in the position of the interviewer first, and then make your decisions with consideration and balance.
Remember the company will want to have employees who will give it a decent image and represent them properly before customers as well as the public.
During the interview, how best can you communicate concerning your past achievements in a way that works to your favour?
Remember that saying stuff like "I remember helping out in a project but I was not involved directly", shows that you may be underselling yourself for the position.
Instead, put it this way, "I assisted in a very successful project and played a key role in bringing it to completion."
That said, also bear in mind that inasmuch as you would want to portray yourself in the best light possible, be careful not to cross the between what is truth and exaggeration.
Companies nowadays do background checks on candidates, so avoid claiming anything that cannot be verified by your boss or other references that you have provided.
Stick only to what can be confirmed.
Avoid taking credit for having managed projects when you know it was a joint effort accomplished by yourself and other employees.
Etiquette is much more than what you say. It includes your tone and body language.
It is recommended to use the name of the interviewer when you first meet and greet them, and also during the course of the interview.
Keep your attention focused on the speaker whenever they talk to you and maintain eye contact, without overdoing it, as this will look unnatural. Remember it is acceptable to shift your gaze elsewhere briefly in the process of putting your thoughts together when answering a question.
Also, pay attention to the speaker without interrupting or seeming to take over the conversation.
When the interview is concluded do not forget to thank the interviewer my name before you leave. It is recommended to send a thank you note at least two days after the interview is concluded.
Whether you are hired or not, you never know if those whom you will have met may become important contact persons in future. It is a small planet.
In addition to all the points covered above, remember to arrive 10 to 15 minutes ahead of time, as punctuality is key in this process.
Also, ensure you take with you an extra copy of your updated resume and any important documents you have. For example, if you are pursuing a career in the Arts space, then bring with you documents that showcase previous art projects you have done.
Success in an interview is largely dependent on how you prepare and position yourself as a candidate. Following these guidelines will enable you to do so while developing the confidence to turn it into a victory.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2019 Michael Duncan