7 Unique Pointers that Help You Preparing for an Interview
Job interviews are horrible for most. It’s the one session we dread but have to go though. Make sure you are focused when you are preparing for an interview!
I have a riddle for you.
What is hoped for but best avoided? Anticipated yet awaited? Despised yet dreamt about? Eagerly longed for yet best to escape from? Knowing Guukle.com you’d probably guessed it by now. We are talking about the job interview. The face to face physical session – or at times via video conferencing like Skype – where YOU, aka the job seeker is put through the ropes of evaluation to ultimately assess if you should be discarded or acquired!
Job interviews are horrible for most. It’s the one session that most dread. The one session – that could lead to more of similar when you do well – which is exactly what everyone would do anything to avoid. Like high school or college exams. “Let’s just go straight to work as employees and perform well. Forget about what leads up to this in terms of the job hiring process”. But it isn’t that easy. Need we explain why?
So with this being feared and dreaded so much, all the more reason to focus on it. Because – when you ace the job interview, you get the job! Period.
How do you ace the interview? Let’s give you 7 successful tips that have proven worthwhile:
Essentially it all boils down to two elements – how prepared you are? how you present yourself during the interview.
1. Dressing down
You need to dress for the occasion – no matter your sex. Same difference. Obviously you don’t dress for a wedding (or a funeral), but if you convey the message that you do care about your appearance – and not just your nails, shoes or moustache, you’ll be judged accordingly, in a positive manner. A great approach is to “spy” on the work place before the interview to get a feel for the dress code at the particular company you apply to. Some will propose you call ahead and inquire although to me that could seem a bit odd. Overall, do err on the side of caution and dress up if you are not sure.
2. Body language
You shake like a leaf. Don’t. Easier said than done but you must focus on your body language which is as important as your spoken language. Whether excusable or not (e.g. metabolism disorder), shaking like a leaf will not instil the impressing with the hiring manager that you are “in control” and can manage any situation. How will you act in a tense multimillion dollar contract negotiation? Shaking is to your disadvantage! Psych yourself. Make sure you are totally relaxed (but well prepared) and had a great night sleep before the big day. Some will seek tranquilizers but I urge you to be cautious with any such as there are bad side effects involved too.
And on the body language – keep eye contact, express confidence, be audible in your answers and try to be assertive. Greet the hiring manager with a firm handshake!
3. Lack of focus. You don’t listen
Listen carefully and don’t interrupt. Some interviewers have the habit of asking multiple questions one after another without pausing. If needed, take notes (it’s all right) and make sure to cover ALL open questions/statements/comments in your answers. This is a test in itself – a test of “load management”. How do you deal with pressure?
Be prepared but not overly prepared. Allow for the odd chance that the interview may not exactly proceed as you planned it. DO NOT provide generic answers to questions – or answers to questions that were not even asked!
4. Incessant talking
Do not speak for the sake of talking. Stay on point. Do not sound longwinded and do not formulate your answer through sharing your entire biography. Answering questions takes practice. Do rehearse before the interview (check the net for typical questions that hiring managers ask) and think of relevant answers. Most questions you will get will be open ended to which you cannot respond with a closed style answer “Yes” or “No”.
Typically if a job seeker rambles on and on and on the hiring manager will conclude that he/she is winging it and as such is unprepared.
5. The overconfident and the cocky.
Nobody likes a cocky person! Period. This includes hiring manages. As mentioned in 2. it’s important that you show confidence and assertiveness but it is equally important that you express a humble and appreciative side too. As a person, you should be all rounded.
6. Think before you speak
When you hear a question. Pause for 3 seconds, think and answer. Don’t be overly eager and risk answering so fast that you either miss responding to the actual question or – as mentioned quite a few times now – your answers seem too well prepared. Be natural. This is a conversation.
Here as well body language is key. While you take the 3 seconds pause, look up, not down. A common mistake when thinking is that we look down. There is a general perception that when a person looks down while preparing an answer, the head tilting down and the eyes glued to the carpet is a sign of invention, possible an untruth. On the contrary, looking up signals that you contemplate and ponder – you think! Deduction will be that you give an honest answer or opinion.
7. Not asking questions
The interview is a dialogue. It is not a string of questions the hiring manager seeks answers to. Make sure you have your own questions and a few extras so that you never run out no matter who and how many you speak to. Preparing questions takes solid preparation and understanding of the company and the job you apply for. This is the most critical action item in your preparation before the interview.
Asking questions shows that you are interested and keen, that you care. You are welcome as well to refer to matters discussed and dig further into a given topic or agenda item.
Here as well it’s ok to have notes prepared or to take notes while the interview goes on. It’s actually encouraged. Nobody expects you to know and remember everything.
Stick to above and assuming your are qualified for the job, you’ll ace the interview.
More inspiration here!