How to prepare for a successful interview
Even the thought of an interview can be quite daunting for an unprepared and inexperienced candidate. If you are one of those who are really scared and not confident with their interview skills, then trust us, we’ve got your back.
To make this blog interactive and easy to understand, we will divide our preparation tips into 4 stages.
Stage 1: Prior to the interview
- Know yourself: Before sharing any preparation tips, we can’t stress enough how important it is to know yourself. Knowing yourself does not mean your name, age or where you come from. Knowing yourself means knowing what your skills are, what interests you have, what you want to be, what jobs you’re interested in. Once you know the answers to the above questions, there is no turning back. Knowing yourself and your skills will not only help you to answer the most commonly asked questions – Tell me about yourself, and – Why have you applied for this job, but will also help you to apply for the right jobs based on your skills and interests.
- Plan and prepare: Prepare and plan; decide what clothes you want to wear for an interview, learn about the role and the company, plan your travel, and ask the right questions.
- Research the role and the company: You do not want to sound unprepared if asked – Why do you want to work with us? What do you know about the role and the company? What interests you about the role?
- Brush up your technical knowledge: Go through the role, and requirements for that role in order to prepare for the technical questions round.
- Prepare well for the general HR-based or behavioural questions: Questions such as What motivates you? How would your team describe you?
- Practice your answers: You can do this while standing in front of a mirror, or with a friend, or even with your consultant.
- Plan your attire and travel for the interview day: Wear formals even for the online interview and plan your travel. Remember, arriving late to the interview venue or just in time will not give you time to settle down and calm your nerves. It is best to reach your destination 10 minutes early.
- Prepare at least 2 smart questions to ask the interviewer.
Stage 2: On the day of the interview
- Take a nap: Make sure to take a proper nap and get a good night’s rest before the interview so that you are not yawing or feeling sleepy during the interview.
- Grooming: Make sure to take a bath, wear deodorant and groom your hair well.
- Wear formal clothes and shoes.
- Leave home in time if going for a face-to-face interview.
- If the interview is online, make sure to log in on time and in a place where there are no distractions and noise.
- Treat everyone as you would treat the interviewer – that means with respect; whether it be a receptionist or a cleaner.
- Greet with a firm handshake: When you meet with the interviewer, greet them with a firm, confident handshake.
Stage 3: During the interview
- Body language: Sit straight upright without slouching and sinking into your chair.
- Maintain eye contact: Just maintain a soft eye contact, do not stare.
- Smile: A smile can do wonders as it shows that you are comfortable, confident and friendly.
- Speak clearly and confidently: Remember if you have practiced well for the interview, you will automatically sound confident when you are sitting in an interview.
- Don’t speak too fast or too slow: Pay attention to your rate of speech. Speaking too fast or too slow can indicate that you are not confident or sure with your answers.
- Don’t be afraid: If you do not understand a question then don’t be afraid to ask for clarity, but in a polite manner.
- Don’t be shy: Don’t be shy to ask the right questions during an interview, for example – What have the past interns/employees done to succeed in this position? Can you please tell me what kind of supervision you provide? How would you describe the organisation’s culture? It’s also a good idea to ask about the next steps in the interview process and when you may expect to hear from the company.
- Thank the interviewer: Thank the interviewer for their time.
Stage 4: After the interview
- Send a thank you email on the same day: Thank your interviewer for their time, address any points to follow up from the conversation and reaffirm your interest in the role.
- Send a follow-up email: Sometimes there can be internal delays, so don’t take it personally if you haven’t heard from the company within the timeframe they gave you. But it’s a good idea in that case to send a follow up email in which you can express that you are still interested and offer to provide any additional information they may require.
Good luck for your job hunting.
With these tips you’re sure to make a great impression in your upcoming interviews.
And remember: preparation is key!
By Megha Sharma, Placement Consultant