There are several aspects to take into account when preparing for a job interview. Today’s job market is saturated and extremely competitive. If you want to give yourself the best chance possible of being hired, do your homework before going into your interview.
Here are ShBarcelona’s tips for a successful interview:
The first thing you should do when preparing for an interview for a particular company, is to do some research about it. Learn the company’s story, about its successes, the people you will be working for like the CEO and the head of the department you are applying to. If you know the name of the person who will be interviewing you, do some research about him/her.
You can never know exactly how an interview is going to go, but you can study the most common interview questions and practice answering them until you are satisfied with your response. You can do this by yourself or with the help of a second person who can give you feedback on your reply.
Some of the most common interview questions are:
Tell me about yourself.
What are your greatest weaknesses?
What are your greatest strengths?
How are you working under pressure?
What do you think you can bring to the company?
Related article: Best websites for job hunting
Choose your outfit
Take the time to explore your wardrobe so you can find a good outfit for your interview. The outfit should be appropriate for the firm and the type of work you will be doing. Most importantly, your outfit should be ironed and one hundred percent clean.
If you are a man, make sure you have a proper shave. If you have a beard or mustache, groom it properly. If you are a woman, use the appropriate amount of makeup for the interview. You are not going to a nightclub, but you also don’t want to look like you have just gotten out of bed.
First impressions count. If the first impression that you give is that you cannot be at your place of work in time, the employer may interpret it as a sign of irresponsibility and lack of organization. Be in time and show your interviewer that you are a reliable person who respects the other person’s time. If you are unfamiliar with the area you will be having the interview in, it is a good idea to make a practice run, so you can know exactly how to get there before the day of the interview.
Items to take with you
Make sure to have an updated and error-free copy of your resume to hand the interviewer if needed. If you plan to take a portfolio, make sure it is also updated, presenting your best work. Take a pen and a small notepad if you can, in case you need to take some notes.
At the interview
Make sure you look professional, but also at ease. The interview is an opportunity for your interviewer to learn about you and also see how you behave in stressful situations. Do your best to relax and remain calm.
Listen to the interviewer carefully, maintaining eye contact. If you can, show your knowledge of the company when answering one or two of the questions. You can, for instance, mention something produced by the company that called your attention, or even mention a certain individual who works for the company whose work you admire.
If you are a shy person and have a particularly hard time on interviews, read some of About.com’s tips for introverts.
It is important to show that you are interested in the position you interviewed for, and not simply going from interview to interview looking for a job in any company. Send an e-mail to the person who interviewed you thanking them for calling you in for an interview and reiterate your interest in the position. If you have remembered something you would like to have mentioned during the interview, you can mention it when sending the e-mail.
After you have had your interview and have sent the thank you e-mail, go about your day as normal. Don’t spend the next hours or days staring at the phone. Understand that the employers are going through the interview process with other individuals and that they have to discuss the potential candidates before making a decision. You will be informed about it as soon as possible. Until then, try to relax and enjoy your day.