Searching for a job after graduation is the first step to success. As we all know, every job seeker needs to go through an interview before getting a job. Having an interview is the most important step after submitting your CV. If you are called for an interview, it means your CV is well-formed, and you have the right qualifications and expertise. Going through an interview is not as easy as you think; it is important to show a good first impression in front of interviewers. At your first interview, you might be thinking about the right approach to take. In this short article, some tips will be presented to help you prepare yourself and succeed in any interview.
First, once you get a call for an interview, you should go back to the company’s website and search for the position you have applied for and read the job title, duties, tasks, skills required and the department you will be working for. This gives you an idea of what you will be asked about and the expertise that matches your profile.
Second, once you understand the position and the responsibilities, think carefully about any questions related to skills, accomplishments, and experience. Google some common interview questions and get ready to answer these questions about your previous experiences, performance, and duties in other companies. One of the tricky questions you may find is “What are your weaknesses?” Don’t panic! Simply think of something that you struggle with, but you’re working to improve such as public speaking or computer skills. One of the methods that help increase self-confidence is to look at a mirror, ask yourself questions, and answer them. You may also ask your family or friends to act as interviewers to help you practice. Keep practicing until you master the answers with confidence, and without hesitation and frequent pauses.
Third, read about the company you are having an interview with. Search for information about the financial status of the company, projects, successfully completed projects, owner of the company, executive team, competitors, culture, and the company’s goals and vision. Don’t count on the company’s website only. Spend some time on Google to get more information about the company and on social media such as Twitter, Facebook, and even in newspapers. You may read employees’ blogs to find out what type of people you will be working with. It will be great if you can approach current or former employees of that company. Companies use different types of interviews such as general questions, quizzes, puzzles, or practical sessions. Because of this, try to ask the HR department about the interview type beforehand so you are not surprised in the interview and fail. Once you know, familiarize yourself with this style so that you enter the interview well prepared. This helps you get a bigger picture of the company itself and will impress the interviewers as it indicates that you are interested in their company and you take the position seriously. This also implies that you can be a potential long-term investment for them.
Importantly, plan your trip a day before the interview. Prepare your clothes and prepare all necessary documents. Prepare a folder or briefcase that includes copies of your updated CV, cover letter, education certificates, training courses, reference letters, previous visible work such as a software program you did or a project you participated in, and a list of questions that you would like to ask such as working hours, reply time, or employee evaluation style. Sleep early the night before in order to wake up energetic. Also, wear proper formal clothes, put on some light perfume, and be smart when you leave for the interview.
Make sure you accurately know the address of the company and the shortest route to the interview venue. It is a good idea to visit the company’s location and explore the area a day before. Time yourself when you go to see how much time you need. Fill your car tank and perform essential car maintenance a day before. If you are planning to use public transportation, make sure you book your ticket and see the schedules. It is very important to arrive 15 to 20 minutes before the actual time of the interview to relax and prepare well. Remember, always be on time!
In the interview, start with a smile and say in a warm tone, “I know we can’t shake hands right now, but it’s a pleasure to meet you” instead of doing the traditional handshake with the interviewers. Be confident and don’t speak unless you are asked to. Answer questions they ask without adding unnecessary information. Focus on the qualities that you are good at but never lie about your expertise. Express your willingness to help for the growth of the company and show your excitement to work in the company. If you can’t hear the question well, politely ask the interviewer to repeat it. Also, show the interviewers that you are ready to improve and that you are flexible with work timing.
Positive body language is very important. For example, keep natural eye contact with interviewers all the time. Don’t sit cross-legged and look around during the interview. Don’t look distracted! Pay full attention to them, listen carefully, and show respect. Don’t look at your watch, play with a pen or crackle your fingers. Sit professionally and keep your head straight facing the interviewers. Stay calm all the time and never raise your voice.
Once you finish your interview, don’t leave unless you are asked to. Thank the interviewers for giving you the chance and the time for this interview. You may ask about the processing time of your application and if you have any other closing questions. When you arrive home, it is a good idea to send a thank-you email to the company and emphasize that you want the job and that you will make a good asset to the company.
Remember, it is not the end of the world if you are not picked for this job. There are thousands of jobs out there and all you have to do is keep trying and never give up. One of these jobs will be yours eventually. Good luck!