You have an upcoming interview for your dream job and this is your only shot. Nervous about how you are going to perform? If the answer is yes, read the following blog post for top things to remember that will help you in the job interview process.
How to prepare for an interview
Take a look at the following steps that will help you in preparing for an interview:
- Step 1- Conduct background research: The first thing you should do is research about the organization, its products and services, clients and its industry profile. Next, it would be beneficial to understand the job role for which you will be interviewed. Ask questions about the job role in the interview if you have any doubts.
- Step 2- Compare your qualifications and skills with the job requirement: Examine the job description to ensure you have all the required qualifications, knowledge and skill-set for the role. It is also important to understand the hierarchical position you would hold if you joined the company.
- Step 3- Practice interview etiquette: This will help you in making a good impression on the interviewer. Greet everyone at the organization with a pleasant and enthusiastic smile. You should also try and pay attention to your body language; shake hands firmly, maintain eye contact with the interviewer while talking and always look interested in the ongoing conversation.
- Step 4- Prepare responses to common questions: There are some questions which are common to all types of interviews. It would be an added advantage if you practice answering these questions beforehand.
- Step 5- Dress to impress: You should wear conservative business attire and professional shoes. Avoid wearing very bright colours and ensure what you are wearing is wrinkle-free and devoid of any stains.
- Step 6- Decide what you need to carry to the interview: When you are going for an interview, it is recommended you carry certain things with you, such as:
- Hard copies of your resume;
- Notepad and a pen;
- A list of professional references;
- Documents that have been requested;
- Portfolio containing your work samples.
In addition to these steps, here are few interview tips that would help you as well.
- Do not be late for the interview;
- Do not panic during the interview;
- Do not lie about your experience and skills;
- Avoid taking long pauses while speaking in the interview;
- Ask relevant questions.
What to do in an interview?
During an interview, you should keep the following in mind:
- Listen properly: Listening is an extremely underrated skill that everyone should focus on. During an interview, whenever the interviewer is speaking, they are providing you with information and it is a missed opportunity for you if you don’t listen carefully. Proper communication skills consist of listening and letting the speaker know that you heard and understood what they said.
- Answer the questions thoughtfully: Avoid answering a question as soon as it is asked. Pace yourself, compose the answer in your head and then answer it. Include examples or analogies wherever possible as this shows the interviewer that you know what you are talking about.
- Use proper language: Ensure that you use professional language during your interview. Avoid using slang words or any references to race, gender or sexual orientation as using these terms could result in your candidature being rejected.
- Ask questions: Asking questions to the interviewer is recommended as it shows that you have an interest in the organization and it will also help you understand if the organization is the right fit for you.
- Be honest: Do not lie about skills or specific knowledge on your resume. Interviewers can easily catch you out on something that is not true, which could lead to you being rejected. If you believe you do not possess a certain skill and you are asked about it in the interview; it is recommended you are honest and respond by saying you do not acquire that skill at present, but are interested in learning it.
What not to do in an interview?
There are a few things you should never say or do in an interview. Take a look at them:
- Do not act familiar with the interviewer: The interview is a professional discussion regarding business and not the time to make a new friend. It would be better for you to behave and interact in a formal manner with the interviewer. However, ensure that you should also display your energy and enthusiasm for the job role at hand.
- Do not talk too much: If you end up talking too much in your interview, you might inadvertently say something didn’t mean to. When you have not prepared for an interview, you may sometimes ramble while answering questions; this should also be avoided.
- Do not act desperate: If you really want a particular job, stay clear of coming across as desperate when you are speaking with the interviewer. Therefore, avoid using phrases such as “please hire me” and “I want this job so badly”.
- Do not interrupt the interviewer: Interrupting anyone while they are speaking can be considered rude, especially during an interview. As the interviewer might be saying something crucial, you should listen to them patiently and save your questions for the period after the interviewer has finished speaking.
- Avoid being confrontational: Occasionally, interviewers may ask you difficult questions and then challenge your answers to see how you react under pressure. Remember they are not attacking you personally, so you must stay calm in such a scenario. Answering back or getting angry will diminish your chances of getting the job.
- Do not be late: This is one of the worst things you can do in an interview. This shows that you are not serious and have a bad attitude. Job interviewers are very busy, and if you are late to an interview, it affects their schedule. If you have a genuine reason for being late, always contact the interviewer before and reschedule the interview for a later time or date.
Sample interview questions
Take a look at some of the common questions that may be asked in job interviews:
- Tell us about yourself.
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Why should we hire you?
- Why do you want to work for this organization?
- Where do you see yourself in the next five years?
- How did you hear about the job opening?
- What is your biggest professional achievement to date?
- Describe your dream job.
- Why do you want to change jobs?
- Tell us the last time you got angry with a colleague. How did you handle it?
- What is your leadership style?
- What are your three top skills?
What to do after an interview?
After you are done with an interview, here are a few recommended things to do:
- Send a thank you note to your interviewer;
- Contact the organization after some time to find out if you have obtained the job;
- Evaluate your performance and create a list of things in which you performed well and in which you have to improve;
- If you receive the job offer immediately after the interview, thank the employer and request for some time to consider the offer.
The Toronto School of Management (TSoM) helps you in honing your interview skills and interview techniques while you are pursuing any course with the institute. TSoM offers a variety of courses and diplomas such as:
- Hospitality and Tourism:
- Big data:
- Professional development programmes:
- Executive Training Workshops;
- Wine and Spirits Education.