Tips on How to Prepare for a Job Interview

A job interview plays a critical role in a company’s hiring process, as it reveals so much about the dynamics of both the candidate and the employer. It’s also an effective way of gauging the potential of the interviewee and if the nature of the job and the work environment is fit for the applicant as well.

Although it is a process that is dreaded by many jobseekers, there are numerous approaches you can take to ace an interview. When getting ready for an interview, prepare for both the physical and mental aspects of it; job interviews measure your communication skills and other hard and soft skills that are both technical and character related. Employers tend to notice every little detail, so it is important to really reassess yourself and make the proper adjustments before showing up to the hiring managers.  In this blog, we’ll give you valuable tips and insights on how to prepare for and pass a job interview.

Practice your Soft Skills (character-based skills) prior to the interview

A job interview is the perfect situation for the popular saying, “First impressions last.” It’s a fast-paced process, so you should make time to prepare how you will present your character in a professional setting. Some applicants tend to overlook this aspect of the interview process, so don’t make the same mistake!

Dress for the occasion: While it might sound trifling at first, finding the appropriate attire plays an important role in building your character. Showing up well-groomed in business professional attire to an interview gives an impression of professionalism both in virtual, and in-person interviews.

Show up on time: It goes without saying that punctuality is one of the most important things employers look for in a candidate. If you want to build a good first impression with your hiring manager, start here; avoid being late at all costs! Time is one of the most valuable commodities, especially in the professional world, so you should treat it as such and try arriving around 15mins early.

Practice your communication skills: It’s important that you’re able to properly communicate your thoughts and ideas when speaking with your hiring manager. Make sure to rehearse common behavioral interview questions in advance so you’ll be able to fluently express them during the interview. Rehearsing with friends or in front of the mirror is a great way to build your confidence, practice verbal and nonverbal communication skills and improve memory / recall before the interview. 

Research the Company you are interviewing for: This is one of the most important parts of interview preparation. Employers often gauge how interested a candidate is in their company by how much research the candidate has done about the company. Having knowledge about the company’s values, products and/or services, media releases, and other elements found on the company website can create a connection between you and the interviewer where they can see you as a part of their organization. 

Maintain a positive attitude: It’s important for you to build rapport with the hiring managers to maintain a lasting impression, and one way to do that is by keeping the interview positive all throughout the process. Try your best to keep a smile on your face and politely follow along with where your conversations are going. Please refrain from speaking negatively about your past jobs or experience because it can taint your positive image and can give the impression that you have the possibility to speak ill of their company if things do not work out.
 

Get ready for the interview questions

Preparing for the mental aspects of the interview is just as important as building up your character, if not more. Employers ask questions that show them if you’re fit for the job when it comes to your skills, capabilities, adaptability, and more. Here are ways in which you can be in top shape mentally for your job interview:

Practice common interview questions that are both behavioral and industry-related: This is one of the most effective ways of acing an interview. Having an idea of what questions may arise during the interview gives you the advantage, as it helps you answer the questions with ease, showing preparedness and confidence which is a big plus for most employers.
 
Lay out your career plans and the purpose of your application: Letting the hiring managers know that you have a concrete plan for your career path, as well as what you can bring to the table, shows a strong and impressive professional trait. It’s best that you prepare your answers for this prior to the interview so you can come up with a more concrete response.
 
Relate your skillsets and advantage points to your answers: Your skills and capabilities are the selling points of your application, so use them wisely! Make sure to highlight your strong points in every applicable answer, as it subliminally leaves a mark on the interviewer on why you’re fit for the job position.
 
Prepare your own set of questions: It’s a smart move to have your own questions for the interviewer, which typically comes before the interview process comes to a wrap. It shows a sense of genuine interest in the job, and it will also help you clarify things that you want to know about the position and the organization. You can ask about the opportunities they offer for the right candidates, the benefits that they provide for the employees, and what the environment is like within the organization.
 

Looking for an institution in Canada where you can find career support for students and go the extra mile? Inquire now at the Toronto School of Management (TSoM)! We have a dedicated Career Services team that helps hone our students’ career skills so they can become competitive professionals in the ever-flourishing Canadian job market.

One of the ways TSoM helps our students build their careers is by hosting career fairs where they can connect with fellow students and field experts, further expanding their network and career opportunities. On February 10, 2022, TSoM, together with Niagara College – Toronto (NCT), will collaborate to deliver a major virtual career fair for students and alums alike! Don’t miss opportunities like this – get in touch with us now by sending a message to info@torontosom.ca!