When called to interview, the primary task of the applicant is to convince the interviewer that she/he has what it takes to excel in the job. One of the ways by which you can do this is showing motivation and convincing the recruiter that you fit well into the organization’s culture. In a good number of instances candidates perform abysmally in this regard owing largely to inadequate planning before interviews take place. In this write-up, you will learn new tricks on how to adequately prepare when called to interview.
As you might be already aware, the single most important strategy in interviewing, as in all phases of job search, is what career experts termed: “The Greatest Executive Job Finding Secret.” And that is… Finding out what your prospective employer or recruiter want, than show them how you can help them get it. To master this strategy, These steps detailed below will walk you through how to quickly plan and nail your next interview!
Clarify Interview Type, Objective, and Procedures
Interviews comes in different ways. For instance, it can be for the purpose of shortlisting from a group as a prerequisite for the final interview to take place. In some instances, interviews are arranged where you could be the only candidate. Once you inquire from the organisation or recruiters, this information will be availed to you earlier which will enable you to adequately prepare as compared to other who did not.
Besides, it is important to know what the objective of the interview is and this can be gleaned from the job description used in the job advertisement. The interview procedures however spells out how the interview will be conducted. This could entail aptitude test, one on one discussion, panel interviews, and scenario modelling among others. Once you are able to find out all these issues it puts you in a better position to adequately prepare for the upcoming interview. For detail information on how to clarify interview type, objectives and procedures read a related post here.
Study the Prospective Organisation.
Knowing more about the organisation of interest does not only prove your genuine interest in working with the company, but it equally put’s you ahead of your competitors who are less prepared. It is important for every candidate to at least do a little home work on the background information of the prospective organisation.
By background information I mean organisation Vision mission, core values, years of operation, its services, and partners among others. Background information is very invaluable in assisting candidates to identify well with the prospective organisation of interest. Note that nothing is more boring to an interviewer or employer than candidates who come to interviews totally uninformed about the employer.
Researching into employer activities has become much easier owing to the rise in social media usage. Make good use of LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter which contains very vital information on the operations of agencies globally. There are other platforms such as Vault, Career Search or The Riley Guide to get an overview of the organization and its industry profile especially if the organisation of interest is an international one. One attribute of these sources is that as a job seeker you will be able to access agency campaigns, videos, fundraising among others through uploaded videos and this also offers you the opportunity to learn quickly about your prospective employer.
It is also critical to identify the current products and services of your desired employer and the company website will provide you with very detail information in that regard. The company website will equally assist you with adequate information to enable you review the company’s background, mission statements, and how that relate to the job at hand. Other valuable sources you can obtain company information may include recent press releases about the agencies insights, projected growth, and stability. Trade and business publications equally comes in handy as it provides rich insights into the standing of agencies. With all these information you should be able to generate a prospective question list based on existing information gaps you could not fill in relation to the company and its activities. The question list will assist you to ask about the organization or position based on your research after the interview.
Re-Study Your CV
Once you are called to interview, your ability to prove that you own the CV is very essential. What I mean by owning your CV is that, you would be called upon to satisfactorily account for all what you claim to possess in terms of skills, experiences, achievements, awards, and qualifications. There is therefore the need before you attend an interview to reexamine your CV and make sure you are well versed in all what is presented in it. One mistake many inexperienced candidates often make is assuming that they know all what has been presented in their CV. As part of the preparation, you need to remember the nitty-gritty’s of your employment profile and academic credentials backed by exact dates, numbers, locations, and partners among others.
One way of mastering your CV is to clearly outline the knowledge, skills, and abilities required based on the job description. Then examine the hierarchy by determining where the position fits within the organization. You then need to look side-by-side comparing what the employer is seeking to your qualifications presented in your CV. A candidate who does this well is in a better position to predetermine questions he or she would be asked during the actual interview and appropriately rehearse her/his responses.
Rehearse Your Responses.
Most interviews involve a combination of resume-based, behavioral, and case questions. You can also utilize software such as Winway Resume Delux and career advise channels such as Naukri, Muse, and the balance on YouTube to assist you in identifying tough questions and rehearsing how best to handle them.
Plan What to Wear
Before deciding what to wear for an interview, take a look at how staff of your prospective organisation dresses based on the information you obtained from their social media profiles, websites, and publications as mentioned earlier. That aside, you may decide to go neutral. In such instances, conservative business attire, such as a neutral-colored suit and professional shoes, is best. In situations where you are instructed to dress “business casual,” use good judgment. Plug in that iron and make sure your clothes are neat and wrinkle-free. Dress to impress but do not “over dress” and ensure that your overall appearance is neat and clean.
The first most important preparation for the interview candidate is to be on time. Simply put avoid been late! Albert and Comfort Ocran explained this in the best possible way:
“Make sure to find out where the venue is, plan how to get there, and determine how long the trip will take? … The same rule applies if you are going by public transport. In locations and suburbs that are prone to sudden traffic jams, locate an alternative route you may fall on if the need arises”.
Plan What to Bring to Interview
As part of the preparation process, there is need to contact the employer and recruiter and find out what you need to bring to interview if it has not been clearly stated in the invitation letter. It will also recommended that the applicant jot down a list of all items required for the interview either from the employer side or items that will aid the applicant in during the interview. Some of this items may include extra copies of your resume on quality paper, a notepad or professional binder and pen a list of references, identity cards and Information you might need to complete an application (Passport, Voter ID card, Birth Certificate, National Service Certificate, pen), and a portfolio with samples of your work, if relevant
Prepare for Non-Verbal Communication.
Be mindful that nonverbal communication speaks volumes. Start ahead and remember that waiting room behaviors may be reported. Project confidence. Smile, establish eye contact, and use a firm handshake. Posture counts. Sit up straight yet comfortably. Be aware of nervous gestures such as foot-tapping. Be attentive. Don’t stare, but maintain good eye contact, while addressing all aspects of an interviewer’s questions. Respect their space by not placing anything on their desk. Manage reactions through facial expressions which provide clues to your feelings. Manage how you react to sensitive questions posed to you and project a positive image.
Plan for Follow up Questions
Many interviews end with “Do you have any questions?” In planning for this follow up stage. It is important to bring a list. You may say, “In preparing for today’s meeting, I took some time to jot down a few questions. Please allow me to review my notes.” Be strategic. Cover information not discussed or clarify a previous topic — do not ask for information that can be found on the organization’s website.
Questions worth asking may include the following samples: In your opinion, what makes this organization a great place to work? ; What do you consider the most important criteria for success in this job? ; Tell me about the organization’s culture ; How will my performance be evaluated? ; What are the opportunities for advancement? ; What are the next steps in the hiring process?
If you have some comments on this blog kindly use the form below. We would like to learn how you also prepare for call to interviews. If you seek further clarifications kindly on some of the issues raised in this article leave your message in the comment box.