Career growth and job opportunities are a popular topic among Millenials, Gen-Xs, and beyond.
This is because the digital revolution is allowing entrepreneurs, professionals, and aspiring professionals to take advantage of it in order to further their own personal success. Of course, this has also led to a rise in competition when hunting for a job because high-profile jobs are now more accessible for people from all walks of life. After all, we all have access to the Internet and can benefit from it.
Whether you are a fresh graduate looking for their first job or a seasoned professional that’s yearning for greener pastures, you will need to go through one of the most dreaded parts of the hiring process: the job interview.
As a result, it’s in your best interest to make sure that you will appear as the most qualified applicant, as well as the person that they’d like to work and interact with on a daily basis.
Here are a few tips that’ll help you tackle your next job interview with confidence so that you can reach your goals as a professional in the modern world.
(1) Always Double-check Your CV/Resume
This is what every applicant, experienced or not, should do and it cannot be understated how important this is.
Your prospective employer or interviewer won’t get their first impression of you during the actual interview. It will come from your resume.
A flawless document may not receive any comment, but a single mistake could cause the company to pass on you. If you can’t be bothered to make sure that your CV or resume doesn’t have any mistakes before you submit it, then how can the company be sure that you won’t do the same with important company documents, files, or business proposals?
For an in-depth guide on how you should write your CV, refer to Jobberman’s guide to CV writing to give yourself an edge over other candidates before you even have to interview.
(2) Strive to get to your interview early BUT…
It is not a good idea to arrive at the interview location more than fifteen minutes early. It can actually annoy the interviewer and come off desperate.
Although making sure that you aren’t late for your appointment will show the interviewer your punctuality and that you are able to stick to your commitments, arriving super early for your interview may cause more harm than good.
This is because of that by arriving more than the accepted 15 minutes. If too early, you may throw off the receptionist or make the interviewer feel rushed by your sudden appearance, even though you are not scheduled to meet them until much later.
Although there is nothing wrong with making sure that you won’t be late for your interview, these people have commitments of their own that they have to attend to. By arriving ahead of your appointment, they will have to be interrupted so they can accommodate you, especially if they have a meeting planned.
If you really want to avoid being late for your interview but are someone who needs to get on the road early, the best action is to find a cafe or restaurant nearby to kill time. Not only will this allow you to rest up, but it will also let you mentally prepare yourself for the interview.
(3) Back up your claims with anecdotes
Whenever the interviewer asks you something related to your skills, or about your previous employment, don’t give vague answers if you can help it.
Not only are these answers bland, but they also don’t show any proof that you are actually a good team-player and that you contributed to the company while you were employed.
Instead of just stating how many years you’ve worked with your previous company, expand it by sharing things that you have achieved, what sort of responsibilities you had, and what have you learned while working there. Alternatively, you need to provide a real-life example to show you are actually a team player. It could be something like covering for your coworker due to an emergency so that an important project will not be delayed or something along those lines.
This allows the interviewer to get to know you better as a person and as an employee since you’re not only answering their question but you are also providing proof of it.
When in doubt, follow this formula:
Describe a task or situation you were involved in.
Share what course of action you took to solve it.
Explain the outcome and how it helped the company or situation.
For fresh graduates, this can be done as well but with experiences from their internship or training program.
(4) Treat the employees there as if they’re already your coworkers!
While not exactly a mistake, job applicants more often than not try to finish the job interview as fast as they can because of their anxiousness.
But you should make sure to notify other employees there. Remember, these people might be your future coworkers if everything goes smoothly. As a result, it would be in your best interest to show them that you are a coworker that they’d love to interact with and work with on a daily basis.
This can be done by engaging with small talk that the receptionist, secretary, another employee, and even the interviewer if they to initiate one with you. If they ask you about your hobbies, answer and return the question. If they comment on the weather, do so as well. Empathize with them and show them that you are more than just an applicant that’s trying to get into the company.
Even if it’s just the receptionist, know that by the time you leave, there is a good chance that they’ll share what their experience with you was like to the interviewer. The last thing you’d like to happen is for them to say that you were unfriendly, or you gave them the cold shoulder.
Remember, the interviewer won’t only just need to determine which of the applicants is the best candidate to hire, but also which of them is the coworker that they’d like to work with for the foreseeable future.
(5) Expect to answer an assessment or personality test
You’ve managed to submit a stellar CV that’s been specifically tailored to suit the company’s needs, then gone on to befriend the interviewer and other people you’ve met, then you’ve done all you can at the moment.
Everything seems to be going well until the interviewer suddenly asks you if you’d be willing to take the company’s assessment or psychometric test to further determine your level of ability.
While most companies might not require candidates to take these tests – especially the SHL test – they are becoming more popular these days. They can serve as a great way to weed out unsuitable candidates early and can instill a sense of pressure on the candidate to see how the applicant performs under stress.
As a result, it would be a good idea to always research the industry of the company that you are applying for and see if there are any assessments that applicants will have to go through or pass so that you won’t be caught off-guard.
By making sure that the company that you are applying for doesn’t have a surprise assessment test at the end, you can focus on practicing your answers and preparing for the interview.
If such tests are being used by the company, then it would be in your best interest to look for practice tests so that you will be able to further impress the company and show the company that you are the ideal candidate that they are looking for. New platforms like PrepTerminal are designed to help you ace the next interview you go into!