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Prepare for Your Job Interview

If you’ve been invited to interview, it means you’ve passed the first part of the screening process. The next stage is likely to be a face-to-face interview, and this is when it’s crucially important to plan and prepare for the interview to make sure you’re successful.

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Job interviews can be nerve-wracking if you aren’t comfortable with ‘selling’ yourself.

Selling yourself?

Yes, you heard it right.

You may even be questioning if you should go to the interview or not. But believe it or not, being skilled in interviews is something you can learn.

The first job interview is always a big deal for most of us. Making an impression in the quarter of an hour, in an unfamiliar room, with strangers, can seem tough at the best of times.

But, luckily only a few get selected.

If you are not one of them that doesn’t mean that is the end of your career.

Well, that can be the start.

Our prepare for job interview guide is designed for being in a few that gets selected in any job interview.

Here are Lerip’s top job interview steps to make sure you get ahead of the game.

 

Get Started: How to prepare for an interview

Whether the interview is in person or connecting via software like Zoom, Google Meet, Skype, etc. knock their socks off by knowing as much as you can about the job, the organization, the competition, the location, and the industry.

Pointing out the key market target & goals of the company is a very essential part.

Your interview preparation includes researching the organization and, if possible, and without “stalking” them, researching the key people, too.

The Internet provides a wealth of information for job seekers. If you have time, keep looking. The more you know, the better off you will be. Not only will you be in knock-their-socks-off mode for the interview, but your research could also help you determine that the employer might not be a good place for you to work.

You should take the time to research the company, its mission and values, and the hiring manager. Proper research will help you confidently answer interview questions and tie them back into the company or the role.

We highly recommended visiting the company’s website and grab as much information as you can.

Now …

1. Be physically and mentally prepared

The best way to prep for an interview in 2021 is to be physically and mentally ready. To physically prepare, have a notepad ready to take notes throughout the interview. this will help you craft the perfect thank you note or ask thoughtful questions later on during your interview.

Generally, a job interview calls for you to wear professional, or business, attire.

For men, this might mean a suit jacket and slacks with a shirt and tie or a sweater and button-down.

For women, a blouse and dress pants or a statement dress is appropriate.

To mentally prepare, get a good night’s sleep before your interview. A few drinks before the interview or even the night before is not a good idea at all.

If you are sleep-deprived, it will be difficult for you to be on you’re A-game. Also, try not to work yourself up too much and stress yourself.

Interviews can be stressful, especially if you are out of work. To mitigate this stress, do something that relaxes you beforehand. Go for a walk to clear your mind, drink your favorite tea or coffee, read a book, or whatever it is that will put you in a calm mindset.

If you enter your interview with a load of stress on your shoulders, it will come through during your meeting.

Remember confidence is what you most needed. You might know all the answers but if you are not confident the interviewer’s judgment can go negative.

2. Very carefully analyze the job description

It is too easy to skip this step and an often-deadly mistake if you do.

Ask them for a copy of the job description, if you don’t already have it. Then read it word-by-word. Pay careful attention to:

  • How they describe themselves – if they describe themselves.
  • The “requirements” of the job – experience, skills, education needed to do the job.
  • The “duties” of the job – what the person doing the job will be responsible for.
  • Any “nice-to-have” needs that aren’t specified as required for this job, but are skills or knowledge that will gain you bonus points.
  • Where the job is located. Is it “remote” part-time or all of the time? If remote, does the remote aspect of the job seem to be permanent or temporary? If the job is not remote, how good or bad will your commute to the job be?

Don’t assume that the job requirements and duties are necessarily in order of importance — they should be but are not always in the order that the interviewer would prefer. So, focus on your strengths.

3. Extra copy of your Resume

Bring a handful of extra printed Resume with you to the interview – it shows that you’re well prepared should there be multiple interviewers in attendance wanting to discuss a particular point on your resume, but only have one copy between them.

On a plus side, it can also double up as a handy reminder to yourself of what you had written in the resume, especially if you’ve written slightly different versions for other job applications you may have recently made.

4. Examine the organization’s website

As we have mentioned earlier, it’s extremely important to know the position that you’re interviewing for. You’re obviously being seriously considered for it.

One of the most unprofessional things you can do is to turn up without knowing much about the position. Or the company. Why should anyone hire an employee who doesn’t seem interested?

Remember Just seeking a job for money shouldn’t be the target. You love to work and passionate about the particular position where you can learn more about it is the key.

Before your interview, make sure you spend some time looking at the company’s website (especially their news pages, press releases, and annual report). The interviewer will expect you to know about their business, and it shows a genuine interest in their company if you can demonstrate your knowledge.

It’s also beneficial to know who the company’s main competitors are, as this is a common question and can be a great talking point.

During your interview, it’s unlikely you’ll be asked about the company’s history. But if you know it, you’ll know its position in the industry today, and you’ll be able to frame your answers organically tailored with the company profile in mind. This will show your conscientiousness.

5. Check the LinkedIn and Facebook Company Profiles

On LinkedIn, the term “company” extends to school districts, nonprofits, government agencies, and other non-corporate entities. To find an employer, type the company name in the search bar, and on the results page select “Companies” from the list below the search bar when you enter your query.

For many organizations, from Fortune 500 to local small nonprofits, LinkedIn will often have information about the people who work there (and how you are “connected” to them inside LinkedIn) as well as the organization itself — plus job openings.

“Follow” the company to see updates and news they post, bearing in mind that companies usually pay attention to who is following them, which can be a great way to start a relationship.

The LinkedIn Company page can provide excellent information for you as well as an inside track to a new job!

  • Who in your network works for them, and what do they do?
  • Where did current employees go to school?
  • Where are current employees located?
  • What work do employees do?
  • What kind of news, if any, do they post on LinkedIn?
  • Do they have any jobs posted on LinkedIn?

On Facebook, most company pages are limited to businesses with few other entities included, except school districts and other educational institutions like colleges and universities. If there is a company page, you will typically find the latest news as well as events, videos, and even job postings.

Facebook, of course, can provide a wealth of information (both real and not), and it can provide you with insight into the employees who may be “friends of friends” or even closer connections working there. Remember, employers love to hire someone referred by a current employee, so this can be another source to connect and request a referral.

6. Talk to insiders

LinkedIn is an excellent platform to find people who have worked for the company in the past or are currently working. Strike up a conversation with them or drop them an email or simply post a message.

You can find out a lot about the organization from alumni and current employees. Most people are happy to help out when asked for advice.

7. Know your interview technique

There are no simple interviews as interviews can take on various different forms and can fulfill a variety of goals. When you think of an interview, chances are you imagine a candidate having a one on one in-office interview.

While this is a common form of an interview, there are group interviews, informational interviews, phone interviews, and many more. In order to nail your interview, it’s important to identify and prepare for the specific type of interview you will be engaging in to maximize your chance of success.

Common types of interviews are:

    • Phone interview technique

 

  • In-person interview technique
  • Group interview technique
  • Panel interview technique
  • STAR interview technique

 

8. Practice your interview questions

Make sure you’re confident in answering common interview questions. You can practice alone, or with a friend, and be ready for unexpected interview questions.

Every interview is different, but most hiring managers will ask you a set of common interview questions. These questions can range from “what is your biggest weakness?” to “tell us about a time you overcame a failure.” Incorporating stories into your answers is also great for demonstrating your strengths.

For example, rather than saying you are very organized, you could share how you helped your student group organize an event and what the outcome was. To do this, try forming your responses with the START method:

  • Situation: Provide an overview of the situation (time/place), being specific and succinct.
  • Task: Explain the task or goal you were working on as it relates to the skill they asked about.
  • Action: Describe your actions and the steps you took.
  • Result: Describe the outcome, if possible. This is your time to take credit for your work or show what you learned.
  • Tie it back: Summarize how the story demonstrates your strengths and relates to the job that you’re interviewing for.

Lucky for you, we have compiled a list of the most common job interview questions with tips on how to answer them successfully (and with examples!). We’ve also put together a helpful guide on the top interview questions typically asked & how to answer them, click the button below to check it out:

9. Prepare for the salary expectation question and negotiation

This discussion will happen so the best defense is a good offense. If the job is one of the few with a posted salary range, don’t set your heart on the top of that range unless you are very experienced in the job.

Three important negotiation strategies:

  • Know your target salary.
  • Prepare options to increase your income or offset some expenses.
  • Know your “walk-away number.”

Because you may be asked in the interview about your salary expectations, have your answer ready. Determine your salary expectations for the job, based on your years of experience, your match with the job’s requirements, plus your relevant education, licenses, certifications, and other technical qualifications.

10. Prepare to ask some questions too

An interview is not just a chance for the interviewer to find out more about your fit with the company. It’s also a chance for you to find out how well you fit in with the company culture. In the process, you’ll come across as motivated, which is a bonus. Prepare your questions carefully to this end.

But frame your questions carefully, or you could end up sending the wrong message. If you ask about the company’s turnover, it can seem like you haven’t done your research. At the same time, avoid controversial topics that may have made the news. An interest in controversy can come across as frivolous.

Instead, ask questions related to the challenges facing the firm, for instance. If there has been a recent merger, for example, ask how the organization plans to integrate the cultures of the two companies. Or you could be straightforward and ask the interviewer’s opinion of the most important qualities for the job.

Don’t forget that your questions are not to impress, but to help you decide as well whether or not you’re a good fit.

11. Prepare examples of your accomplishments

Saying you are very skilled at something is not as effective as sharing an accomplishment that proves your skill level. An excellent way to share your accomplishment is by describing situations where you successfully used that skill. Think of this as “success story-telling.”

Think of the times when you have successfully navigated through a difficult or challenging situation. If possible, focus on work-related situations or, at least, when you have achieved something related to what is required for this job. For example, when you:

  • Solved a problem, major or minor.
  • Created a new process.
  • Lead a team (as the team leader or not).
  • Managed a situation (as the manager or not).
  • Did something else innovative or original.

Preferably, these accomplishments helped your employer increase profitability, reduce expenses, improved customer or employee satisfaction, or provided some other major benefit to your employer at the time.

12. Practice mock interviews

You may want to run through some practice sessions with professors or the Placement Committee. Ask them to set up a mock interview and tell you how you’ve done. You can also ask alumni at the workplace to give you an idea of how interviews are held at the company. Write down potential questions and practice them. It’s a good idea to record yourself responding, so you can hear what you sound like.

The goal is to sound confident without seeming cocky or frivolous. You should respond with a small smile. A smile can make you seem sure of yourself, which is always a good thing. But at the same time, don’t smile too much. It could make you seem too frivolous.

13. For in-person interviews, visit the employer’s location before the interview if possible

The worst start to a job interview is arriving late and it can immediately make the interviewer discount you for the position. Half of the recruiters won’t give a candidate a job if they are more than 10 minutes late for an interview, regardless of how well they perform. Of course, there are always situations when unexpected circumstances affect your journey. In these cases, make sure you call either the interviewer or your Diverse Employment recruitment consultant no later than ten minutes before the start of your interview to let them know you’re delayed.

Plan your journey well in advance, especially if the interview’s in an area you’re not familiar with. If you can, print a map off or make sure your mobile phone is fully charged with Google Maps enabled. Work out how long it will take you to get there and – if you have time – do a practice run a few days before. You should aim to arrive at least ten minutes before the start of your interview. As well as looking professional, it’ll give you the opportunity to slightly relax once you arrive.

14. Make an excellent first impression

A first impression is an initial consideration or judgment someone makes about who you are after their first interaction with you. When you are looking for a new position, how you present yourself on your application, in your resume, and during an interview can all impact the recruiter and hiring manager’s first impression of who you are.

In the first few seconds of meeting you, an interviewer will make a judgment, so it’s important to make sure it’s a positive first impression. A crucial part of this is dressing for success, so before the interview, you should prepare a professional-looking outfit and make sure you’re well-groomed.

When you first meet with the interviewer, be sure to smile confidently and introduce yourself. Also, avoid being late as this not only makes a bad impression, but you also run the risk of turning up looking flustered.

Follow these steps to ensure you make a good first impression during your interview:

  1. Be prepared.
  2. Arrive on time.
  3. Dress professionally.
  4. Use good posture.
  5. Use a friendly greeting.

15. Selling your skills and abilities

Though this point may sound obvious, selling yourself is something that many find an uncomfortable task. Remember, the interview is your chance to demonstrate why you’re the best candidate for the job.

Recruiters see a job vacancy as a problem, a gap that needs to be filled, so you need to market yourself as the solution to their problem.

You should know your CV and the job description inside out. Use these documents to guide you through the interview, and pick examples of your experience or education that demonstrate why you’d be successful in the role.

16. Improving your body language

Your body language will say a lot about you. Make sure you’re aware of how you’re presenting yourself and know how to make your body language work to your benefit.

Using your hands a lot when talking can make your stories more animated and aid communication, but be careful not to go overboard with your gestures. Also, avoid fidgeting and fiddling with things, like your pen or jewelry. While this might happen if you’re nervous, the interviewer may find your jitters distracting, so be mindful of your behavior.

You want to look confident and professional, so avoid slouching in your chair, and try to smile and maintain eye contact with your interviewer too. If you’re taking part in a video call, try to set up your camera beforehand to make it seem as if you’re looking at your interviewer- this will give the impression of maintaining eye contact.

17. Dealing with nerves

You should aim to come across as calm and confident, so be aware of your breathing throughout. If you begin to feel stressed, take a few subtle deep breaths.

Listen carefully to the interviewer so you don’t miss their questions, and focus on the answers you’ve prepared. If you build up a rapport with your interviewer, this can also help you to relax and feel more at ease around them.

Keep a calm head and try to rationalize your fears. Remember, you wouldn’t have been asked in for an interview if the company wasn’t interested in you and your CV. Control the pace of the conversation to give yourself time to answer clearly and calmly. Even though you may be nervous, you should avoid rushing through the interview.

Keep in mind:

  • Don’t speak too fast
  • Stop yourself shaking
  • Stop your voice shaking
  • Stand up while you wait
  • Find your best sitting position
  • Listen
  • Use your own voice
  • Be yourself

18. End your job interview on a positive note

The interview is almost done. So far, you’ve nailed the entire process. You showed up early, dressed nicely, answered every question, even every complex behavioral interview question, and comfortably and talked about your experience and qualifications confidently.

You’re almost there, but there’s one more step that you don’t want to mess up.

First impressions matter, but so does the last one. Make it a goal that before you leave the interview, the hiring manager has already made up his or her mind to hire you. Make them realize you’re the right candidate before you walk out the door.

One of the best ways to accomplish that is by ending the interview well. Close the interview like you might close a sale. Make your skills, experience, and personality irresistible.

It might seem strange to think about, but believe it or not, closing the interview is one of the most important and effective techniques to master before your next interview.

Interview with Hiring Manager

What are hiring managers looking for during interviews?

When trying to hold the hiring manager’s positive attention, it’s best to start from a place of understanding what intrigues them. Some of the things that a hiring manager looks for when interviewing a candidate include :

  • Culture fit: The hiring manager will assess how well-suited you are for the company culture. One way they might form an opinion is by discovering if you’ve worked in similar environments before while also assessing your overall demeanor and mindset.
  • Managerial fit: Because different supervisors have different management styles, the hiring manager will evaluate how you like to be managed and whether it aligns with the management style of your potential supervisor.
  • Core skills: A hiring manager will take a deeper look at each of your core skills in order to ensure you have the qualifications to perform the job.
  • If you understand the role: The hiring manager will also evaluate whether you have thoroughly reviewed the job description and whether you understand and are excited about the position.
  • If you are excited about the company: They will evaluate whether you appear excited about the opportunity to work with the company, in general.

How to impress a hiring manager during an interview

  • Know when to be quiet
  • Understand the culture.
  • Do your research on the interviewer.
  • Demonstrate relevant experience.
  • Be enthusiastic.
  • Show that you’re easy to work with.
  • Be precise about why you want the job.
  • Ask thoughtful questions.
  • Talk to people at the company before the interview.
  • Show that you’ve been paying attention.
  • Relax and be yourself.
  • Prove you’re unique
  • Be honest

Interview with Hiring CEO

Whether or not your role involves regularly collaborating with the CEO, the company may ask you to speak with them at least once during the interview process. CEOs may prefer to speak with candidates to gain an understanding of who they are and what value they may bring. Interviewing with the CEO is often one of the final stages of an interview. If you are speaking with the CEO, it’s likely you’ve already passed the first few interview phases with the HR manager, your direct supervisor, or other members of your potential team.

In addition to learning more about you, CEOs may also prefer to interview you to educate you on who the company is and what they may expect from you in this role.

Questions the CEO may ask

The CEO will ask you different questions to learn more about your experience, the goals you set for yourself, and how well you fit in with the company. Here a few questions they may ask:

  • Why have you had X number of jobs over the last X years?
  • What do you hope to accomplish within the next year?
  • Would you quit your job if you won the lottery, even if you loved your current position?
  • Tell me about an accomplishment that shaped your career.
  • Tell me about a project that forced you to be innovative and creative.
  • How would your boss from your last job describe you?
  • What do you value most about our culture and vision?
  • What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
  •  Why are you working in this industry?

How to prepare for an interview with the CEO

When interviewing with the CEO, it’s best to prepare beforehand so you can look confident and ready for any question. CEOs often admire candidates who exude confidence and commitment to their work. Here are a few ways you can prepare for your upcoming interview with the CEO.

  1. Conduct research on the CEO and the company.
  2. Carefully consider the questions you’ll ask the CEO.
  3. Practice your small talk.
  4. Get plenty of rest.
  5. Prove you fit the company culture
  6. Think about why you’re excited about the company.
  7. Say the right things

Interview with Recruiter

A recruiter is a person who has a personal conversation with the employee, but he is not the manager or authority who can appoint people. The recruiter presents your resume to employers who demand the required skills; he should know about the requirements of the job and then select the employees according to the wants of the employers.

He helps the employee or applicant to practice and gains confidence when the real interview happens; this recruiter interview is an initial interview so be on your best behavior and dress suitably for the job.

Questions Recruiters Love Asking Candidates

  • Can you tell me about yourself?
  • What are your current responsibilities?
  • What’s your biggest accomplishment?
  • Why are you interested in moving on?
  • What’s your ideal next role?
  • What’s your timeline for moving on?
  • What are your location preferences?
  • What’s your current salary?
  • What are your salary expectations?
  • Are you actively working with any other recruiters on opportunities?

Ways to Impress the Recruiter

Recruiters and hiring managers have seen every trick and gimmick in the book when it comes to interviews. Sometimes they work – but when it comes down to it, whether you’re wearing purple stilettos or looking the interviewer in the eye, it’s the content of the interview that matters in the long run. So what can you do that will really impress a recruiter? Ace your next interview with these tips:

  • Display the fundamental skills which make you suitable
  • Show you passion and enthusiasm for the job
  • Exude vibes that you fit in the workplace environment
  • Recognize the Recruiter’s Function in the selection process
  • Ask the right questions
  • Talk about the organization’s culture, and how you fit
  • Send a thoughtful follow-up note after your interview

Preparing for Internship Interview

As a student prepares for an internship interview, you should be ready to address the key skills and accomplishments that you have listed on their resumes. You should be able to highlight the experience listed on their resume and tell stories that illustrate their strengths and let the organization know what they have to offer them as a potential new employee.

In an interview, it’s best to start and end strong. It only takes 60 seconds to make a positive first impression, so starting off strong is crucial to having a successful interview. At the end of an interview, a candidate’s best bet to make themselves memorable by leaving on a strong note.

General Interview Questions

  1. Tell me a little bit about yourself.
  2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  3. What accomplishments are you most proud of?
  4. Do you work better under pressure or with time to plan and organize?
  5. Why are you interested in this internship?
  6. Why should we consider you for this internship?
  7. What do you know about this industry/company?
  8. How would your faculty/friends/co-workers describe you?
  9. What three words would you choose to best describe yourself?
  10. Why did you choose your major?

How to impress in an internship interview

You’ve already sent out your resume and cover letter and the employer has recently contacted you about scheduling an interview. Below are some tips to help ensure a successful interview, which is the next step in the internship process. By following these interviewing tips, you will be well on your way to having a successful interview and ultimately an internship offer.

  • Be Prepared
  • Make a Good First Impression
  • Emphasize Your Skills and Accomplishments
  • Provide the Interviewer With Examples of Your Skills
  • Understand the Question Before Answering
  • Follow the Interviewer’s Lead
  • Emphasize the Positive
  • Bring Samples of Your Work
  • Close the Interview With Confidence
  • Follow Up the Interview With a Thank You Note

Conclusion

The job interview is probably the most important step you will take in your job search journey – it’s your best chance to show the hiring manager or recruitment company that you’re the best person for their job. So to help you get prepared, we compiled a list of our all-time best pre-interview tips. Hopefully picking up these great job interview tips we provided above will help you to ready for your dream job interview.

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Written by Abdullah Jonayed

As a career coach, I prepare well-structured & innovative content ideas on career and business to assist clients in identifying personal goals, developing job skills & planning career moves, searching for new employment opportunities, providing assistance in drafting resumes or cover letters, and preparing for attending a job interview.

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