It takes a lot more than researching a list of common interview questions to prepare for an interview. You must make a great first impression in terms of appearance, have a thorough understanding of your target company and its product/service and, of course, know how to convey that you are the ideal candidate for the job.
So to help you get prepared, we compiled a list of pre-interview tips to make sure you bring your A-game.
Your focus should not just be to prepare for the role you have applied in the organisation but also to know about the company’s mission, achievements and milestones. Go through the company's website, social media channels, media coverage to understand the organisation’s past, present and what plans it has for the future. This will give you an edge over others as employers find those candidates impressive who can relate to the company’s ideology.
Interviews are about leaving an impression and dressing right is one of the important steps in that direction. Your clothes should look professional, comfortable and also make you feel confident. Not all organisations have a formal dress code so do your research before choosing your attire. Whether it’s a suit or a semi-formal look, make sure it’s well-ironed, neat and clean.
What are your strengths and weaknesses, why should we hire you, where do you see yourself in five years…these are the questions employers would never be tired of asking! So better be prepared to answer them in advance. This doesn’t mean memorising the answers and repeats them verbatim like a robot in front of your interviewer, rather keep the key points in mind and make your answers interesting by adding something that is not a part of your CV.
Remember to not sound over-confident while answering a question especially when it’s about your weaknesses. Never say that “I have no weaknesses” rather answer smartly by sharing a weakness which you can turn into a strength that helps you with the job. For example, “I can be overly critical of myself and my work but it motivates me to do better the next time.” The goal of this game is to look best at downplaying your weaknesses against other candidates. No candidate is absolutely perfect, and it’s only fair that your interviewer knows at least some degree of your flaws upfront.
Your interviewer might throw some brain-teasers at you to check your ability to think logically and creatively, as well as dealing with a difficult situation under pressure. Make sure to highlight your personality with your answer and make your answers as fun and interesting as you can with the reasoning of course.
Don’t go into panic mode if you are unable to answer a difficult question. It’s best to deal with it calmly and ask if you can get back to the question later. This will help you answer it confidently later but remember this doesn’t mean avoiding tough questions unnecessarily, do it only when it seems appropriate.
There's no need to panic if your resume contains gaps or detours. After all, you got an interview, so they clearly liked your profile and want to learn more about you. Explain what you learned during your time off (for whatever reason) and how it will help you in the job you're applying for; even a period of unemployment can be turned into an advantage if you use it to develop your skills.
It’s almost certain that your interviewer will ask you "Do you have any questions for me?" in the end. So better go prepared with questions that will help you understand your role better and also show how serious you are about the job. Some questions you can ask include: How does this role contribute to larger company goals, What do the most successful new hires do in their first month here, What is your company's customer or client service philosophy? These will definitely help you stand out at your interview.