Some people see it as a test, while for others it is a chance or even an entertainment. Everyone passes through this interview at least once in a lifetime. Our article will give you seven valuable recommendations how to get ready and pass a job interview.
Study the information
If you have enough information, you can handle any situation at the interview.
- Before going to the office, find out:
- with whom you are going to converse: the chief, the head of the personnel department or an ordinary employee;
- the interview format (group or individual, question and answer or self-presentation);
- the dress code and the things you need to carry with you (documents, gadgets, etc.);
- how to get there (being late is unacceptable).
Visit the company’s website or call the office to learn this information.
What you need to know before the interview
Make a map of answers to common questions. Job interviews are similar and at the same time unlike each other. Many have heard about stressful interviews, where employers can suddenly start yelling at the applicant to confuse him/her. Also there is the so-called case-interview when the applicant is placed in certain circumstances (for example, a conversation with a disgruntled customer); the employers watch how the person will solve the problem.
It is not always possible to find out what type of job interviews is preferred in a particular company, so you have to be ready for anything.
To do this, create a map with answers to common questions and requests (they are asked in 99.9% of cases):
- top 5 of your advantages;
- what you are good at;
- strategic direction of self-development;
- suggestions for improving company performance;
- your life and work philosophy;
- your short term and long term goals;
- unusual things that you had to deal with.
You should also prepare in advance a list of topics that you would like to discuss with a HR manager.
How to plan an interview
Interpret the employer’s questions. “A” does not necessarily mean “A”, and two times two is not always four. Recruiters often ask tricky questions, where a simple formulation conceals a cunning plan – to force the applicants to say more than they should.
A simple question: “What salary would you like to get?” But the answer helps the interviewer understand your motivation: money, social security, working hours and so on. If you are asked whether you have had conflicts with the authorities and how you solved them, the HR-manager most likely wants to know whether you are inclined to take responsibility or prefer to deliver it to others.
There are a lot of tricky questions. You must be able to see the “double bottom” (without fanaticism!).
How to understand the employer’s questions
Think about your non-verbal behavior. HR-managers are people and not machines. They, like everyone else, pay attention to the nonverbal signs: appearance, facial expressions, gait, gestures, and so on. An experienced professional can be rejected only because he/she behaves improperly.
Think of your body language in advance. If you tend to move your feet with excitement, then sit cross-legged. If you are tapping your fingers on the table, try to have something in your hands, such as a ballpoint pen.
Again, HR-managers are people and not machines. They understand that you are worried. But natural non-verbal communication will enhance your credibility.
Treat some topics as taboos
If the interviewer asks you to tell him/her about yourself, do not deliver a detailed story of your life like this: “I was born on April 2, 1980 (Taurus is my horoscope sign). In my youth, I played football and was the captain of the city team. Then I graduated from a university…” Such a story told by the applicant will ruin the chance of getting a job.
There are things that the employer is absolutely uninterested to hear as they do not characterize you as a professional. In the example mentioned above, this is the year of birth (it can be read in the summary), your zodiac sign and sport achievements.
There are topics which must be a taboo for you:
- retelling of the resume;
- personal life goals (to buy a house, to have children, etc.);
- reputation of the company and its employees;
- skills and experience that are not related to the future work (a great cook, good at plumbing, etc.);
- failures that demonstrate incompetence.
Write and remember the topics that should be ignored; it is as important as making a plan of what to speak about. Also think about how to answer correctly if you are still asked one of these issues.
An interview is a nervous occasion. You can forget your name, not to mention the demonstration of competencies.
To calm down, take a look around. Inspect the office equipment and staff. Details will tell you a lot about the company where you are going to work, and their analysis will help to normalize the nervous system.
A critical look at the company and future colleagues can enhance the sense of self-importance. Remember that the company needs a good employee as much as you need a good job.
Take the initiative in your hands
As a rule, there comes a moment during the interview when the interviewer and interviewee exchange their roles, and the applicant has an opportunity to ask questions.
Do not waste time asking useless things: “Will you call me or shall I call you?”, “Why is this position open?” and so on. Distinguish yourself as an initiative employee. Ask:
- Does the company have any burning problem? In your opinion, how can I help you?
- Could you describe how you imagine the ideal candidate for this position?
- What advice would you give to someone who starts to work in your company?
Following these tips will prepare you for the interview and increase the chances of employment.