5 tips to ace any interview
You’ve graduated, fired off job applications left and right, and one of them has eventually hit the target. Now, it’s the moment you’ve been anticipating and dreading in equal parts this whole time – your first interview.
Even if you’re a seasoned professional for whom the above doesn’t apply, it’s still hard to shake off some apprehension before an interview.
And why wouldn’t it be? An interview usually holds the key to an even brighter future, an upward curve in one’s career graph, and yes, last but not least, more money!
Also, with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic, many companies have started having their employees work from home. If you’ve applied for one of these companies, your interview will likely also be conducted online.
With that said, we go through 5 tips for interview, no matter your experience level:
Do your homework
Reading up thoroughly about your prospective company is one of the most crucial aspects of your interview preparation. You might have a five-star CV and an A-class education but to the employer, you’re only useful in as far as what you can do for them and their business.
Nearly half the employers find that the candidates they interview don’t possess any comprehensive knowledge of their company’s business nor any grasp of the role they’re expected to perform.
So, make sure you know as much as possible about the company and its business, history, and news, for starters. With the internet’s many resources at your disposal, finding out everything you need to know about the company and deciphering the right question for interviews should not be too hard, as long as you’re willing to put in the time.
“Do you have any questions for us?”
Anyone who’s been a part of an interview knows that no matter how well it went till that point, when “Do you have any questions for us?” is asked by the panel, there is a chance of everything unraveling.
Again, that’s where doing your homework comes into play. If you have read up on the company in detail and are abreast of the latest news surrounding them, you will have plenty of questions to ask. Do an interview mock run and think of possible questions you can be asked.
Your queries to the interviewer will be particularly effective if you also manage to tie in your would-be role into it somehow. It would convey a sense of your eagerness to not only know more about the company as a whole but also about how well you can execute your new role.
Do remember to avoid asking questions relating to any controversies the company might be embroiled in. Stick to questions such as those about the organization’s growth and expansion, its success, and how you can possibly make a positive impact.
Talk the talk, walk the walk
Say you ace the interview and are feeling good about your chances. However, it’s been days and you haven’t heard back. Chances are, your profile was not taken ahead. While it’s always possible that someone aced it even better than you, perhaps you let yourself down unknowingly with poor body language?
Remember, you’re being evaluated by the interview panel from the time you step into the room, till you leave it. It’s about the way you walk as much as the way you talk. Remember to stand and sit up straight. Pull your shoulders back and stick your chest out. Don’t squirm around in your seat. These are all subtle signs that clearly convey to the trained eye a feeling of nervousness, lack of confidence, and overall edginess.
While body language is a smaller factor when it comes to online interviews, there are other things to keep in mind, such as ensuring you’re sitting in as much of a noise-free environment as possible and keeping at least the area of your room visible to the camera as neat and clean as possible.
Your experience matters, talk about it
While your resume is no doubt written as well as possible to fully convey the depth of your roles in your previous companies, remember that it is but just a snapshot.
It’s up to you to paint the full picture as best as you can. The interviewer will give you ample opportunities to do this as he or she runs through your resume, so make good use of these changes.
Make sure to remember to bring up any special highlights during each of your previous stints. Was there a project that you executed particularly well? Talk about it! You’ll regret it if you forget to bring up such special achievements, so ensure you memorize them if required.
If you’re trying for a position that’s a bit different from your current role, such as trying for the role of a marketing writer after being a purely editorial writer. In such instances, stress on those works of yours that had more of a marketing twist to it, such as promos, social media copies, if applicable.
Don’t be curt, it can hurt
Interviewers are usually busy people, who take time out of their packed schedules to conduct interviews. However, that doesn’t mean you restrict your answers to ‘yes’ or ‘no’ in a kind effort to save their valuable time!
Always try to expand on your answer, unless there is literally no other way to elaborate. Whether the answer to a question is yes or no, backing it up with a logical and plausible explanation enriches your answer and adds tremendously to your credibility.
Of course, don’t go the other way and drone on forever either, or you will lose your interviewer’s attention.
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