In today’s world, getting a job interview is not a challenge, but success in a Job Interview has become a challenge. An interview makes or breaks your future career opportunities. One needs to prepare for the interview and grab the opportunity.
Here are 10 Interview Tips for Job Interview Success for an experienced candidate and a fresher
1. Research about the Company as well as the Industry
Before appearing for a Job Interview, it is important to do some extensive research about the Company. Spend time learning everything about the Company from your professional networks such as LinkedIn, social networks, friends, and colleagues. You can interact with the Company’s previous employees and read some press or news releases. Nowadays, it is possible to get insights and feedback about the Company and its work-life culture, and you can also get insights into the salary for the position.
There are web portals such as LinkedIn, Glassdoor, Ambitionbox, etc., where you can get overall feedback. By looking at multiple sources, you will know the broader picture of the Company, which can play a pivotal role during the interview.
2. Predict and Prepare for the most common interview questions
Prediction of the questions which can arise from your resume and listing down such questions & answers that play an essential role in cracking the interview. You have to be ready to explain the gaps between the jobs if you have any, also the reasons for which you have left the previous jobs, and in case of switching the job profile, you should be able to correlate, align and make a transition of your skills with the job requirements.
Apart from this, preparing for the common questions in the interview, such as “Tell me about yourself?”, “Why do you want to be part of this company?”, “Why should we hire you?”, “Which are the challenges you have faced in your previous jobs, and how have you overcome them?”, “What are your salary expectations?” This can play a pivotal role in your interviews. You have to prepare answers for all the most common questions that are likely to be asked. An essential tool for remembering your responses is to put them into a story form you can tell in the interview.
3. Make an excellent first impression.
There are two keys to a first impression, being well-dressed and punctual can add an edge to the interview. Plan an outfit that suits the organization’s culture and shows your professionalism. It is good practice to arrive little for the interview, showing that you are punctual and helping you to remain calm. Be warm and enthusiastic when you meet the interviewer. Give a firm handshake and greet them, and don’t forget to make eye contact.
Let’s start with a positive comment such as, ” I have been looking for this meeting for a few days, the company is doing great work, and I am excited to be a part of the journey along with the company.”
4. Identify and highlight your selling points for this job.
Always be prepared for the job interviews with key selling points, highlighting you as the best candidate for the position. Don’t hide your accomplishments and skills; showcase your key selling points with examples or real-life situations, such as how you managed the project, met the timeline, and learned from those situations, making you suitable for the position.
Your ultimate goal in illustrating should be to give the interviewer an idea of how you have the upper hand over the other candidates—as a fresher, getting an edge over an experienced person is quite a challenge as they might lack the skills. You can always correlate the skills you have learned throughout your academics. Showcasing and narrating the experiences of extra-curricular activities can give you an upper hand in the interview.
It is not always that the most qualified applicant is the one who is hired; Only the winning candidate is the jobseeker who does the best job by responding to all interview questions and showcasing their fit with the job, department, and organization and how she will contribute to the overall success of an organization.
5. What are your strengths and weakness?
One of the questions asked by the interviewers is, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” Most people don’t prepare for this question and lose their jobs. This answer gives a snapshot of your ability to work, where you are ahead, and where you lack. Even the most experienced and talented candidates can struggle with this question.
The first part of this question is Strengths. Think about the positive qualities and skills that serve you well in the workplace. Here is a list of some of the strengths;
- Problem solver
You will have to explain them with examples and how you demonstrated these strengths in the past, such as
Problem Solver” I am a solutions-oriented person and also a quick learner. In my role working as an electrical engineer, I learned and experienced performing well under pressure when designing equipment because our team would not be able to win a contract unless we produced the blueprints quickly, with few resources. In these circumstances, I am not afraid to ask questions to figure out the challenge. I do extensive research for every client to be extra prepared.”
The second part of this question is Weaknesses, the most tricky question to answer in the entire interview. We all have weaknesses, and it would be arrogant and false to say, “I don’t have any weaknesses.” Your capacity to identify your weaknesses and improve them can be your strength. The key to answering this is to pair self-awareness with action to improve it. Here is the list of the weakness;
- Extreme introvert or extrovert
- Too sensitive
- Afraid of public speaking
- Lack of presentation skills
Knowing how to address your weaknesses will set you up for success in securing the job. In an interview, every weakness should be followed by an improvement plan. It shows that you are aware of where you lack and the willingness to overcome it. Here are the examples of how you can answer it,
- Afraid of public speaking
“I am naturally an introvert. Since school, I have always felt nervous about participating in debates, public speaking, and presentations, which has translated into the workplace. Last year, I was leading a project and was asked to present it to stakeholders. I was so nervous, but at that time, I realized to overcome this fear and signed up for public speaking classes. Now I am more confident and continuously improving my presentation skills.“
6. Why should we hire you?
One of the most tricky and challenging questions you might face is, “Why should we hire you?”. During the interview, it is highly unlikely that you will not be asked this question. At this moment, you need to proceed further with caution. The purpose of the question is simple but essential to determine whether the candidate is perfect for this job or not. Also, it brings down your presentation skills and how you promote yourself to be fit in the position. It would help if you were unique from others, and you should avoid answering, “I am smart and qualified for this job.”
Here are some set of examples to answer the question:
- “Over the years, I have acquired relevant skillset and experience, which I can bring to your organization. I have also worked a lot on my communication and teamwork skills, which I will use in my future, which would be in your organization if I am selected for this position. I have given my 100% in my past companies, enabling me to recognize my capabilities and limitations. This collectively can result in ultimate success for the organization.
- “This is quite a tough question; thank you for asking. From the research I’ve done, your Company is looking for a skilled communicator and experienced marketer to grow your business and help your organization stand out from the competition. I increased their activity by 21% at my previous organization by implementing targeted social media advertising. I will bring a more innovative and entrepreneurial spirit to your organization which will be fruitful for the future.“
- “I am glad you asked. You explained earlier that leadership qualities are a bonus for this position. In my eight years of experience as a project manager, I have effectively managed teams of over 12 people. I developed motivational skills that earned me the “Employee of the Year” five years in a row for consistently meeting and exceeding goals. I will bring those leadership abilities to this position.“
- “I feel you should hire me given my good academic background and the skills and experience your Company is looking for. I have the required experience and skillset. Which would benefit your organization and me.“
7. Be ready to handle inappropriate questions
Once in a while, you might be asked about your race, age, gender, religion, marital status, and sexual orientation, which are inappropriate and illegal in many areas. Most of the time, the interviewer has no intentions to offend but do you have a genuine interest or curiosity to know it?
You can answer with a question such as “I’m not sure about how that is relevant to my application,” or you can try to answer “the question behind this question”: “I don’t know whether I will decide to have children soon, but if you’re wondering if I’ll be leaving my job for an extended period, I can say that I’m very committed to my career and frankly can’t imagine giving it up.“
8. Ask questions
The hiring manager often asks the candidate, “Do you have any questions?” most people avoid asking questions, but it is a terrible mistake. You must take full advantage of this and ask questions to the interviewer; it shows that you have done some research, are willing to know things, and are serious about joining this position. It would be great if you were prepared with a list of questions to ask and also add additional queries during the interview. A few recommendations for such questions;
- What do you expect me to achieve and deliver within three months of joining?
- How is performance measured in this role?
- What are the challenges I would be facing in this role?
- What is the company culture, and what do you enjoy the most about it?
- What is the appraisal system in the Company?
9. Salary Talks
Even if you are not willing to start the salary conversation, there is a high probability you might be asked about the salary expectations in your 1st interview itself. You are getting a low blow, or quoting a way too high salary might cost you the job. This is a tricky question for candidates, and you must be prepared to tackle it without mentioning a figure in the first interview. Sometimes the interviewer wants to know whether the candidate is within the budget decided by the Company.
You have to answer it politely without quoting a figure. Such as, “I have very much enjoyed our conversations, and I am very excited about the position and the Company; it feels we are a good fit! If you are willing to make me an offer, please know that I will seriously consider it, and I am not here to waste your time.”
If the interviewer still pushes you to quote a figure, you can respond like this, “It is difficult for me to answer it at this stage. Salary is one part of the equation, and I would need to study the offer entirely to make an informed decision. I would love to talk numbers once an offer is on the table.”
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10. Keep the Follow-up
Once the interview is finished, you must show gratitude to the interviewer and the Company. Thank the interviewer before you leave; you can also mention how excited you are to be part of the Company. To keep a follow-up, the good practice is sending a thank you email, thanking them for their time and allowing you to appear for the interview. Re-emphasize your interest in the position and joining the Company. Also, You can include any details you may have forgotten to mention during the interview; this shows your manners and interest in the job, which gives you an edge over others.
These are the 10 Golden Tips that will contribute to a successful interview and an edge over other candidates to secure the job.