Preparing for a job interview can be a stressful experience. Especially if you don’t have much experience in doing so, if you’re applying for a role based in a different country or if you’re looking to change industry.
But with the right approach, the interview stage can also turn out to be quite a rewarding process. Even if it doesn’t yield the results you wished for this time, you can still have a pleasant experience and more confidence for the next one.
A job interview is your chance to bring your CV to life and show the recruiter and hiring manager that you are a good fit for the role. But it is also a great opportunity for you to learn more about the company, the role and whether you see yourself working there.
One of the easiest ways to stand out from the crowd during an interview is to make sure you are prepared. To help you prepare, here are 4 things to keep in mind when getting ready for a job interview.
- Research the Company and the Position
- Practice Your Interview Skills
- Dress Appropriately and Arrive on Time
- In Short
Research the Company and the Position
Researching the company shows that you are genuinely interested in becoming a part of it, while taking the time to understand the role demonstrates you are passionate and motivated for the challenge ahead.
Being curious about the working environment, company values and other social initiatives also allows you to ask yourself the question: are we a fit?
Gain More Control Over the Conversation
Remember that an interview is a two-way exchange, not an interrogation. This is where your research about the company and the role will come in handy.
For example, having an idea about the company’s latest projects and online activities is a great conversation starter.
Refer to what you read during your research in the questions you ask. Relate to something you saw on the company’s social media and apply it to the role you’re applying for. This way, it will be easier for you to provide relevant examples.
How to Best Research the Company and the Position?
- Start at the source. Go to the company’s “About” page, where you can find a short description of their history, values, goals, services and – most likely – employee benefits.
- Search for the company’s social media accounts. To save time, go directly to the footer of their website to find direct links to the official social media accounts.
- Check reviews on employer rating sites, such as Glassdoor, to get a more “insider” perspective on the company.
- Use LinkedIn to see who’s working for the company, department or team you’re applying for. If you feel up for it, consider contacting them with any questions you may have in preparation for the interview.
- Research the people who will be interviewing you. This way, you will become more comfortable talking to them and get a better understanding of what they value the most.
- Make sure you’re familiar with the job description. Use it as a checklist to build a bullet-proof list of relevant skills and projects from your previous professional experiences.
Practice Your Interview Skills
Now that you have a better understanding of the company as a workplace and the role you’re applying for, it’s time to put your interview skills to the test.
Our recent study showed that 66% of job seekers aren’t sure about how to make the most of the interview stage. This breaks down to:
- 24% don’t know what questions will be asked at the interview
- 15% don’t know how to make a good impression
- 16% don’t know how to show the recruiter they’re a match for the job
- 11% don’t know how to best express their qualifications
But how can you improve your interview skills if you don’t know which questions will be asked at the interview?
You have 2 options.
The first: Ask a friend or family member to read the job description and ask you relevant questions about your experience. This way, you can practice answering them on the spot in a real-life exchange.
The second: Use a free AI-Based Interview Preparation Tool like the Talenthub Academy to generate a list of most common interview questions based on the specific job ad you’ve applied for (or planning to apply for).
The Talenthub Academy is a free platform built with candidates in mind. It offers job seekers two valuable resources:
- A Learning Center filled with videos and articles covering the most important topics related to writing a job application and preparing for an interview.
- An AI-powered Interview Preparation Tool, allowing job seekers to generate interview questions based on a specific job ad. You can then choose which of the questions you’d like to practice answering, type in the answer and receive actionable feedback.
Create an account and start practicing for your next interview here.
Dress Appropriately and Arrive on Time
We all strive to leave a job interview feeling like we made a good impression. And the more prepared you are, the easier it will be to do your best.
Often, the interview will also be the first time meeting the hiring manager or visiting the company premises. Make sure you set yourself up for success from the beginning by covering all your bases.
Get there on time
Whether the interview takes place physically or online, arriving on time is key. This is how you get your first point from the recruiter and hiring manager; by showing them you are taking the position seriously and that you are respectful of other people’s time.
If you’re taking the meeting online, make sure your online setup is working correctly (e.g. your camera, your microphone and internet connection) and that you’re able to find a calm space for the duration of the video call.
At this point of the application process, you should have an idea about the company’s working culture. Look at the profile of the company, the way they brand themselves and the values they represent. Consider checking for any photos shared on the company’s social media accounts, such as LinkedIn or Facebook. This will help you decipher the way you should dress for your interview.
Getting ready for a job interview doesn't have to be daunting. It's all about being thorough, practicing, and minding the details.
Start by digging into the company and the role. Websites, social media, and employee reviews are great places to start. Reaching out to current employees can also give you a unique perspective.
It's worth noting that a surprising 66% of job seekers feel a bit lost when it comes to maximizing the interview stage. So, practicing your responses with a friend or using nifty tools like the Talenthub Academy can really boost your confidence.
And let's not forget the importance of punctuality and dressing the part. It's these small things that can help make a great first impression.
Ultimately, remember that a job interview is a two-way street. It's not just about impressing the employer but also about deciding if the company and the role are a good fit for you. Good luck!