Have you got a much-awaited interview call? That’s amazing! Facing job interviews can be quite a task. You are excited about new prospects while dealing with pre-interview jitters. To ease your mind and help you prepare better for your prospective job, here are 33 best interview tips to get you started for acing any interview process.
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Best Interviews Tips for Every Job-Seeker
Research shows most job-seekers hunt for new jobs or wish to make a change from their current ones at the beginning of the year. Most companies also recruit new staff during this time. If you are looking for a new job or giving a lot of interviews of late these tips will be helpful.
Breathe, Don’t Stress: The excitement or nervousness of facing an interview is quite common among most people. If you get stressed about facing interviews practice some deep breathing with your eyes closed to soothe those frayed nerves. Practice the 1-2-1 breathing technique where you inhale slowly and deeply, hold your breath for 2 seconds and then exhale.
Good sleep: It is so important to sleep well the night before an interview. Last thing you want is waking up with puffed eye and a cranky mood. To get a good night’s sleep before the interview soak your hand and feet in warm water with Epsoak Epsom Salt for 10-15 minutes to release the stress in your body.
Research for the Interview
Prepare to dig deep into some research on your prospective company. Do extensive background check through different sources and find out as much as you can. Doing this you will get a basic idea of the company as well as be better prepared to answer any questions about the organization.
Get some Buffer Time: If it is possible try to have some buffer time before your interview. Most HR consultants do ask the convenient time to a prospective candidate before scheduling an interview. But if you are asked to appear for an interview the very next day, and if you need time to prepare, politely ask the HR to reschedule a day after.
Company Website: When you begin researching, the best thing is obviously visiting a company’s website. Read the ‘About Us’ page it will contain your company’s mission statement. Most companies usually have news or a latest update section where important events, company achievements, special announcement etc are made. You will also know who are in the top management.
Good Old Google: Google can also be very good source of information. You can find about press coverage or news articles written about the company, whether it has ever received any bad press.
Social Media: Most companies have some social media presence like a LinkedIn, Facebook or a Twitter profile. These platforms will give you additional information about the company and its employees. If you don’t feel like a stalker visit the professional social media profiles of those in the top management for more information.
You Network: You might also consider asking people in your trusted network like friend, colleagues who may be familiar with that company. But ask only if you trust that person enough.
Pro-Tip: Do you want some additional information about the company culture as to how employees are treated or regarding salary and leaves, visit Glassdoor and Quora. If the organization is well known there will be enough testimonials from past and present employees. You will get an idea if the company is a good fit for you.
Preparing for the Interview
Read your job profile: Most of the times companies send mails, detailing the job description and what is expected of a prospective candidate. Read those requirements very carefully to understand your profile.
List your skills: Make a list of the job requirements and your skill set. Write some bullet points as to how you fit the bill. This quick self-assessment can show you where you stand and help you prepare much better.
Mock interview: Mock interviews are very practical way of preparing for the actual interview. Make a list of anticipated questions then sit in front of a mirror and practice answering those listed questions. Getting someone to conduct your mock interview will give you an outsider’s perspective, which will benefit you.
Communication skills: If you have some sort of preparation ahead of an interview, your communication during actual interview flows freely. Here are some additional communication tips you can follow.
- Observe your body language.
- Practice your answers.
- Sit straight while answering questions.
- Use hand gestures to emphasize your answers.
Some commonly asked interview questions: Prepare some questions which are common to every interview process, irrespective of your field of expertise. These questions or their variations are used to gain some behavioral insights in every candidate.
1. Tell me about yourself
This is your chance to impress and talk about your skills, strengths, professional experience and achievements. The key here is to not sound too cocky but adapt a tone of humility while making an impact on your interviewer.
2. What is your current job profile?
Explain in brief about your present role. Be sure to include any achievement or any task you have completed efficiently. If possible fill up your answers with some statistics and research.
3. What do you understand about our company?
With this question your interviewer wants to access your knowledge about the organization. Here the research you did earlier will come in handy. State what you know about the company. Be sure to mention any milestone that the organization or its employees have achieved.
4. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This is a tricky question and the key here is to talk about your strengths and experience. Moreover this also gives you an additional opportunity to showcase your skills you may have shown in any challenging situation.
Coming to weaknesses, try to cloak your weaknesses as your strengths. Like you may say, “one negative issue I need to resolve, and I am taking steps towards it is, taking care of my health. Sometimes I get so involved in my work I forget to take breaks, I tend to work overtime. As valuable human resource for any organization, I understand that I need to balance both my work and health to contribute my best towards the company.”
You understand the drift here. With this answer you establish that you are a sincere and dedicated worker, who puts his work first, something most organizations admire. So if you have any shortcoming, think how cleverly you can turn that into your strength.
5. Where do you see yourself 5 years from now?
With this question the interviewer basically tries to gauge your long-term plans as well as your leadership skills. Show that you are ready to assume bigger responsibility within 5 years as well as eager to learn and acquire the skill set necessary to assume that leadership role.
6. Why do you want to leave your current job?
Here you have to stress upon how much you learned from your present job, but now the time has come to explore new things, the potential of which you see in this job you are interviewing for.
Other Technical Questions / Teasers
Besides these common set of questions and depending on the nature of your job there could be technical questions related to your field. So brush up on your knowledge skills.
There could be brain teasers type questions, opinion or situational ones like “what do you think about our product? What would be your promotional strategy with this event?
Who will Interview you: It makes your preparation process easier if you have some idea about your interview process like who will be interviewing you, whether you will be facing a panel or an individual. Be sure to ask your recruiting consultant or the company HR about these things.
Grooming and Organisational Tips
Dress to Impress: Select a nice dress not to flashy neither too conservative. If you are unsure about the dress code stick to formal wear as it is usually the safest bet. Go for a nice pencil black trouser and white shirt, a very classic combination, which looks smart on anybody. In many organizations, semi-formal attire is also acceptable.
If you know somebody within the organization or someone is acquainted with the work culture of that place (and if you trust that person enough) you may ask about the dress code.
Shoes and Hair: Decide on your shoes and hairstyle, especially those with long hair, it would save you a lot of hassle the next day if you know exactly how you would like to set your hair. A nice side bun or a high pony tail usually does the trick.
Grooming: Groom yourself nicely which means no chipped nails, no dull face and puffy eyes. If you need some salon pampering before the interview go and get it.
Some Organisational Tips Before Interview: To avoid last minute clutter it is a very good idea to organize everything the night before the interview. Take note of these tips:
Your Dress: Keep your dress fresh, ironed and ready to wear. You don’t want to wear any wrinkly ones do you?
Your Handbag: Weather you carrying a handbag, folder or a typical office bag, be sure to arrange everything properly. Your resume copies, pen, your photographs, copies of your educational qualification, mouth freshener. Put everything which seems necessary to you.
Your Wallet: Organise your wallet, carry your credit/debit cards. If you are carrying cash see to it that you have adequate money, and you are carrying some loose change.
Vehicle and Travel cards: Ensure that your vehicle is filled with enough gasoline. If you are travelling by public transport ensure travel card/pass has enough balance.
Resume: Your resume is your professional portfolio. Format it properly before an interview. Carry at least 5-6 resume copies for the interview, you never know how many times you might need to hand it out.
Be on Time: This should be a no-brainer, arrive for your interview at least 15 minutes before. You will have an opportunity to assess the environment around you. If the interview is scheduled at company offices, you can observe the employees and work culture of that place. It gives you a chance to engage with other potential candidates. Arriving early will give you some time to arrange and compose yourself before actual interview starts.
Mobile Phone Silent: Remember to keep your phone on silent mode before the interview. You don’t want your phone ringing in the middle of an interview right?
Body Language during Interview
A number of interviewers observe the candidate’s body language during an interview; it helps them to understand the candidate’s personality. Here are best interview tips provided to hone your body language:
Listen Attentively: During the interview process listen to questions carefully. Remember to nod your head, it indicates you have been listening attentively.
Eye contact: Maintain a steady eye-contact with your interviewer, when listening and answering questions it helps to build a certain trust.
Answer carefully: When an interview process begins, a candidate might experience a high pressure moment. At a sub-conscious level that person then wants to escape that environment, this may lead to the candidate answering questions in a rush.
Therefore take a second before responding then explain things carefully. To avoid awkward pauses you can start your answer with fillers like “What I personally feel about this issue is..” avoid clichés like, “That’s a great question.”
Your Tone: As a continuation of the above point, keep your tone relaxed and normal. It may happen that due to your nervous energy, your tone may be louder or high-pitched than necessary.
Don’t interrupt the interviewer: Not only it is rude not to allow someone to complete speaking; interrupting your interviewer mid-way may leave a very poor impression. When you disagree with something try to be tactful in your response. If you have any questions and doubts ask politely.
Relax tense muscles: Your body must be at ease. Folded arms or crossed legs indicate aggression and defensiveness in body language. Be aware of any tense muscles in your body and try to relax by 3-4 deep breaths. If it helps, visit the restroom or maybe drink a glass of water. While shaking hands maintain a firm grip.
Smile: Greet your interviewer will a smile. Even when you answer smile whenever appropriate, not only it will make your personality pleasing but also release any muscle tension from your body. While leaving the interview room also remember to smile. It makes a good impression.
So these are some of the best interview tips you can follow to ace the interview process. Lastly, don’t put too much pressure on yourself, view interviews as an opportunity for some self-assessment and experience. If you liked these tips do share your thoughts below. Do you have any additional tips and pro-tips you would like to share?