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How to Ace a Job Interview?

By Vanessa, published on 25/05/2019 We Love Prof > Professional Development > Personal Development > Preparing Well For a New Employment Opportunity

“In a job interwiew, you may be up against nine competitors. Be ready to state your focus more clearly than your nine rivals. Know your focus or get beaten by the competition who know theirs.” -Alan Fox

Finding a job in today’s world where unemployment and fierce competition are commonplace is no easy task; you have to make it before you break it!

Therefore, succeeding at a job interview and proving to the recruitment officer that you are better than the rest is a real obstacle course. 

It is essential to state that one interview doesn’t necessarily do the trick. According to statistics, in countries all over the world, more than one meeting is needed to secure the job of your dreams; sometimes, three or four are required!

Consequently, it is of the utmost importance to ace a job interview to rise above the rest by being irresistibly charming with an impressive CV that boasts outstanding qualifications.

Without further ado, since Superprof enjoys seeing people succeed, in today’s article, we will consider some of the most helpful ideas when preparing for a recruitment interview!

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Interview Preparation: Carefully Analyse the Job Description

the best interviews Carefully analysing the information included on a job post prepares you for a successful interview. (Source: pixabay)

After writing a resume and cover letter that highlight your qualifications, skills, and talents, the job interview remains the cornerstone of a future collaboration that must be thoroughly prepared.

A recruitment interview must remain professional, be formal, and should be used to set one candidate apart from the rest.  

It is important to remember that from a managerial point of view, the individual interview process aims at reducing the asymmetries of information existing between two people who do not share the same hierarchy level: the candidate must find a job and the employer must determine which profile best suits the job position available.

Have I completely lost you with technical terms or are you still with me?

For the interviewee, securing a job becomes so important that certain information or past experiences are hidden from the recruiter to put all chances on their side; the goal is not to be dishonest or manipulative. Instead, it is to give the impression that you are best suited for the job.

Remember, everyone makes mistakes and no one likes to be reminded of them. 

Alright, so let’s say that after receiving your CV and cover letter, the recruiters send you an e-mail stating that they are interested in an interview, what to do?

It is essential to state that preparing for a recruitment interview requires time and effort. Nevertheless, since time is a commodity that we all lack as a consequence of being too busy, it may seem impossible to blow the socks off the employer if the interview is only two days.

What can be done to prepare for the interview thoroughly? The following is some information to consider to ensure victory.

It is hugely advised to go over the post of employment a few time to consolidate the principal elements and have them edged into your memory. By thoroughly reviewing all the detailed knowledge of the type of position that you have applied for: the tasks expected to be completed by employees, the professional skills required, the academic qualifications recommended, the numbers of hours of work per week etc. you prepare yourself for success.

When the interviewee reviews the job post, he will be able to enumerate his strengths and weaknesses during the interview that will make him perfect for the job. Teamwork ability, stress resistance, interpersonal skills, autonomy, writing skills, ability to effectively use and manage social media accounts, unique corporate culture, and the mastery of one or two foreign languages are all significantly viewed by recruiters.

Before concluding this ever-important section, it is vital to highlight your strengths and skills that are most appropriate and impressive for the job in question.

Learn More About the Company or Recruiting Agency

The next step that is indispensably important is to explore the company that you will possibly work at or the recruiting agency that has been entrusted with finding qualified employees.

Articles released by the press in digital or paper form, social networks such as Facebook or Twitter, online forums, and multi-purpose websites can all give you plenty of information about the company or recruitment agency: turnover figures, date of foundation, the economic situation, and involvement in the markets.

The internet is so vast and far-reaching; therefore, it is a guarantee to find essential information about the company. 

Often the company or the recruitment agency we are applying for or through is well-known by individuals in the business and finance sector even if it is a small family-owned business. In any case, the wisest decision is to consult the company’s website.

On the homepage of the specific company, the products and services offered, the short term and long term projects currently in progress, the clients commonly worked with, and the names of those now in management are all posted frequently.

If it is an e-commerce store, are there several agencies, how many stores are there in the United Kingdom and abroad? What are the import and export numbers? Have there been mergers or acquisitions and foreign investors? These previously mentioned questions are essential to meditate on to impress employers in future interviews.

Also, the photos of employees featured on the site provide a barometer of the dress code expected on interview day. 

The next step is to take a look at the corporate network and use your communication skills to ask current employees at the business in question about the atmosphere of the company, the management team, entry-level salaries, the recruitment policy etc.

To further understand the critical influence of connections in a business setting, the American sociologist Mark Granovetter is famous for theorising the impact of social networks in search of employment. The theory developed is known as “the strength of weak links.”

What does it mean? 

According to Mark Granovetter, people who are not actively engaged in a network of contacts at their workplace are the ones who will most likely provide information with others about how to get the job rather than those who are closely-knit with other colleagues and are dedicated to the success of their company.

Therefore, to get essential about the business at hand, a weak link needs to be contacted since they are brilliant sources of crucial information; our success may depend on them!

Reflect on Your Strengths and Weaknesses

the best job interviews Highlighting skills, abilities, relevant work experience, and languages spoken are part of a job interview. (Source: pixabay)

To attain the job of your dreams, you must focus your attention on creating a CV or cover letter that effectively highlights your strengths and weaknesses that make you the perfect candidate for the job at hand.

Before the interview and the process of rewriting your cover letter, it is essential to ask yourself specific questions to effectively meditate on how you would answer effectively, such as the following:

  • What previous experiences make me comfortable with this job?
  • What are the advantages of negotiating your salary as high as possible?
  • How can I highlight that I am the most deserving of this job?
  • What points should be thoroughly discussed, and which merit as little time as possible?

Empathy, putting yourself in the recruiter’s shoes, is essential for the recruitment process: what are the elements that make me better than the rest? Why hire me for this critical job position?

The opportunity for an interview is a special privilege since it means that the recruiter already likes your qualifications and now wants to know your personality; this is a time to hold nothing back and sell yourself, and extracurricular activities such as volunteering, sports frequently practised, musical instruments played, languages that you speak etc.

Everything that might impress the recruiter is necessary to empathise; you don’t want to lose the possibility of acquiring this job position for being too shy! 

Nevertheless, in any case, the recruiter will say the famous, “Tell me about yourself.” Therefore, preparation is of paramount importance. Also, it is crucial to be aware of all your weaknesses from the beginning; don’t be delusional; we all have specific points that are less than stellar!

By being prepared to answer questions about weaknesses, interviewees avoid blushing, feeling embarrassed, remain stable, and can bounce back by highlighting how their weaknesses can become strengths. For example, you may state that your social networking skills are weak, but your interpersonal abilities are legendary.

Don’t be afraid to discuss your weaknesses since employers and recruiters will observe them at one time or another through verbal or non-verbal communication. Nevertheless, when talking about weaknesses do not include too many details that could cripple your chances and make the recruiter think you’re insane!

Perform an Interview Simulation to Instil Confidence

the best handshakes A firm handshake shows recruiters confidence and that you mean business! (Source: pixabay)

After careful reflection and thought have been put into what will be said, oral practice is highly recommended yet nervewracking and challenging. Therefore, to avoid stammering, ineffective improvising, and awkward space fillers such as “um”, it is strongly recommended to practise what you want to say during the interview at home in front of the bathroom mirror.

Writing down a paragraph and then reciting it is a fantastic way to remember the main points, practise pitch, and voice control. 

The repeat practise can be likened to when a musician goes over his part before a major concert.

Interview simulations are highly advised since they are designed to work on the speech, body language, and self-confidence from the first few seconds to make a positive first impression.

Also, since the Superprof site boasts plenty of experts who specialise in distinct fields or sectors, it would be a brilliant idea to invest a few pounds in paying for professional coaching sessions. 

When preparing for the interview experience, it is essential to focus on 10 to 15 questions that are commonly posed by recruiters. By drilling these crucial questions, you give the impression of preparedness by knowing how to respond without studdering effectively.

It is essential to mention that the interview process introduced by the recruiters is not meant to trap you but to know from the first few minutes if you are right for the job at hand. Body language and politeness are of the utmost importance; no one wants to hire someone with a weak handshake and sweaty palms since these are primary signals that demonstrate an uncomfortable attitude.

Are there other ways to reduce stress before the interview?

Prepare Yourself For the Big Day

Have you adequately prepared for the big day? Are you ready to get the job of your dreams?

You must gather or buy all that is needed to ensure success; perhaps a new suit or maybe some nice smelling cologne or perfume. An interview is a perfect time to play dress up and act the role of your life.

Smelly trainers, an oversized t-shirt, and holey jeans need to be avoided like the plage! 

To adequately prepare you for your next interview, Superprof has suggested the following list of things that must be brought:

  • Several copies of your CV,
  • Your cover letter,
  • Diplomas,
  • A portfolio that highlights relevant projects to acquire the job successfully,
  • Pens and a notepad.

With all the information provided in today’s article, we are confident that you have all the tools needed to ace all interview and impress recruiters from all professional sectors. Nevertheless, before concluding, it is essential to state that punctuality is of the utmost importance; the employer will not be content if he has to wait!

Are there other helpful tips to get prepared and impress recruiters?

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