Job tips

How to Prepare for a Job Interview and Succeed?

Presenting yourself at a job interview is one of the most stressful experiences of adulthood. What if I don’t know what to say? What if I give the wrong answer? Everyone can relate to these questions. Fortunately, you can prepare for a job interview and boost your chances of getting hired. Check out our tips!

Preparing for an interview looks different depending on the position you are applying for. A barista will present himself differently than a senior marketing specialist or a cybersecurity expert. However, some universal tips can be applied to any job interview, including online meetings.

Research the company and position

You’ve got that interview invitation. What’s next? The most important part of preparing for an interview is to analyze what you are applying for. Read the job offer carefully – pay attention to what describes the ideal candidate and look for the qualities that you can showcase yourself. Visit the company’s website and learn about it – remember that an employer may test your interest by asking questions about the company’s mission or products.

If you can, research the company’s work culture as well. Perhaps it is a small, dog-friendly office? If so, bring it up during the interview. Show that you have done your homework.

Make them want to “buy” you

Think about your selling points beforehand. Do not leave it to the last minute – you will probably be too stressed to come up with something clever during the interview. Everyone has abilities, skills, and strengths, so think of something that will show the employer that you are a perfect fit for the job.

Brag a little about your soft and hard skills, depending on the position. Maybe you are a natural leader who can listen to the team and solve problems? Or, if you are more reserved around people, perhaps you are great with data and solving puzzles? Find inspiration in the job description.

I don’t have any (relevant) work experience – what to say?

You may be looking for your first job or trying to get back into it after a long break. If the employer has your resume and invited you for an interview – that’s half success. However, there are probably other candidates for the same job, and some of them may be more experienced than you. How to make yourself look too irresistible to turn down?

Even if you do not have relevant work experience, you can find your strengths. Maybe you are a mother who is returning to work? Many human resource specialists say that parents make some of the best team managers, as they are often patient and great at multitasking.

Looking for your first job? Think about your school and/or college years. Perhaps you were active in your school community, which is a sign of involvement. Or maybe you participated in some volunteer work, which shows an employer that you are not sitting idle.

Prepare some questions of your own

A job interview is a great opportunity to get to know your potential employer, so do not hesitate to ask questions. By doing so, you will show the employer that you care about the position. Listen to your interviewer – there might be points that need clarification. There are also some universal questions you can ask to show your interest in the job:

  • What, in your opinion, characterizes the perfect candidate for this position?
  • What are the possibilities to grow and advance within the company?
  • What does a typical day at this job look like?
  • Do you provide personal development tools, such as training sessions?
  • Is there a dress code to follow?

Look up common interview questions

It is impossible to predict what a potential employer will ask you, but there are some common questions:

  • Why do you want to work for this company?
  • What are your weaknesses?
  • What got you interested in this position/organization?
  • How do you feel about being a part of the team?
  • How do you deal with stress?
  • What have you learned recently?

You can find hundreds of example interview questions online. Do not try to memorize and respond to all of them but think about your situation and the position you are applying for.

Look up… less common interview questions

There are plenty of jokes involving stupid and irrelevant interview questions. They are actually real. It is better to be safe than sorry, so check out some ridiculous examples:

  • What type of pizza would you be?
  • What would you bring to a desert island?
  • What would be the title of your biography?

Why do employers ask these types of questions? It is a way to see how one reacts to something unexpected and test the creativity and open-mindedness of the interviewed person. It is a good idea to study some of these irrelevant questions and respond accordingly, taking them seriously, but with a bit of humor, if the situation allows it.

Be professional and presentable

Remember that you want to “sell” yourself to a potential employer, so make sure you look and act presentable. Prepare your clothes. Brush and/or style your hair. Leave home early – it is better to wait a few minutes than to be late. Check your body language during the talk – it is okay to be a little nervous and tense but try not to be too shifty. If the interview is an online meeting – prepare your equipment and find a non-distracting background, such as a bright wall. Remember that the interviewer will see you, so wear a formal shirt at least!

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