How to Prepare for a Job Interview?
My previous articles were based on how can we improve self-confidence and differentiate between confidence and arrogance. Learning from those topics are very important and can be implemented during interview sessions as we have to be confident rather than being arrogant during interviews. Here, i will explain how to prepare for your job interview day and how to answer the most asked interview questions.
The first thought which comes to the mind about interview is that on which side of the table are we going to be? Interview sessions are pretty hectic and painful for both candidate as well as the interviewer. But in general more pressure is on the candidate appearing for the job interview because this is the situation which is somewhat like a rapid Q & A round. We are judged on the basis of our answers to these questions. There is no second chance in interview and we cannot correct or modify our answers once said.
Preparation is 1st and most important which a candidate should do whenever an interview call letter is received. Apart from curriculum preparation self-confidence, concentration and positive attitude are also similarly important. We can control our nervousness and give our best by focusing on interview, and avoiding the thought of other interviews and our fear of rejection.
Prepare for the Day
Normally there are a set of questions which everyone prepares for a job interview apart from their primary skill. These questions are like:
- Tell me something about yourself?
- Why do you want to join this company?
- Why do you think we should hire you?
- Describe your 2 strengths and weakness?
- What is your salary expectation?
- Any questions about the organization?
While everyone is busy preparing on the above questions, there are some small tips or points which a fresher usually misses while preparing for the D day.
- Gather information about the company: This is the first and the most important point as this is the answer to the question “why do you want to join our company?” Whenever you appear for an interview you should know everything about the company like its history, products, function areas, market share, competitors, top management and employee reviews e.t.c. You can easily find this information on the internet or you can contact people in your network for gathering information.
- Reach the venue on time: By reaching on time you reflect your quality of being punctual. Interviewers like candidate who are punctual and not those who report late for interviews and then give excuses of traffic jams and not being familiar with the locality e.t.c
- Appearance: Your appearance should be professional and not casual as your first impression is the last one. Following are few points which require focus :
- Your outfit
- Your face expression
- Folder to carry resumes and certificates/documents e.t.c
- Be confident: Most of us are in a habit of answering every question asked by the interviewer whether we know the answer or not, but actually we should avoid this. Instead we should simply say a “No” to questions whose answers we do not know and answer confidently for rest.
- Work on communication: We should practice our replies at home preferably in front of mirror and should work on our communication skills. Whatever we say should be clear enough because interviewers use this in judging the candidate’s nature and competencies. While describing we should use some key words which can bring out our skills and strengths e.t.c
All above points will apply when you are attending a face to face interview. But there are other forms of interviews also like telephonic, through Telepresence wherein you are not facing the interviewer directly and you are judged on whatever you say.
Telephonic Interview: This kind of interview is used as a first level of selection so it is very important that you should focus and prepare for this religiously
- Listen patiently and answer to only what is asked.
- Do not elaborate and try to be descriptive
- Ask for feedback
Telepresence Interview: This type of interview is organized when the interviewer and the candidate are in different locations and interviewer is not willing to pay the travel cost to the candidate.
- You should be dressed properly.
- Consider this as a face to face interview only and answer the questions as you would do in a formal interview.
Sample Interview Questions & How to Answer Them
Below are some sample answers to generally asked Job interview questions.
(a)Tell me something about yourself: While asking this question interviewer wants to know about you as a person, so while answering you should be sure of what you are answering is correct and actual. You should not start your answer with “I am xxxx, have 2 sisters, parents e.t.c”. Instead your answer should start from your educational background, work experience, hobbies well supported with examples.
(b)Tell about your strengths and weakness: Most of the time the possible answer for strength is given as “I am good listener”, “I am positive” e.t.c. The answer should always focus around the requirements as mentioned in the job description.
Example: If you have come for a customer service interview so answer can be “I have good analytical skills which can be useful in resolving queries. I am a good listener and team player with good communication skills.”
For weakness the answer should not be like “I like completing work on time”, “I like stretching shifts” e.t.c. rather this question should be answered in a way wherein you can turn your negative aspect into positive.
Example:” I like completing my work before deadlines”. Hearing this answer the interviewer will think that if you are in a habit of completing work before time then you might make mistakes. So instead the answer should be “I like completing work before deadlines, but I divide my schedule in such a way that sufficient time is given for checking work.
(c) Where do you see yourself 5 years from now: This is a very tricky question and no one can answer this accurately. By asking this question the interviewer wants to know about your ambitions and whether you are serious about the job position or not. Most people respond by saying that “I want to be CEO or director of this company” which is not an intelligent answer.
Example: Answer can be “I want to see myself at a position in your company where I can grow and develop my skills which can further contribute towards personal and organizational growth”.
(d) Why do you think we should hire you: The interviewer wants to know about your skills of how better you can convince the interviewer to hire you? To answer this question you should be fully aware about the job responsibilities and company products.
Example: The answer can be “that my past job experience matches with the company profile and the responsibilities as mentioned for the new job.
(e) What are your salary expectations: The answer should not be accurate as 25 %, 30 % e.tc. After hearing this answer interviewer might feel that your focus of changing job is just monetary hike.
Example: Answer can be like “the market trend of salary hike for my position is between xx to yy and I am expecting a hike of XX % approximately. So would request you to give the best possible compensation for my skills and experience which match the current market trends also .