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If this is your first time facing an interview, you probably feel anxious and nervous to face the interview. Well, you should know that this is completely normal and will probably reduce a lot by the time you finish reading this article.
Even though the interview itself is only on a single day, the entire process of facing an interview is normally spread over two days – the day before you go for the interview and the actual day you face the interview.
The day before the interview is when you make sure that you have prepared everything that you will need for the interview. The day of the interview is when you present yourself to the interviewer.
Remember, you’ve only got one shot! So make it count.
THINGS TO DO BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
There are certain things that you will need to prepare before the day of the actual interview. Although some of these might seem very obvious, you have no idea how many people miss these little things and end up performing poorly for their interviews.
1. Read your CV again
Before you go for the interview, you most probably have already forwarded your CV or Resume to your interviewer. You probably think, “yeah, I’ve done my part”. Well, you’re only partially right. When you go for the interview, you will definitely be questioned on any section of your resume that the interviewer might find interesting. So it’s very important to read up your resume before the day of the actual interview. Familiarize yourself with the things you have mentioned in your CV – the employment dates, the work history, the skills mentioned, etc.
2. Research on the company
Companies love it when the candidate has made an effort to read up on the company that they are applying for. Visit the company website and read up a little on what the company is about and its history. Pay special attention to the company’s mission and vision statements. If you let the employer know that you understand the values of the company, it will allow the employer to see how deeply committed you are to building a connection with the company. You can let them know this by saying something like “I’m very happy to see that this company is environmentally sustainable.”
3. Prepare your documents
Make sure that you have all the documents to support the statements in the CV. Regardless of if the interviewer asks for the documents or not, always go for the interview prepared. Keep the documents neat and tidy. The condition of the documents will also show the employer a little bit about yourself – the way you care for things. Make sure you iron out any wrinkles and keep them organized nicely in a folder.
It is not very professional to take a lot of time to find a document in your folder. It’s best if you can arrange it in a way that it’s easy for you to take out the specific document if the employer requests it.
4. Practice answering common interview questions
There are so many questions that an employer could ask a candidate. It is not a very good look if a specific question surprises you while you’re being interviewed. It will be worse if you aren’t able to come up with a good answer for the question asked by the interviewer. So, make sure that you read up some of the questions that they could ask you and read a few possible ways to answer them.
Always remember not to memorize answers off the internet. Remember the way to answer the questions so that you can answer them as honestly as possible on the day of the interview.
5. Prepare your attire
There is a particular dress code that you will have to follow when it comes to going for an interview. Different companies might have different attire that suits the job. However, it is always never anything less than smart casual. Most interviews require formal or semi-formal attire.
Make sure you prepare the attire that you will be wearing at least a week beforehand. This is so that you don’t find out that you’re missing a tie or a shoe at the very last minute. You’ll have plenty of time to get a new one if you need to. Keep all your clothes and shoes prepared the night before so you can save some time on the day of the interview.
THINGS TO DO ON THE DAY OF THE INTERVIEW
1. Be Punctual
I can’t stress enough how important it is to be punctual. Punctuality is a key factor that all employers look out for. In an interview scorecard, it is the first thing they take note of. The punctuality will tell the employer a lot about your working habits and how seriously you will take your job. Try to be at least 10 to 15 minutes early for your interview. While being too early might look like you didn’t take note of your interview time properly, 10 to 15 minutes is a perfect amount of time to wait till it’s your turn to be interviewed.
2. Be Confident
Employers like having confident employees a lot. The interview is a good opportunity to show the employer that you’re a confident person. It is good to show that you have confidence in yourself to be able to complete the tasks that are given to you by your employer but don’t be too confident so that they feel like you’re trying to show that you are better than them. So, be careful not to be overconfident as appearing cocky can be a disadvantage as it might cause you to lose the chances of getting recruited.
3. Be Professional
When it comes to facing an interview, dressing the part is not all there is to be professional. Yes, it is important to keep your attire looking professional. But being professional is about having good manners during the interview and showing the employer that you carry yourself well. Your body language will also show the employer how professional you are. Keep your back straight and maintain good eye contact with the interviewer.
If you’re reading this, you most probably already submitted the CV to your employer. If you still have not, and you need help designing your CV professionally, I have the perfect article for you. Go through it thoroughly. It will help you to create a professional CV effortlessly in a matter of minutes.
4. Be Well-Behaved
When you first walk into the room, remember to greet the interviewer and ask them if you can take a seat. After you sit, make sure you behave well throughout the interview. For fresh graduates, it comes as a habit to shake their legs and be restless. Make sure you maintain a professional look by avoiding these bad habits. At the end of the interview, remember to thank the interviewer for the opportunity and for taking the time to interview you.
THINGS TO AVOID DOING DURING AN INTERVIEW
1. Don’t speak poorly of your previous job
It is very common to see candidates speak poorly of their previous companies or their managers when asked about their employment history or the reason why they resigned from their previous job. You will look bad in front of the employer as they might think that if you were to leave this job someday, you’d do the same. So, make sure that you don’t speak badly of them – regardless of how poorly the company or the management treated you. Only speak of the experience and skills you were able to gain from the job and the learning outcomes only.
2. Don’t check your phone
Before you enter the interview room, put your phone on silent mode and put it away. Make sure that you do not check your mobile phone for any reason as it will show the employer that you’re easily distracted and could cost you the job opportunity.
3. Don’t make your interview sound scripted
If you memorize a certain answer or a chunk of words, sometimes the listener can feel that you’ve memorized it beforehand. Like I mentioned previously, it is alright to remember the basic structure on how to answer certain questions, but be as accurate as possible by speaking the truth and sound natural so that it doesn’t sound too scripted.
4. Don’t forget anything
Don’t forget anything before, during, and after the interview. Before the interview, do not forget to prepare everything you need. During the interview, don’t forget to mention something in your answer. This can be prevented by going through your own CV and reading up a few possible questions and answers the night before. After the interview, don’t forget anything inside the interview room. Also, don’t forget to give them a copy of your CV and documents for reference if needed.
Sometimes, candidates accidentally leave their official documents or their personal belongings inside the interview room and leave. Firstly, if you walk back into the room, it will make the interviewer feel like you’re forgetful. Secondly, if the interviewer had already left the room by the time you come back, it will be quite a hassle for them to come to the room again just for you to collect your items. So always remember to take all your personal belongings and other important items before leaving the room.
So that’s basically it! This is everything you need to know to face an interview confidently and get hired. If you follow all of these steps, you will definitely get noticed by your employer and will be very helpful for your application.
If you liked this article, let me know in the comments! Remember to check out my article on how to make a professional resume, too – if you haven’t already! Also, if you will be facing an interview soon and need any extra help with the preparations, please contact me at email@example.com and I will get back to you as soon as I can!
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