The first hurdle that we all face in our professional lives is that of going through our very first job interview. Most of us are confused, nervous and apprehensive despite having prepared for the interview to the best of our ability. This blog post put forth some notable features which when understood and then applied will go a long way into making the act of appearing for an interview into a confident and not a nervous affair.
Look up the company
A big mistake that people often do prior to a job interview is to desist from researching about the company. The activity is way easier now compared to the past with the advent of the Internet. It is important to take a look at the company’s official web page and LinkedIn page to gauge an idea about its values, its way of working and many other things.
Are these the only two resources to dig up? Certainly not, since one can look up annual reports, media releases and product-and-service information. On top of that one can also look up online directories and last but not the last the company indexing of Google. All of these go a long way in having a stolid idea about the company, its products and moreover it way of recruitment (You never know!).
Look up the job profile
Going for a job interview does not entail the knowledge of the designation for which the interview is being taken. Rather one should also understand the job responsibilities. Unfortunately, the reporting managers are not the people writing the job advertisements which leads to an incorrect interpretation of the job responsibilities listed in those advertisements.
Escaping this pitfall is actually quite easy. One only needs to get in touch with another person employed in a simple role and ask him/her about the job role. Often by asking questions like: “What’s a typical day/week look like?” and “What’s a typical day at work like?”
Taking a look at the job advertisement is not enough because one can dig far deeper. Usually these job advertisements have contact numbers. A polite call to any of these numbers and a query about the priority level of the responsibilities goes a long way in gauging an idea about what the employer is actually looking for in a prospective employee. A polite tone coupled with some smart questions can lead to a wealth of information as well. Some of those smart questions are given below.
- What are the steps in the recruitment process?
- How long do the steps take?
- How many applicants have applied for the job?
Look up your own skill set
The interviewer is bound to ask about the skill set hence it’s always a good idea to analyze one’s skill set and become aware of the possible shortcomings. The next step lies in preparing oneself for tackling these shortcoming either by enhancing the present skill set if there is time to do so or coming up with smart and witty answers to effectively dealing with questions posed on these shortcomings.
Look up the interview type
There are different types of interview. Some of the prevalent ones are given below.
- One-on-one interview
- Panel interview
- Stress interview
Awareness about each type is important since it gives an idea of handling the questions that may be asked.
Another important thing to note is that who will take the interview. Generally the recruitment consultant takes a preliminary screening round for matching the requirements. They may or may not know about the core job for which the interview is being arranged. Their sole responsibility is to screen a list of candidates who fit the bill as far as the requirements of the employer is concerned. Hence, focusing on proving oneself to be the ideal match is a smart way of handling a recruitment consultant.
The next person in line is normally the HR of the company and he/she is looking for a confident attitude, ethical outlook and legal requirements. Hence, it’s ideal to step into the shoes of a HR person and then prepare oneself in accordance with the possible requirements put forth by the HR person.
The final person is the line manager and here is where the skill set comes into play. This round, often called the technical round is one where an interviewee faces questions pertaining to the job responsibilities. Acing this round is as easy as pie provided the person knows the skills required to successfully handling the work.
Look up to practice
Practice makes perfect – so the saying goes as they say! But the saying is absolutely accurate in its essence. Irrespective of whatever we do, we get it perfect by practicing it again and again. The preparation for an interview is no less different as far as practicing for it is concerned. One should always practice mock interviews in order to get oneself comfortable and strengthen one’s nerves.
It is highly recommended to practice answering behavioral questions since they form the lion’s share of the questions asked by employers regardless of the interview-type and the company-type. A proper investment of time in practicing also opens up the intellect towards unforeseen pitfalls that can come and enables it to act accordingly to avoid these pitfalls. Hence, practicing is one of the key elements for successfully crossing through an interview.