Congrats! You’ve made it to the interview phase of the job search process, which means your CV (curriculum vitae) was good enough to escape the recruiters scroll over, and your cover letter was impressive enough to have made them reach out to you which is a good short, but now it’s on to speaking with actual people which is great. If you want to move from being a viable candidate to being the recruiter’s top choice, then you’ll need to go well beyond the basics. While your appearance and the way you present yourself is important, the substance and content of your interactions will be what will leave the interviewer considering you as the best candidate picturing you in the role and, most importantly, being unable to imagine that anyone else could be a better fit except you.
All Companies have interview guidelines designed to conduct interviews and employ the most suitable and qualified applicant based on experience and aptitude, but most times likability also comes to play. Recruiters sometimes don’t hire people they don’t connect with, that’s why you hear statements like, “He’s smart, but I just don’t think that he is the right fit for the role” at times. But the truth is, you won’t get hired if you’re not liked. So, to get the job, sometimes try as much as possible to connect with the interviewer. I’m not suggesting that you crack jokes or make unnecessary statements as it’s an interview, so don’t get too comfortable or get carried away from your goal, but try to be yourself and have a natural conversation, be confident, and interact as if you’re already working together, through eye contact, active listening, smiling, and avoiding nervous laughter. It is called “relaxed formality.”
However, preparation is key if you want to approach interview questions effectively as job interviews can be stressful, especially when an interviewer asks a question that you don’t know the answer to. Let’s say, you’re midway through an interview for a position that you want, and all is going well. All of a sudden, the interviewer asks you a question that you’re not prepared for and your mind goes blank, your heart sinks and you start sweating. You start to talk without thinking. You know you’re not making any sense, but surely saying anything is better than saying nothing or, worse, admitting that you simply don’t know the answer, right? You know you’ve performed poorly and you leave feeling deflated. If you have had this experience before, or you have not don’t worry, it doesn’t have to be this way. In this article, we delve into how you can prepare for, and answer interview questions calmly and concisely.
Hence use the following tips to get yourself ready for whatever an interviewer might ask:
- Gather information’s about the job.
- Identify your key competencies.
- Learn to think on your feet.
- Research yourself.
- Think about your strengths and weaknesses.
- Practice the interview beforehand.
Gather information’s about the job: This has to do with finding out information’s about the company and the position you are applying for. Start by reading and understanding the description of the job in the ad carefully. Research the organization’s website, explore it to get as many details as possible. Also, connect with people who already work in the organization. Then, use your research to consider potential questions that might come up as a way to check your understanding of the job position.
Identify your key competencies: Take a Look at the job description with understanding and identify the key competencies that you’ll need to deliver in that position effectively. E.g. will you need to demonstrate good communication skills, collaboration, or a positive attitude? Then use it to prepare some practice competence questions and answer them as you will do in the interview.
Learn to think on your feet: Interviewers most times ask the tough and tricky question to test how well you will perform under pressure. Thinking on your feet will help you to navigate tricky and tough questions that you may not be prepared for. This moment requires you to brainstorm answers, remain calm and cool-headed. Therefore before you answer a tricky question, take a deep breath and relax. Think about your response beforehand, and don’t start speaking until you are sure of what you want to say.
Research yourself: Here is all about you and yourself. Your reputation from your previous job, like the way you relate with your former colleagues and the kind of report your prospective employer will get if he verifies you from your previous company. Your activities on the online space and so forth. Are there things up there that could harm your career life? Research yourself properly before time.
Think about your strengths and weaknesses: Interviewers often ask questions about strengths and weaknesses. So, make a list of yours and be honest with it. When you talk about your strengths, focus on the ones that apply most to the position you are applying for, demonstrate how your strengths will help you to meet the organization’s needs and perform your task effectively. Also when talking about your weaknesses, be honest with it but keep your statements short and positive, and focus more on what you’re doing to overcome them.
Practice the interview beforehand: Practicing is a great way of knowing and remembering answers to interview questions. It can be in your favour to practice some interview questions with a partner to ensure you have your respond well polished at a standard you would be happy giving to the interviewer, and it also helps boost your self-confidence during the interview. If you trip off in your answers, focus on what you need to change so your answers can be smooth. Respond confidently even when you are under pressure. However, avoid giving scripted answers as this may leave you looking incompetent.
Finally, Be Yourself. Remember that you got this far by being yourself and showing off your personality through your CV (Curriculum Vitae) as it first meets your prospective employer. Bring your personality to life and show the reasons why you’re the person who’s being interviewed. They will respect you for showing who you are.