Getting an interview invitation from a company that you are applying for is proof that they see initially you as a good fit for the role — still, it is a must for you to prepare and do your homework to ace that job interview and secure the post.
5-step guide in doing your homework for an upcoming job interview
There are no one-size-fits-all method in preparing for a job interview, but there are certainly sure-fire ways for you to be better equipped when you face the hiring managers and your potential employers.
1. Read and understand the job description
Not understanding the scope of the job is a mortal sin for candidates, especially in highly technical fields like health, engineering, and finance. For you to convince hiring managers that you are qualified for the role, you must have a thorough understanding of the needs and requirements listed under the job description.
Job descriptions are usually included in job listings and they serve as a guide to potential applicants about the scope of the role and the skills needed. You will be able to show your strengths if you can actually relate your skills and experience with the tasks involved in the role. Even if you are applying for your first job, you can correlate some of the tasks to real-life experiences you have had.
2. Research about the company and its businesses
A job application is a two-way street — you must be eager to know about your potential employer just as much as they want to know about you. Start with the company website. Oftentimes, you will find all the basic things about your potential employer in their official website, including their history, vision, and philosophy.
Some companies even share their organizational structure in their sites. It is also a must that you have a rough idea of what the company does:
- Does it provide services?
- What products does it sell?
- Which industry is it in and what type of company is it?
You can also check out their social media pages to get updated about company events, news coverage, and even employee testimonials.
It also pays to be aware of the issues concerning the industry the company is in. Be prepared to be asked about your opinions on current events.
3. Know your interviewer
Most of the time, recruiters provide the names of the interviewers when they send invites to applicants. This is not particularly necessary, but it would be good if you can do a little background search about your interviewers. Google and LinkedIn are reliable sources of information that can help you determine what your interviewers’ roles are in the company — this will help you anticipate how the interview will go.
Whatever information you get can be a great conversation starter for you and your interviewer.
4. Prepare your selling points
One of the most common job interview preparation tips you can get is knowing your strengths — you will need to highlight your skills and experience in every chance you can get when your interviewer asks you questions. There are some jobs, for instance, which do not rely on actual college degrees but on experience. In such cases, it is beneficial for you to sell your experiences in your chosen field to gain advantage.
It would also be to your benefit to highlight some of your skills that might be beyond the scope of the role — this can give your employer a glimpse of your potential for promotion in the future.
5. Jot down your questions about the role and the company
As mentioned earlier, a job interview is a conversation between you and your potential employer not an interrogation. See to it that you list any questions that would help you further understand the role and the company. Some of the questions you can ask are the following:
- What will the typical day look like for me when I get accepted for the role?
- What are some of the challenges that I may face in this role?
- What are the key performance indicators set for this role?
- How will the rest of the hiring process play out?
Some additional tips to help you get ready for the job interview
Once you have done your homework, it is time to prepare yourself physically and mentally for the interview. Here are some tips that can help you get ready:
1. Rehearse your answers to the commonly asked questions. – “Tell us about yourself.”; “Why are you applying for the job?”; “What are your strengths and weaknesses”; “How do you handle pressure”; and “Why should the company hire you over other candidates” are some of the questions that you should already have an answer for when job hunting.
2. Practice introducing yourself and answering questions in the mirror. This will help you build confidence when you face your interviewers.
3. Review your resume. Print your resume and make sure that you know everything stated in it by heart.
4. Keep your communication lines open. If you need further information about the logistics of the job interview, do not hesitate to contact your recruiter. Confirm the time and the location of the interview. If possible, be in the office early.
5. Be positive and enthusiastic. You should see to it that you face your interviewers with a positive and can-do attitude. Optimism exudes confidence, which will help you give good impression to your potential employers.