5 Steps for a Successful Job Interview
By Nina Syahira
May 21, 2015
Got a job interview to go to? Congratulations! You’re now one step closer to getting hired. Now, it’s time to prepare!
Planning is very important because you won’t be the only candidate applying for the position. If you really want the job, show your interest and start right away! Many people try their best to impress only during the interview thus, losing out on other windows of opportunities before and after meeting with their potential employer. It wouldn’t hurt to go the extra mile to tip the scale a little towards you as long as you’re polite about it.
The more you prepare, the less nervous you’ll be! Here are 5 steps for a successful job interview.
1. Confirm all job interview details beforehand
If you’ve been given the opportunity to set a date and time, consider a few options for the interviewer. Even though you need to be at your best during the interview, your potential employer would need to be focused as well. According to Glassdoor, the best timing is likely to be Tuesday at 10.30am – not too early in the day or week.
Not knowing your interviewers (and how many) can add to the anxiety. Eliminate the element of surprise that might unsettle you by asking first and check them out on their LinkedIn or company profiles if available.
2. Do a thorough background research of company
Have a basic knowledge of the job position you’re applying for as well as the company’s background information. Learn about the company’s impact in the industry and how the position you’re applying for contributes to it. Not only will this open up more topics for discussion, it also reflects well on your knowledge and skills.
3. Write a cheat sheet for answers
Many job interviewers go through a series of similar questions during the interviewing process. Look online for potential interview questions that can help you prepare the answers to even the most basic questions like “Tell me about yourself” and “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” The trick is to grab their attention within the first five minutes of the interview. Prepare interesting responses to those simple questions to set the tone of the session.
Another example is the behavioural interview questions like “What is your typical way of dealing with conflict?” Use the STAR approach: Situation (set context of story), Task (what you need to do), Activity (what you did) and Result (outcome of situation). This ensures that you speak coherently without being long-winded. Remember to have a few strong work related examples on hand.
Don’t memorise your answers word for word! Jot down your info in point form on paper or cue cards. Read through them while waiting for your interview or use them as guide during the session.
4. Be presentable & show confidence
Practise talking with a friend, to the mirror or camera and then perform an assessment. Is your body language okay? Are you smiling enough? How is your tone? Take time to improve in the way you speak and present yourself because it only takes 7 seconds to make a strong first impression.
Check your wardrobe and plan your outfit for the day. Imagine having no time to replace your pants that has no working zip!
During the interview, think positive and keep calm. When you are relaxed, being confident will be easy.
5. Send a thank-you note
It’s polite to acknowledge the fact that your potential employer has taken some time out of their normal routine to fit in an interview with you. Show gratitude by writing them an e-mail (bonus points for a handwritten letter!) within 24 hours, expressing your thanks as well as reinforcing your enthusiasm in the job position and employer. Impress them by including a couple of relevant talking points from the interview and elaborate briefly. Keep the message short and concise. If there has been more than one interviewer, do a personalised note for each interviewer.
Join the SAFRA Entrepreneurs’ Club for a chance to connect with industry leaders and entrepreneurs, attend business seminars and networking events and more!
Check out How to Decipher the Body Code to know more about the effects of body language in everyday social interactions!