This concept focuses on helping you impress your potential employers and ace the interview, all of which constitutes a major step forward towards reaching your purpose.
An interview is a familiar term that refers to a process by which a candidate’s suitability is determined for a position or job. A formal interview is the de-facto industry standard by which employers evaluate applicants’ credentials. The job interview is crucial, if not the most crucial stage of the Job application process. Navigating what is oftentimes, the muddy waters of job interviews will require all the help you can get. Fortunately, we have made a carefully curated list of resources and key concepts to help you ace your next job interview.
What to Expect in a Job Interview
Normally, if you’re shortlisted for an interview, it means your application passed some selection criteria. In essence, we can say that your resume has fulfilled its purpose somewhat – which is to get you an Interview. Get your foot in the door.
There are several interviews format your potential employer may use to evaluate you. Some of which may seem very different from each other. In today’s digital world, hiring experts may choose to conduct preliminary rounds of the interview by a telephone call or a video call. This is then normally followed up by an in-person interview where the applicant and the hiring manager(s) are both physically in the same room. Each has its pros and cons, but all three share a similar trait in that it is a conversation between an applicant and the company’s representative – and that can only mean a good thing.
Understanding What is Expected of The Applicant
The hiring manager expects a lot from you. The interviewer reads your every move, as soon as you walk in through the door! Never miss the chance to make a good first impression as you’ll never get a second chance.
Concepts like The 3 Ps of Job Interviewing, when put into good practice positions you to make a good first impression and also, keeps your name in the thoughts of the decision-makers well after the interview exercise itself.
Now, I know saying ‘prepare’ now almost sounds like a cliche but again; When has preparation ever hurt anyone’s chances? So be prepared.
You prepare for:
- What to wear: Nobody has ever got the job because they wore the right clothes to an interview, but dressing inappropriately is a sure way to dent your chances. Dress to impress. But Keep things professional and simple. Your appearance does tell the interviewer something about you.
- How to get there: I’m sorry but, a no-show from you on your appointment date automatically equates to a no-hire from them.
Do you know the address? Are you driving yourself? What’s the weather going to be like on that day? What about the traffic reports? Have you identified a backup route just in case? You have to have a plan for all contingencies so you don’t plan to fail.
What to bring:
- Resumes: It’s always expected that you come with copies of your resume.
- Portfolio/Samples: This is especially important for job seekers in the creative industry such as graphics design or advertising.
- References: If a candidate impresses during the interview, the recruiter may request for references on the spot.
- Identification: This one is a no-brainer but still worth mentioning for emphasis.
- Questions: Want to prove you are enthusiastic about the job? Have a list of carefully prepared questions to ask your interviewer.
- Pen and Paper: You may want to take notes to document important information and refer to them later. Just don’t overdo it and forget to make eye contact. Needless to say, the last thing you want to do is to have to ask your interviewer for a pen or paper during the exercise. So, bring yours and bring more than one!
- Folders and a bag: Folders to keep everything nice and organised. And a bag to carry everything with.
The structure of the interview you encounter can be greatly influenced by how technical the role is. Some have identified as much as 14 different types of interview formats hiring managers have utilised to evaluate candidates. Regardless of the format you encounter, hiring managers evaluate applicants well beyond qualifications or what is stated on their resumes. So, don’t be surprised if your conversation with the interviewer comes off as a behavioural and personality type questionnaire. You should expect it.
Questions commonly ask no matter the format adopted includes:
- Why should we hire you?
- Why do you want to work here?
- What are your weaknesses?
- What are your hobbies?
- What are your strengths
- What differentiates you from the other candidates applying for the job?
- What are your goals?
- What can you do for us?
- What was your experience like working for your formal boss or employers?
- What would your last boss say about you?
There are so many of them. With detailed preparation, you should have ready-made answers to all of these common interview questions. Getting acquainted with some model answers is a good preparation guide towards a hitch-free presentation. This goes a long way towards getting you the job. However, take it as what it is: just a model you can use to help formulate your answers. Let your answers be your version – true to your Ikigai and purpose.
The fact that many candidates don’t follow-up after the traditional interview is more reason why you should. Following up gives you another opportunity to leave an impression for the decision-makers to ponder about. You can also see it as an opportunity to clarify the areas you had difficulty with during the interview proper.
How to follow-up with a potential recruiter
Send a thank-you note or email
Sending a letter of gratitude to everyone who interviewed you, thanking them for their time spent on discussing with you is a worthy investment known to yield returns. You always want to take advantage of every opportunity to stay in touch with a potential employer.
Personalise this letter as much as possible. Remember the names of each of your interviewers, don’t make the mistake of mixing up the names. Reiterate your enthusiasm for the job and reconnect your values to the organisation’s needs.
Remember, the interview is just one stage in the job-hunting process. Albeit a key one. Adequate attention should be given to it just like the process of writing a resume or identifying the most important things to you.