Throughout my career I have been employed in several companies. In between those jobs I have experienced countless job interviews during my job hunting undertakings. I even had a chance to be in the other side of the table doing the interviewing in one of my jobs where I was tasked to screen and interview candidates. So I have enough information to see the whole picture of the job interview process. Base on my experience and research, here are some pointers for you to pass your next job interview.
“If you failed to plan, you’re planning to fail.”
As with any endeavor, preparation is key. Never come to a job interview unprepared. Interviewers themselves prepare for the interview. They don’t just sit there and ask any question that comes in their minds. That rarely happens. Believe me that most questions the interviewer asks are predetermined and deliberately arranged. Now you’re goal as the interviewee is to try to lay down all those possible questions beforehand and try to answer them. If you already have a number of job interviews before, you notice the uncanny ways on how questions turn up during interviews. Most of the questions pertain to the same basic things. There may be some technical or surprising questions once in a while but the more standard questions should be no problem for you since you can prepare for them. For example, questions involving the following would be probably asked in all job interviews: how you tell about yourself, your strengths, weaknesses, goals, reasons why you left your previous jobs, what did you do in your last jobs, why we should hire you, what are you looking for in a job or company, define success or failure, how do you handle stress or conflicts. These are just a few of the most common questions you will likely be asked which you can prepare for. Every interviewer has his own way of wording things so don’t expect the exact same question but rather the thought of the question will likely be the same. It’s impossible to prepare for all possible questions but feel free to list all you can think of and answer them in advance.
“Practice drives you closer to perfection.”
This is something interviewers seldom do. They may prepare their questions but I doubt if they ever practice the act of interviewing itself. Maybe because some interviewers are really experienced in what they do and interviewing just comes out naturally for them. But for the interviewee, you must practice. After you have listed all the possible questions you can think of and finished answering them with all your heart, it’s time to put them in action. Go to your room or someplace where no one can disturb you and read the questions and answers aloud. Yes, you have to pretend that you are asking the questions and at the same time answering them as if the actual interview is happening. At first you can read all you have written until such time that you can answer the questions without looking at the paper or without memorizing them and your answers just flows naturally. That really is the goal of practicing. To be able to think and act naturally. Do not memorize anything and appear that you were rehearsed. The idea is to practice so you will not be surprised by the common interview questions.
“The use of knowledge is power.”
Probe simply means to research or investigate. What are the things you should study or search for? You may want search about the company you are applying for. The position and job description you are applying for or even about the person who will interview you if known. Interviewers may have researched about you previously. That is why they got your resume and you are up for an interview. So they may have the upper hand on this department. They have known many things about you at this point and it would be nice if you know them also. Go to the website of the company you are applying for. Browse for their history, pick some keywords they use in their core values, mission and vision statements. The idea is to familiarize yourself on how the company presents itself. You can even adapt your answers in the interview to those keywords they use in the site. As for your job position or title, look for some online discussion boards and forums and pick up some tips there. As for your interviewer, if you were informed beforehand as in the case of a second or final interview, there is really nothing wrong in looking at his public profile online. Go to LinkedIn and see if he has a profile but don’t connect with him yet. Just browse with no particular reason. Most of the information about him would probably be private anyway.
Those are just the few things I always do in every job interview. And as you get better in your interview experience, you may create tips of your own. Quite frankly, even though I’m too prepared, I still get nervous every time. I guess it’s just natural and it helps you to have a “do your best” response when you feel a bit nervous. I wish you all the best in your job search. An Interview is nothing more than a conversation except that it has a great value in it – getting hired.
How about you?
How do you pass job interviews?