No matter where you are along your career path, interviews can be difficult and nerve-wracking experiences. Fully qualified professionals for an exceptional role may not be experts in "selling" themselves. To help job seekers combat common interview jitters, we present our top tips and tricks for preparing to excel in a job interview for a more successful outcome.
Research the company you are interviewing with
This may seem obvious, but it would alarm many how frequently candidates for a position show up for a job interview having done no research on the company for which they are interviewing. Review the company's website, find mentions of them in the news, view their leaders on LinkedIn, find out about any major projects they are involved with, and ask your network for their perceptions about the business. Show the hiring managers that you are familiar with them and their reputation to help you stand out from other candidates.
Prepare a list of questions for your interviewer
When the hiring manager asks whether you have any questions about the role, the company, or anything in-between, you want to have more to say than "not that I can think of right now". What is really being asked is, what interests you about the opportunity and whether you are able to apply your skills to the company. Write down several probing questions about the role you're interviewing for that are specific to your capacity as a professional. Ask about the company culture and the DE&I issues that matter most to you. This is how you show them that you are considering whether this is the job for you rather than the other way around.
Practice your answers to common interview questions
If you've ever interviewed before, you know there are certain questions that come up in most and have answered them before. Practice makes perfect, and the time you spend perfecting your responses would be well spent. List the questions you anticipate whether from experience or research and write out how you would respond to them. This exercise provides the opportunity to consider what you will say and correct yourself as you go along. Consider the most important points you want to make to cover your answer thoroughly without stumbling. Read it out loud alone or with another person until you are happy with the information you include, until it feels natural and easy to deliver.
Describe your experience accurately
Many exceptional professionals are hindered with "I'm not good at bragging about myself" and lose opportunities to excel. To the contrary, some people over-embellish their skills and exaggerate their abilities. Hiring managers and recruiters are trained to read between the lines during an interview. Misleading an interviewer is a sure way not to get the job, just as being too modest is missing an opportunity to be considered. Discussing your successes, learnings, abilities, and experience accurately is the best way to go.
Ask for clarification on their questions if needed
Terms and vernaculars vary from company to company, industry to industry. In an interview it can be hard to vocalize a lack of understanding about a topic, but not to do so would be a mistake. A miscommunication can lead you to answer a question that you know incorrectly. Asking for clarification shows an interviewer that you are interested in being clear and concise in your communications on a team. This is true in real-life work situations and is a reflection of your approach to work.
Know what salary you want
Times have changed, and in 2022 the topic of salary is just as likely to come up as not in the earlier stages of the interview process. Who should bring it up first is still a delicate matter of opinion, but you want to have an answer ready. Research in advance what salary is average for the position for which you are interviewing, compare your skills and experience, and come up with a number, plus or minus $5,000 to $10,000. If you are asked, you will be able to answer without hesitation. If your expectations and the company's budget are too far apart then you may shake hands (virtually) and part with a good relationship. If you are close, you may be able to negotiate. Decide in advance what the absolute minimum you will accept is, and be prepared to walk away if your needs are not able to be met by the company.
At Computer Futures our recruitment consultants have built up excellent relationships with our clients and so we’re able to help guide you in your interview. We don’t just offer generic recruitment advice. Our relationships with hiring managers allows us to identify what questions are likely to be asked, what particular managers may want to hear, and can offer you the best tips to impress your interviewer!
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