How to prepare for a job interview?
Both the candidate and the employer must pass the interview: the best alliances happen when the sympathy is mutual. While recruiters are updating the latest vacancies this year, we’re figuring out how to keep up with important interview stages.
Before heading off to your next interview, ask yourself four questions.
- What kind of job do I want to get?
- What does the company looking for in their candidates?
- What knowledge and skills are needed to do this job?
- What does the company offer? Do they suit me?
Some of the answers are in the job description and on the company’s website. Write down the questions that remain, and be sure to ask them at the interview.
Don’t rely only on your appearance
A couple of years ago, you could come across advice like this one: “buy a good suit for no less than £2000” or “pay attention to the details – an expensive watch, a leather briefcase, Parker”. Now more and more companies are abandoning a strict dress code. And a too formal look can even give you a disadvantage.
Sometimes on the company’s websites or on its pages on social networks, you can find employees’ photographs. If this is the case, consider it when choosing clothes before the interview. But remember, the most important thing is to feel calm and confident.
Anna, HR manager of an IT company, says: “After the doors closed behind the candidate, several employees approached me with the question: who is this VIP? Even our team leaders wear jeans and sneakers. Therefore, I instructed the candidate: the next meeting is “no ties”, a less formal style. He received the information, and the meeting went well. “
Keep an eye on the atmosphere and potential colleagues
Arrive to the office 10-15 minutes early. This is necessary to take a little breath and catch the company’s atmosphere, which neither the vacancy text nor a beautiful motivational poster will convey. What do you see: a business level environment? Dramatic intensity? Big gatherings and a group smoke break? Look around and ask yourself: Do I want to be here every day?
In 10 minutes, many interesting things can happen in the lobby: a casual conversation about a delay in pay or how the analytics department remained at work until 11 pm, the unexpected rudeness of secretaries when communicating with customers on the phone.
Hint: Use this in your interview as an excuse to talk about salary delays and working hours.
What tasks will I face? Decision-making level? Which team?
Why is the vacancy open? What is the history of its replacement?
What are the criteria for evaluating the work results?
Hint: After the interview, ask yourself a question: “Am I interested in this company and their offer? Do I understand everything? “
There will be some awkward questions. Reasons for looking for a job, conflicts with a manager, failures – it is important for an employer to make a complete picture of your experience.
Be honest, but don’t go negative: talk about the previous leader and the company either neutrally or well. Don’t be fooled: the market is smaller than it looks, and the interviewer maybe a friend of your former boss. Many recruiters are fact-checking. Suppose you claim that you left your previous job due to layoffs, and your former employer’s website already has a vacancy for your position. In that case, the recruiter will suspect that layoffs are not the problem.
Be prepared to ask questions about your accomplishments and failures. Telling about the latter shows your decision-making level, responsibility, and whether you know how to learn from mistakes.
Agree on feedback
It is better to end the meeting with the question: “When will you answer?”
You are given a specific deadline: “We will make a decision in two weeks.” Specify what to do if you do not receive a call on Friday: can you call or email yourself? Due to the large load or difficulty with the choice, the answer may be delayed.
Deadline: “If we do not call back within three business days, the vacancy is closed.” This option is often encountered when recruiting for mass positions: salespeople, TV operators.
Sometimes candidates use the technique “I have an offer”: at a meeting they tell that they already have a couple of proposals on hand, so they want to receive an answer within the working week. It might work, but reliable employers rarely make decisions quickly. If the company is responsible for choosing an employee, and not just “plugging the hole”, the negotiation process can take several weeks or even months. The average hiring period on Google, for example, is six months or more. And an attempt to speed up the process would rather ruin the situation.
There is a joke that a successful sales manager is happy with nine unsuccessful calls: according to statistics, he is lucky in 10% of cases, which means that the 10th call will be successful. A good job is rarely found from the first attempt. Be confident and even a bit picky: you will find a good one!