"Opportunities don't happen, you create them." — Chris Grosser.
The job market is a competitive space, as there is always a possibility of many candidates chasing a few positions. According to Glassdoor, an average corporate job attracts 250 applicants.
It is thus important to prepare well to increase your chances of success. But this is largely not the case. Many job seekers are not adequately prepared. According to Dr. Paul Powers, the author of Winning Job Interviews,
Job hunting is such an unpleasant task that most folks wait until something beyond their control forces them to make a move. Maybe it’s a RIF, a layoff, a plant closing, a merger, a product recall, etc.
This leads to many falling in the first stage of the interview process when the hiring manager evaluates interest in the role, preparedness, and potential to add value to the company.
To get it right, one must practice what one must do before, during, and after the interview process.
A hiring manager will invite you for a job interview if they believe you have the skills to succeed at their company. So how can you prepare for the job search process?
You will no doubt already have spent some time researching the company, the interview panel, and the questions they will likely ask. Now is the time to converge on this effort and focus on delivery.
Ask a friend to facilitate a mock interview using questions relevant to the position and the job description of the best candidate for the post, if possible. It will greatly help if you have always been interviewing.
Focus on your body language, quality of answers, and presentation. Pick your interviewer, someone who will boost your confidence with a pre-interview pep talk reminding you of your stand-out qualities.
After reviewing your research, you should prepare and write some questions for the interviewers. After the Interview, most hiring managers will ask if you have a question.
By having questions on hand, you can express additional interest by picking the interviewer's brains on essential career matters. You can further impress them with your knowledge of the company and job. For example, you can ask: "What is the company policy concerning professional development?
The way you look can give you an edge over other candidates. Pick a clean and neat professional outfit for the Interview. You want your potential employer to focus on your skills rather than your appearance, but it won't hurt to dress well for the occasion.
You naturally convey confidence and a positive attitude when you feel good about your own performance and appearance. You also need to note the workplace and office environment. Not all workplaces require you to wear a business suit.
Try to sleep at least 7-9 hours the night before your job interview. Feeling well-rested will help you start the day well and make you more focused and alert during the Interview. The same goes with food: Try not to go to the discussion on an empty stomach, or you'll be thinking about how hungry you are the entire time.
All your preparation has led to this day, and now success is within reach. So for you to get the job, you can try this;
Be Punctual: Timekeeping is essential, yet it's the most critical part of time management that any employer will want to see. Plan your journey well to ensure that you arrive early, not just five minutes but at least thirty minutes. This will allow you to collect your thoughts and stay calm and focused.
First impressions count, and as soon as you step onto your potential employer or hiring manager's premises, remember that you are being judged and act accordingly. Be polite to everyone.
The moment you have been waiting for arrives, the actual Interview. Keep the following in mind during the next steps of the interview process:
Be focused: The more focused you are during an interview, the more successful you will be. Focus on the question asked and thank you note answered it directly. The answers you've had are a beginning and a middle, intending real, tangible, and preferably positive results.
Be honest and authentic: try to represent everything about yourself honestly. Misrepresentation can destroy your reputation and prevent you from getting future opportunities.
For example, try not to:
During your first Interview, it's essential, to be honest as the interviewers can discover any misrepresentations, so save yourself misery and humiliation by being authentic and genuine. This will boost your chances for a follow-up make-up with the job seeker following the Interview.
On salary negotiations, and tips, you can learn more here.
Mind your body language.
A large percentage of how we communicate comes from our body language. Be aware of your non-verbal impressions like eye contact, hand gestures, handshake, posture, smile, and facial expressions. For each of these, you need to:
Handshake: Practice your handshake. Try out the Goldilocks approach: Don't crush the interviewer's hand, but don't give a soft, floppy handshake, either. Your handshake should be businesslike and firm. If your arms are sweaty, try drying them before shaking your interviewer's hand.
Posture: Ensure you sit straight with your shoulders back and your feet firmly on the ground. Crossing your legs if you feel more comfortable doing so is alright, but avoid looking too relaxed. It would be best to be poised and focused on the interviewer, ensuring you answered all questions to the best of your ability.
Eye Contact: Try and maintain good eye contact throughout the Interview. You might look away on occasion but, for the most part, maintain eye contact. It inspires trust in all that you say, and it also shows the confidence you have.
What happens post-interview, ideally within 24 hours of the interview, is as important as how you carry yourself.
Following up can be the difference between being called back for a second interview and getting hired.
So what must you do after every job interview? Here are some tips:
Send a thank you note to express your appreciation. You can write a letter via phone or a note via personalized email. Thank the interviewers for the chance and opportunity.
An example of a post-interview thank you note can be: "Thank you very much for availing me an interview opportunity today. I look forward to hearing about the next interview stage."
This should be done immediately after an interview while it's still on your mind. Note down key points or big questions asked, as well as your answers. This is significant in the first Interview, as they may be asked in the following interviews. This avoids repetition and also helps you add to your previous answers.
Patience is a virtue that cannot be downplayed. The waiting period from the company can be stressful, but you must remember that it's a process and might take time. Send your follow-ups and relax, knowing you did everything you could.
Are you preparing for an interview and feeling overwhelmed?
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Our coaches have extensive industry experience and can guide you through the interview preparation process. They can provide feedback on your resume and cover letter, help you practice answering common interview questions, and give you tips on making a great impression during the interview.
Contact us today to learn more.