If you’ve put effort in your CV/resume and you’re confident with your qualifications, chances are you’ll soon receive calls from your targeted companies to come in for a face-to-face interview. Normally a candidate is selected for an interview session is because one of these factors got the attention of recruiters: the right degree or professional background, your impressive portfolio, your valuable working experience or just asking for the right salary range.
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So you’ve at least one good reason which qualified you for a few minutes with your potential employer. It’s a golden opportunity which takes you one step closer to your dream job, and we bet you don’t want to ruin the chance. Are you willing to walk the extra mile to ace the interview and get the job?
Here’s an inside scoop on how to get the job, from the interviewer’s point of view.
Recommended Reading: 7 Great Ways To Get Your Resume Noticed
Before the Interview
A wise man once said, "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."
Getting yourself prepared here means getting everything prepared – physically and mentally. Try to familiarize yourself with a brief but complete portfolio which can leave a good impression to the interviewer. Apart from that, here are other aspects you should look into:
1. What Are you really good at?
What are the soft skills and technical know-how that you’ve mastered? Got it? Ok, now what is it that really sets you apart from all the rest, who presumably have the same skills and know-how? It’s what flows through your blood and is wired into you that are the main selling points.
These points give yourself the advantage, and will help convince the interviewer to pick you.
2. What Have You Achieved?
Yes, you need to clarify what you have done, completed, achieved, contributed etc. Divide this category into group projects and individual work.
While individual projects may show your prowess and proactive side, successful group projects hint on your ability to work in a team. It also shows that you acknowledge the hard work of team members and therefore know how to harness them for large projects. That’s a plus, right there.
3. What Are You Passionate About?
The simplest way to identify real passion when it is work-related is what are the things that you would most likely do even when you’re not paid to do it. If you have something you are passionate about and it is related to the company and can evoke resonance within the company, we want you.
4. Circumventing trick questions
While seemingly innocent, a few of these questions have an ulterior motive – why did you choose this company? Why did you quit your last job? Why do you think you deserve this position? What is your weakness/strength? They all reveal a part of you that interviewers cannot find on paper, so think the answers to these questions through before you answer them.
Also, research on the range of your expected salary and inform your interviewer confidently when asked about it. If it is not to excessive, and you are a keeper, they will give it to you.
5. Do A Background Check
“Know your enemy and know yourself and you can fight a hundred battles without disaster.” – Sun Tze. Of course, the company is not your enemy, but it is always a must to understand the company as much as possible before you go for an interview. Understanding a company can start from the company’s business nature, the person-in-charge (CEO/founder), its vision, mission, culture, target customers, etc.
Bonus Tip: Suggest New Ideas
You may also want to prepare 2 to 3 constructive suggestions for the company, such as marketing strategies or product feedbacks. Two or three is a good number since zero means you didn’t prepare at all, and more than 3 means you’re overselling yourself and it may offend the interviewer if they are not really open-minded.
9 Tips to Ace the Interview
Prepared for the interview? Here are nine more tips to take note of:
1. We all love cheerful and friendly people, don’t we? Smiling brings the positive energy within yourself to the interviewer and it simply cheers up the atmosphere.
2. Greeting. Stand up (if you’re sitting) as the interviewer enters the room. Greet the interviewer with a firm handshake.
3. Most interviewers can easily judge your capabilities via conversation. Be humble when you introduce yourself and be ready to admit that you don’t know "everything".
4. Be confident, not arrogant. Don’t oversell yourself. Bear in mind that interviewers usually are more experienced than you if not in the industry, then in the nature of the company. Plus, they’ve probably met good, bad and ‘uglier’ copies of you long before you finished middle school.
5. If an interviewer starts talking or asking questions, pay attention and listen intently. Your body language is important: don’t lean back, sit properly; don’t cross your arms; don’t fidget; don’t play with the pen or click it mindlessly – it’s distracting.
6. Take cues from the interviewer’s body language too. If they look like they’ve lost you somewhere, ask if there is a problem before continuing. Be proactive.
7. If you’re asked, you can also share your opinions about the future trends of the company’s products or marketing strategies. This can easily impress an interviewer but only if you are well-prepared.
8. Under no circumstances should you complain about past supervisors or companies you have worked with, even when the interviewer themselves do so. If you would complain about your past employers, you would complain about future ones too.
9. Send a thank you email on the same day and also mention the reasons you think you fit the position. If you don’t get a reply, try again after 3 to 5 working days. Every employer likes the ‘never give up’ spirit. If it’s about your dream job, don’t compromise.
We believe daily improvements are actually much more important than the guidelines above. Afterall, the success rate also depends on your qualifications for a particular position and a reasonable expected salary.
Take each interview seriously and we hope the tips in this post will help you leave a great impression on the interviewers, and more importantly, get you the job.