Preparing for your dream job interview can be one of the most stressful situations in your career.
However, it is also one of the most important – often, the difference between two strong candidates is their level of preparation.
Whether you’re a fresh university graduate looking for their first job, or an experienced professional looking to take the next step in their career, this blog will equip you with the tools you need to prepare for and succeed in your job interview!
Before The Job Interview
So you’ve applied for your dream job, waited anxiously for the result, and received an email inviting you to a job interview – great!
However, the hard part starts now – you still need to ace the job interview and impress your future employer.
One of the best ways to achieve this goal is to start thinking like the employer.
Consider what type of candidate the recruiter is looking for; someone who’s ambitious, prepared, organised, and skilled.
Therefore, demonstrating these traits to the recruiter will prove to them that you’re the perfect candidate!
Preparing For An In-Person Interview
Here’s how you can prepare for your in-person job interview:
- Take the time to research the company before the interview; learn about the company’s culture, values, industry, and portfolio
- Ensure that you know when and where the interview is taking place
- Bring a paper copy of your CV, your cover letter, and any other relevant documents
- Prepare professional attire that matches the culture of the company you’re applying for; a smart casual outfit such as a formal shirt, suit trousers, and tie is usually a safe bet
Preparing For A Virtual Interview
Here’s how you can prepare for your virtual interview:
- Ensure that you present yourself correctly and professionally; virtual interviews are just as important as face-to-face interviews
- Set up your equipment in an area which looks professional and appropriate
- Download the interviewing software (Zoom, Microsoft Teams, etc) at least 24 hours before attending the virtual interview
- Test the interviewing software and your computer’s hardware (webcam, microphone, etc) before the virtual interview
- Consider setting up a backup device if any technical issues arise on the day of the interview
- Ensure that your devices are fully charged and that your Wi-Fi or internet connection is stable
- Log on to the interviewing software at least 10 minutes before the interview to prepare, set up, and ensure that you are not late
Follow these job interview preparation tips, and you’re certain to get the job!
During The Job Interview
Despite preparing extensively for your job interview, you still need to perform well in the interview itself.
If you’re nervous or unsure about how to answer specific questions, you could blow your chance of landing your dream job.
When you are in the interview, remain respectful, professional, and attentive towards the recruiters.
In almost every case, acting appropriately and remaining calm are the keys to passing a job interview.
However, you need to ensure that you have excellent, relevant responses to every question that an interviewer can ask you.
Common Job Interview Questions and Example Answers
Here are some examples of common interview questions and how you should answer them:
‘Please can you introduce yourself?’
- Provide a summary and overview of your relevant hard skills, education, work experience, and soft skills (personality, professionalism, organisation, etc)
- If your introduction is relatively short, consider adding a brief explanation of why you applied for the role, why and how your skillset matches the job requirements, and how the employer would benefit from hiring you
‘Why do you want to work for our company?’
- Explain how your skills match the job description
- Explain how the company is better than other competitors (company culture, future prospects, skilled employees, etc)
- Explain how you will develop your skills by working with the company (developing tech skills, using specific programs, etc)
- Explain how you plan on providing value to the company (hard-working, professional, always looking to learn and improve, high-quality work, etc)
‘What is your biggest weakness?’
- Do NOT mention a weakness that is part of the job description or job requirements
- For example, if you’re applying for a customer service role and you state that your biggest weakness is being polite, you are unlikely to get the job
- Pick a weakness that is relatable, inconsequential to your ability to perform the job, and fixable
- State that taken steps to improve your weakness and explain how you have improved in this area
‘What is your biggest strength?’
- Ensure that you pick a relevant strength that is a significant part of the job description or job requirements
- For example, if you’re applying for a retail position, stating that you are a strong communicator is likely to be beneficial as you’ll be expected to communicate effectively to customers and employees
‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’
- Explain that you’re looking to stay with the company long-term, as the employer has invested significant time and money into finding a great candidate
- Stating that you see yourself still at the company in five years shows the employer that you are worth investing in and that you’re committed and motivated to join the company
We hope you found this job interview preparation guide helpful and valuable!
Remember to put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes – display traits and skills that align with the job’s description, and you’ll receive the job offer of your dreams!