Whether you’re a student preparing for Campus Interviews, an intern looking for a job, or an employee looking to switch – these tips will make you stand out in an interview!
No matter how many times we have been interviewed, the nervousness, excitement, and minor anxiety before another one are but natural. Too much anxiety is an indication that you are underprepared, and it will most definitely affect your confidence and overall performance before the interviewer.
Here we have classified the tips into three categories for you. Read on for simple yet effective tips to go through the next time you have an interview scheduled!
Before the Interview
Know What You’re Looking For
One of the most important things to remember while interviewing for a position is to check (and check again!) the role that the company is offering. If it’s something you don’t have training in, are not interested in, or maybe don’t understand, make sure you know it before walking into the interview room.
You wouldn’t want to waste your and the interviewer’s time rejecting the job or getting rejected on these grounds. Remember that you can proceed to the interview if you are ready to go through training, or learn an entirely new skill for the job. Make sure you confirm the same with the interviewer.
It is crucial that you know the company, firm, start-up, or organisation that might potentially be your next workplace. It is essential that you know information like the products, services, and clients, among other things.
All of this is readily available on Google, the official website of the concerned organisation, news websites, and sometimes even Wikipedia!
Knowing the common questions and responding to them in real-time are two different scenarios. You may know everything you need to say and still struggle to find the correct words. Practice tends to help best in such cases.
You can have mock interviews with your friends and family or practice by yourself before a mirror. Multiple videos on the internet give you phrases and spoken language tips to improve your response time and other vital areas of appropriate interview language.
Plan. Your. Outfit. In. Advance.
There’s no better way to say it. Consider anything even slightly related to the interview – the role you’re applying to, the weather that day, commute time, your comfort, and anything else!
ning your outfit will save you much time (and a possible delay!), the stress in the morning, and the unaccounted fuss a random outfit might cause you.
Most firms will already have documents like your CV, Cover Letter, and references from your current or old job before inviting you to an interview. However, it would be best to carry all these documents in person in addition to relevant certificates from other courses, training, and your degrees.
During the Interview
”Before-time is On-time. On-time is late” is the go-to mantra you should follow even before entering the corporate world. Be at least 15 minutes early for your reporting time, ensuring enough buffer time to compose and hydrate yourself, go to the restroom if necessary, and settle down.
Doing this will give you extra time if you forget something, need to wait longer for a taxi, or get stuck in traffic.
Be Confident. Not Rude.
Many of us believe in ‘Fake it till you make it.’ It might prove helpful in some situations, but it’s a greater risk than it appears to be. Faking confidence might get you through the interview, but it can fail you in the office.
Another risk of overconfidence is that you come across as rude and therefore unfit to work in an otherwise healthy environment. Try to be as confident as you can without offending anyone, and stay humble.
Leave Scope for Spontaneity
While you prepare for your interview at home, make sure you always give the same answer in different ways and reform sentences. This ensures that you do not get stuck or freeze when the interviewer asks a question slightly differently.
The scenarios you considered during preparation may be slightly (or completely) different from a live interview – and memorised answers do not go well in such situations.
Candidates often feel intimidated by the authority of the interviewer. Do not shy away from connecting with your interviewer. It is advisable to maintain healthy eye contact.
Remember – less is more. Do not, in any case, stare endlessly into the eyes of the interviewer. You may just end up weirding them out and missing your shot at having that job!
Have a Natural Conversation
Try not to use too many fancy or complicated words, but also don’t use the vocabulary of a three-year-old. Familiarise yourself with the technical jargon of your field and interviews.
Remember that the interviewer assesses your personality rather than administering you a test. It is a conversation where the interviewer is trying to understand you to see if you fit well into their organisation. Keep it simple and be yourself.
Interview the Company
One of the most intimidating questions in an interview has to be ‘Do you have any questions for us?’ Most of us shy from asking anything. But there’s another way to handle the situation. Ask the interviewer if anything is holding them back from hiring you. This way, 1. you come across as a problem solver, and 2. If there is something to discuss, you get to address their concerns in real-time, increasing your chance of getting hired.
You can also ask questions like why this particular position is vacant, about the work culture in the organisation, their parameters for success, their strategy to prevent employee burnout, and other relevant questions that will get you a better idea of your potential workplace while making an impression on the interviewer(s) at the same time.
After the Interview
One fool-proof way to make sure you get noticed is by writing a post-interview email. You can politely thank the organisation for their time and say that you are awaiting a response. Mentioning that you are reachable for further help, clarifications, or discussions goes long.
These tips won’t matter unless you are honest, open to questions, and brave enough to stand your ground. May it be anything technical, financial, or even personal. Don’t be embarrassed to admit you don’t know or are not comfortable sharing a specific detail.
Remember that an interview is two sides getting to know each other before starting to work together. Don’t shy away, and be ready to walk away if you think it’s not the right fit for you.
Pro Tip: Do a Winner’s Pose (the one with both your hands in the air and mouth yelling ‘Yayyyy’) in front of the bathroom mirror just before you walk into the interview room. This will instantly boost your confidence and help you sail smoothly through the interview.
Visit oahfeo.com to book a meeting room so you and your friends or colleagues can rehearse with mock interviews with the correct environment and vibe!
You got this. All the best!