How to prepare for a job interview

You finally got the call. The call that granted you a shot at the next level: the job interview.

Job interview - How to prepare

Congrats! Now you have to prepare what you are going to say, do and how you’re going to act. But don’t panic, we have the ultimate guide to be cool and confident. Here is how you prepare for a job interview.

There’s usually three rounds of interviews. The first one is mostly about getting to know you as a person and get a rough overview of your skills. The second is the hardest; you need to be prepared to get challenging questions about technology and tasks in that one. The third talk is the final one before they make their decision, and kind of a checkup on the impressions you’ve made so far.

This guide will prepare you for the first interview, which is kind of relaxed and informal. Stressing out about this one is a waste of energy!

Do your research!

Start by looking into the company’s future goals and plans. Conducting the interview with this in mind will make you seem like a good long-term investment. You should also be ready to talk in depth about the industry, the organization, and the position you are applying for.

Use the company’s website, their annual report, and newspaper/business magazine articles to gather as much information as possible.

Anticipate what the interviewer will ask

It’s best to prepare for a wide variety of questions by thinking about your own career goals, long-term plans, past successes, and work strengths, but you should also brace yourself for the deceptively simple questions that most employers like to throw at their interviewees.

Some of these questions can be: “What is your biggest weakness?”; “Why do you want this job?”, “Why did you leave your other job?”, “ Where do you see yourself in five years?” “What’s your biggest accomplishment?”.

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Think of questions to ask the interviewer

Participating actively during the interview gives a good impression of your level of interest in the job. It’s a good idea to come prepared with at least three thought-provoking questions to ask your interviewer.

These can be: “ What are the chances of professional growth in this job?” or seem interested in the interviewers position “How long have you worked here?”

What to bring to the interview

Something to make notes on: this shows that you came to the interview prepared and that you are interested in what the employer has to say. It also helps to have something to note on so that you can remember important company information, questions or names. If you forget your notepad at home, ask for a pen and paper, it shows interest.

A note with the name of the interviewer: Learn your interviewer’s name and job position before going to the interview. You’ll find it on the job listing or an email signature. But remembering names is hard, spare yourself some awkwardness and write it down in your notes.

We’re in 21st century so you don’t have to bring documents to an interview. But be prepared to orally summarize your CV so their eyes can free themselves from the computer screen and a more natural conversation can occur.

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Practice interview etiquette

How to greet: A firm handshake might be awkward. Just shake their hand however you like. Then introduce yourself and be prepared for a little smalltalk. Might be smart to plan something in advance that is more interesting than the weather.

How to respond to questions: Listen carefully and take time to phrase your responses well. Be brief and don’t ramble on, but make sure you answer what is asked, keep focus and highlight your skills. And of course, have good manners; don’t interrupt the interviewer or laugh of silly questions. The last one might be hard..

How to close the interview: Towards the end of the interview let the hiring manager know that you think the job is an excellent fit and that you are very interested in the job. It’s appropriate to ask what the next step in the hiring process will be and when you might expect to hear back for them. Finally, thank the interviewer for the time they spent interviewing with you.

Thank you email: This might not be necessary, but taking the time to say thank you not only shows that you appreciated the interview, it also gives you an opportunity to reiterate your interest in the job. In addition to saying thank you you can refer to anything the interviewer mentioned that enhanced your interest and summarize why you think the job is a good match and why you’re a strong candidate for the job. However: don’t overdo it! You don’t want to look like a “kiss ass” either.

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