Congratulations! Your CV and Cover Letter have done a great job for you! The fact that you are invited to an interview, though, does not mean that you are appointed to the position. Now you need to prepare so as to keep the interest of your upcoming employer on you.
Research of the company
Although the research will take some time, do not underestimate it as this way you indicate your knowledge and interest towards the organization which could be a clear designation of you among all other applicants.
Learn as much information as you can about the background, products, services, mission, objectives and projects of the company. This will help you and further convince you whether you want to invest your future in this organization. Your survey can raise questions that you can set at an appropriate time during the interview.
Moreover, the survey should include certain preparation for salary as they invariably will ask about the expectations you have.
Use various online resources for determining the scope of appropriate payment considering the type and level of the position you apply for.
Pay attention on your clothes. Avoid strictly formal or highly eccentric garments. Do not wear a skirt that is too short or too low-cut neckline as you can get a negative effect. Be natural.
Main question types
Perhaps you will have about an hour or even less to express yourself, to show you are confident enough and posses those knowledge and skills that meet not only the requirements of the vacant position but also the objectives of the organization. Proper preparation on typical issues will lower stress and comfort you being sure to reveal your most powerful strengths. You might be the most qualified applicant among your competitors, but may not be able to impress the interviewer because of:
- Incomplete or bad reaction;
- Too many „hmmm…“ and „Ааа …“;
- Long pauses;
- Anxiety due to lack of accurate preparation.
That is why you should not underestimate the preliminary preparation. All it can do is to lead to the desired result, namely a proposal for employment.
Regardless of how the interview will be conducted, the interviewers are trying to obtain information on the following aspects:
- Why are you here? (i.е. what has attracted you);
- What could you contribute to the organization with?
- What distinguishes you from others that might do the same?
- Would you cooperate with the team?
- Can the company fulfill your salary requirements?
There are four main types of questions
Traditional – standard questions pointed at the objectives, pros and cons, education, working experience, skills, etc.
- How would you describe yourself?
- Tell me what you know about our company?
- What have you stimulated you to apply in our company?
- What are your strengths / weaknesses?
- Describe how you imagine the ideal job?
- Could you describe your long-term objectives and tasks?
- What distinguishes you apart from other applicants?
- How would you evaluate your ability for managing conflicts?
Situational – The interviewer describes a hypothetic situation or a task related to the position that you apply for and you have to demonstrate how you will manage the situation or accomplish the task.
- Your colleague is unable to complete the projects within the time settled that consequently reflects your work. What would you do?
- Describe how would you manage your work if you have a serious disagreement with your colleague or manager?
Another type of preparation is to think upon the following questions – who, what, when, where, why and how. A preliminary kind of planning can surely help you to make a brilliant appearance:
- Who would you contact if…..?
- What would you do if…..?
- When would be appropriate to…..?
- How would you organize…..? Or how would you react if…..?
Behavioral – more and more employers put an emphasis on these questions, therefore, you should not undermine these. Your response should include description of past situations, actions and results.
- Give an example for a situation when you faced difficulties and describe the way you handled it?
- Describe some projects or ideas (not necessarily your own) which you have been carried out successfully thanks to your efforts. How have you organized your work?
- Tell them about a case in which you had to handle many responsibilities and tasks but you have not had sufficient time for all of them. How did you manage?
Use the three-step method for responding to behavioral issues.
- Describe briefly the particular situation or task;
- Mentally make a list of all actions you had to undertake and describe those to the interviewer;
- Share the results of these actions in way you can distinguish yourself.
A comprehensive response should include all the above-mentioned three steps.
Formal – these questions are usually asked at the end of the interview and include:
- Expectations about your future payment?
- Since when could you start working?
At the end of the interview
Most of the interviewers give you the opportunity to ask questions if you have any. This is a sign for the end of the interview and still, you have the chance to make your Big impression. It is central that you have preliminary prepared questions for the two reasons mentioned below:
- This gives additional information on which you may decide whether you still want that job in case you are proposed to;
- Questioning indicates a higher level of interest, and also the fact that you have taken a serious note on the work and the company.
- When the latest could I expect news from you?
- Are there any possibilities and programs for training and further qualification of employees in the company?
After the interview
Still, in our country, a rare practice after an interview is for the applicant to send a Thank You letter to the interviewer. Let us not forget that it also has its own contribution, though. Type it short, but once more confirm your interest to the position you apply for. Summarize your strengths and express gratitude for the attention and time.
Do not go unprepared to an interview. This might be your chance to implement in your chosen field.