We learnt how to build your resume so it gets past the scrutiny of the bots and helps getting your resume shortlisted sailing you into the next round, which is the interview.
Usually, from my research, it would take somewhere between 2 to 5 rounds of interview before you secure your dream job.
If you are in a technical domain, you are bound to go through one session to identify your technical prowess and the rest, would be for the interviewer to assess if you are the perfect fit out of all the other candidates who applied for the job.
Here are some of my top tips to ace your next interview.
Understand the basics
Let’s start with the absolute basics, what does the interviewer want to know about you?
Every interviewer is only trying his/her level best to make sure that they send the best candidates over to the next round of interview or want to ensure they get the best candidate lands the job.
The person across the table is out to judge you. They want to know, if you are a good fit for the role, the company and do you fit into the company’s work culture or not.
The interviewer judges every candidate in terms of knowledge about the subject and this carries a lot more importance in a technical field.
Your qualification gives you the edge over your subject and hence most of the times, unless you got lucky in the exams and just managed to scrape through without any knowledge of the subject, you are bound to clear your technical round.
What is most important are the other rounds of interviews where the candidate is assessed whether they fit the bill based on their personality, habits, behaviors, skills and character.
The interviewer will assess to identify, if you possess qualities and traits to add value to the organization, are you a people person and a team player, your emotional quotient, would you be able to adapt to the company’s culture, your confidence, your approach towards challenging situations, are you open to feedback etc.
Here are some of the best practices that would help you get through the interview process.
Always Research about the company
Spend time to research more about the company. Get to know a little about their history, if it was founded by an individual, try to learn a little about the founder. There are companies which wants their candidates to be aware of the company they intend to join and hence it is important to know a little history about the company.
Have an idea of all the products and services the company offers. Learn about some of the big milestones that the company has achieved.
Research about the company’s mission, how many countries they operate out of, their subsidiaries etc
You don’t need to go totally overboard with this, just get a brief idea of what the company is about.
Preempt your Interview Questions:
Take time to research on the most common interview questions. You can research online and make a list of the most common questions asked in interviews for the job that you’re applying for.
Plan your answers carefully and pay attention to the tone and the clarity of your responses.
Go over the responses a few times and refine them making sure it addresses the question, it sounds positive and it is clear enough so the interviewer understands it completely.
Do not try funny stuff like confuse if you cannot convince, all these looks good to be read and laughed at, however, these tricks never work in the real world.
Be honest with your answers, you do not want to land a job in the wrong place only to regret later.
Refresh the Fundamentals
It doesn’t matter how experienced you are or if you happen to be a fresher, you will be tested with the basics, so never lose track of that.
There is a possibility that with more advancement, we tend to incline more towards the present and there is a high possibility that the initial learnings take a back seat.
And if we are faced with a question from the fundamentals, we tend to get stuck. Always good to touch up on the basics because we have limited memory and our focus into the present would have drawn a veil over the past.
Explore more about the job description
You need to spend enough time exploring and understanding the job description. Remember, the interview is all about projecting your skills and your experience to portray yourself as the best candidate for the job.
So look at the job description in detail and plan on how you intend to present your achievements, your skills and your abilities to match the requirements of the job that you are applying for.
Turn on the spotlight on your achievements
Again, the interview is all about showcasing your abilities and there is no better way to do that, than to talk about your achievements.
Talk about the awards you have won or the number of times your efforts were recognized by your manager.
You can also mention the times you were able to sort out internal issues, create a new system or have some telling impact at your job.
If you are able to qualify with numbers, nothing like it.
Keep your answers crisp and to the point
No one likes to hear a long story where most of the information is not related to the question that was asked. So keep your answers short.
One trick is to give the most important piece of information, that answers the question in the beginning and then go on to explain yourself further. Take a moment to structure your answers, so that you get to the point quickly.
If you keep going around in circles or you don’t get to the point quickly, the interviewer would get the impression that you don’t know you’re talking about.
If you are unsure about a question, seek clarification
Don’t leave things to assumptions. If you are unsure about what the interviewer exactly meant, seek a clarification and have them rephrase. Else, you would be on a totally different track and your answers would be totally unrelated to the questions that the interviewer would have.
Sound formal and behave like a professional
This might not be the way we are in our personal life, but hey this is an interview, remember?
Sound formal and professional. Maintain a formal attitude right from the moment you enter the office.
Be respectful and professional to everyone right from the reception staff.
Little but of effort into your appearance always makes a difference. Make sure you dress well and go in well-groomed.
Choose good formal attire or a semi-formal one. Just because the company claims to have casual attire, doesn’t mean you become seriously casual in your appearance. Keep that for later.
Make sure you choose clothes that fit you comfortably.
Also, choose the right clothes that suit the weather as well, you don’t want to enter the office all sweaty or find yourself feeling the chills.
Follow up post the Interview.
Find out how you could get in touch with the interviewer so you can get in touch with them to figure out how the interview went.
In the event you find yourself falling short in some aspect, you can always make sure you learn something from the interview and prepare yourself better for the future ones. .
No experience is a bad experience if you learn from it.
In the event, you don’t crack an interview or if you have a few failures, do not lose heart.
Instead of feeling sorry for yourself or beating yourself down, learn from the experience and avoid those mistakes in the next interview.
The company is out to hire the best candidate who applies for the job. The company would obviously want someone who is knowledgeable, dependable, a team player, someone who can add value to the company and someone who is professional.
It is up to you to prove to the interviewers that you are best suited for the job. You have the knowledge, skills and the experience and that you meet all the requirements for the job.
So do your research, learn a bit about the company, their values, their achievements.
Spend time to understand the job description and the requirements.
Plan how you could present your experience, your qualifications and your skills to meet the requirements of the job.
Refresh yourself with the fundamental aspects of your domain.
In the interview, showcase your achievements, sound formal and be well-groomed.
Keep your answers precise and clarify questions if you are unsure.
Stay positive, every interview is an opportunity to learn.
Don’t be afraid to dream big, your only limit is the ones you set for yourself.
Get in touch with me, to help you achieve your career goals.