How to prepare for job interviews

Job interviews are always tough, whether you are applying for your first job or changing careers. The pressure to impress the interviewer and present oneself as the best candidate for the applied position can be stressful, causing anxiety, and nervousness affecting performance. If you are not prepared for a range of questions or don’t know how to reply to an unpredictable question, things can get challenging. So preparation is the key to crack a successful interview. It helps you provide satisfactory answers to all the questions and make a great impression. Also, a lack of experience or limited experience in a new job market makes it difficult to handle certain situations. So to survive the interview, you need some tips and tricks to beat the competition.

  1. Research about the company- Learn as much as you can about the company you’re talking about, including its vision, values, history, products and services, competitors, and the latest news and events. Visit the company’s website. A business website is a good place to start your search. Social media monitoring can provide valuable information about a company’s culture and reputation. Find company profiles on platforms like LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook to read posts, reviews, and comments from current and former employees, customers, and partners. Explore the latest company news to understand the current state of the company and recent events such as new product launches, mergers, and acquisitions, or financial results. Check company reviews, websites such as Glassdoor and Indeed may provide anonymous feedback from current and former employees, including information about company culture, work-life balance, and management style. Chat with current or former employees: Ask current or former employees to talk about their experiences at your company on LinkedIn. This will give you valuable insight into your company’s culture and work environment. Finally, the company’s competitors are researched to understand the industry environment and the company’s position within it. This will prepare you for questions about how you can contribute to the success of their business. By taking the time to research the company in detail, you can demonstrate your knowledge and enthusiasm during the interview and show that you are the right candidate for the company.
  2. Read the job description carefully- Knowing about the position you are applying for in the company, will help you understand the key responsibilities, qualifications, and skills required for the job. It also helps you to understand whether you will be happy for the role you are interviewing for. It helps you prepare a strong cover letter or resume for the interview. It aids in your job performance based on your potential and the company’s expectation. Take notes while reading the job description, as it will help you formulate possible interview questions and read fully to understand the description properly. Thus, it reduces the chances of rejection and awkward situations during an interview where you might have very little to say about the job you are applying for. Look for specific skills and specializations the company is looking for, and make sure you have the required qualification before attending the interview. The job description can help you analyze the company’s value system and see whether it aligns with your value system or not. The language used in the job description may depict the culture of the company, if the language is very formal, the company may be more traditional, and if it is casual the company may be more relaxed. If the job description includes keywords, try to use these keywords/phrases in your application to show your professionalism. If some parts of the job description are unclear ask for clarifications, to convey your interest and engagement in the job.
  3. Power dressing- power dressing is used in the corporate world to boost confidence. It makes you feel powerful and confident at the same time, which helps in being control during the interview. Power dressing involves formal and conservative attire, depicting more seriousness towards your responsibility. It helps you communicate better and shows you understand the importance of making a good impression. If you can make a memorable impression the interviewer may remember you and your qualification amongst your competitors and recommend you based on the interview. Also dressing well shows respect towards the interview and company. Remember it is about the whole look, not just the dress. Thus, cleanliness and neatness are important. You can choose the usual formal shirt with formal trousers and formal shoes for your job interview if you are more comfortable in western wear. But corporate clothing is no longer confined to Western Wear, it should inspire confidence in the office environment and can be done perfectly well in ethnic wear.
    A perfect fit fashionable simple Kurta with cotton dupatta (non-flowy fabric), neat hair, minimal makeup, tiny bindi, and statement silver jewelry to elevate the look is what you need to ace that ethnic power look. You can also wear a saree depending on your job profile. Your attire should display that you are ready for the job.
  4. Prepare for basic interview questions- Preparing for basic questions is an important part of the preparation for a job interview. Early preparation helps you present yourself confidently and clearly. These basic questions are questions frequently asked by the interviewer of most companies, and provide the interviewer better understanding of you as a person, what you can offer for the company, and why you fit the job better than the rest. Be specific and articulate while answering these questions, only go for a detailed answer when asked for an explanation. Preparing thoughtful and well-crafted answers also makes you feel more relaxed and you perform better in the interview. You can also demonstrate your enthusiasm for the position while answering these questions.
    Some basic questions to prepare for-
  5. Tell about yourself?
  6. What are your greatest strength and weaknesses?
  7. Tell me about your past jobs?
  8. Tell me about your accomplishments?
  9. How do you handle difficult situations and challenges?
  10. What are your salary expectations?
  11. What are your career goals?
  12. Why do you want to work with us?
  13. Why do we hire you?
  14. What makes you different from others?
  15. Have you applied somewhere else?
  16. Do you have any questions for us?
    Always be honest and authentic while preparing your answers, don’t be afraid to show the real you. This will help you stand out from the rest of the candidates. Also putting yourself in the interviewer’s shoes will help you trailer your responses and address their priorities.
  17. Pay attention to your etiquette- Etiquettes are very important for any kind of formal meeting. Arrive at least 15-20 minutes early for the interview. The way you walk in, the way you greet, the way you pause, the way you sit, the way you talk everything will be noticed during a job interview. Non-verbal communication is depicted by your body language. Smile when you enter the room. Sit straight and maintain a good posture, with no slouching or hunching. Maintain eye contact while greeting and answering the interviewer, but do not stare constantly. Talk politely with appropriate nodding and hand gestures, speaking loudly with excessive nodding and hand gestures should be avoided. Pay attention to grammar and pronunciation. Leaning towards the interviewer shows your interest in the conversation. Keep your arms and palms open to convey open-mindedness and confidence. You can mirror the interviewer’s body language to be on the same wavelength, but be natural and don’t force it. Use an appropriate facial expression to express your emotions regarding your interest and enthusiasm for the role. But never go overboard. Be respectful of the interviewer’s personal space and don’t try to invade it. Lastly, listen attentively and give your full attention to the interviewer without any interruptions.

You can also send an email, thanking the interviewer, after the interview to show your appreciation and interest in the applied job. With all these important tips and your inner confidence, you will surely ace every interview you walk into, effortlessly.


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