Successfully Preparing for a Job Interview

Successfully preparing for a Job Interview – Points to ensure that you are well prepared!

By :  Matthew Neethling, Talent Acquisition Specialist (IT)

New Year, new me! Or so you would hear and see all over social media. I found that at the end of last year most candidates preferred not to resign until they received their bonuses. Then come January, HR managers get an influx of resignation letters streaming across their desks. This opens new opportunities for candidates to fill those vacant roles. But often we find that when a candidate goes for an interview, they end up doing a lot of things wrong. You could have a phenomenal candidate and who accidently made a mistake in the initial interview and ends up not making it to the line Interview.

Often we recruiters get asked for advice on successful interviewing.  So here i impart some wisdom on the people who really need it.

Due Diligence!

When securing an interview with the HR and line manager, you must be properly prepared. This is a crucial part of the interviewing process. It doesn’t matter how much of a smooth talker you are, some things in life you just can’t “wing”!

Here are some points to ensure that you are well prepared.

Information.

  • When going for an interview with a company, try to get as much information from the recruitment agency as possible, like who will be conducting the interview and what their role in the company is. Ask for a company profile and link to their website (granted these are things that you would be able to Google, but some company websites are not that easy to find). Ask the recruiter to send though the Job order / Break down of key skills. This will allow you to become well prepared based on your skill set.

Research.

  • Once you have all the information from the agency (or as much as possible), go online and research the company. In the interview, you want to show that you have done your homework on the company and know about their products, history and organisations they associate with (non-profit or sister companies).

Preparing.

  • Go through your CV. This is vital when going in for an interview. Yes you should know what you have done. But if you are put in a pressured environment and asked about your past experiences, things can easily slip your mind. So read through your CV and jog your memory when it comes to your past experiences and projects. You want to ensure that you answer every question confidently and with examples from your past work history, and going through your CV will help you in this. Go through the job order with your CV and look for similarities and highlight your past experiences.

Attire.

  • So the dreaded interview has arrived and you are unsure what you should wear. This is where your research can help you. Based on the company culture and background, try to mimic their environment. For Example: if it’s corporate, wear a suit and tie, if it’s a marketing or artistic environment, wear a semi-formal outfit of formal pants with a button – down shirt, but no blazer or tie.
  • When putting your attire together, always keep in mind that you want to mimic the company colours (Blue shirt or tie, if the company colours are Blue) and power colours (if you don’t have anything that is similar to the company colours, go with your power colours, such as a white shirt and black pants with a RED tie. Studies have shown that colours that bring in an element of power and professionalism are Red , Green and Blue).
  • For ladies, corporate is better, such as wearing a pencil skirt or pants and blouse. Always ensure you wear small, fine, delicate jewellery – nothing overbearing. If you can, try to incorporate company colours or power colours in your attire, as explained above.

Interview.

  • Keep calm and answer confidently! You have done your research and preparation, now it’s time to put that into action.
  • Take deep breaths and think of your answer before speaking. Listen to each question carefully as this is one of the elements that interviewers look for.
  • Round off your answers. You don’t want to ramble on and on and get off topic. Give precise answers related to your experience and the question.

All in all, it is a stressful process that you will have to go through, so ensure that you know what you are talking about and prove to them that you are the best candidate out there!

Wishing you the best of luck with your interviews. Go knock them out of the park!