The job interview is your important opportunity to show the recruiter the excellent candidate you are. Your goal is to confirm the recruiter’s expectations of you after reading your resume and also to go beyond these.
It is vital that you not only highlight your skills but that you also manage to win him over with your positive attitude.
In this article, you will find some tips for having a perfect job interview. You will also see some notes on the things that it is essential to avoid doing during an interview.
Preparation is the foundation for a successful interview. The more time you spend preparing before the interview, the more comfortable and confident you will feel in front of the recruiter.
In fact, even if the job interview is not an exam for which you have to study for hours by memorizing a lot of concepts, you will still need to gather some information on the role you are applying for, the company, and be able to discuss why you think you are the right one for the position.
Communication skills are essential during an interview. You have to make sure you answer the interviewer’s questions directly and effectively by highlighting your core qualities and skills.
Furthermore, the key to successful interviewing is to show self-confidence, have a positive and proactive attitude..
Tips for preparing for the job interview
Read the job advertisement carefully
Before presenting yourself for the interview, you will need to carefully review the job advertisement and highlight the requirements: all the characteristics that the ideal candidate should possess.
This exercise helps you imagine, in addition to what the company is looking for in the candidate to be hired, what the recruiter’s questions will be.
If, for example, the ad specifies that the company wants someone who knows how to work well as a team, the recruiter will most likely ask you questions about your experiences to see if you work well with other people, if you know to collaborate, if you are a good leader, etc.
Understanding the skills required by the company helps you imagine what the recruiter will investigate.
Research the company
In addition to reading the job advertisement, you will need to devote part of your time to gathering information about the company.
You will need to know what the company culture is, the mission of the company, the results it has achieved, you will need to keep up to date on the news (use Google, the company website and social profiles) and you could also follow employees on LinkedIn to see if they post some interesting news.
This job will help you not only to understand if the working environment is the right one for you and your values but also to show the recruiter that you strongly care about the position, that you have dedicated yourself to doing research, and that you are attentive and accurate.
Find the most frequently asked questions about an interview
Even if you don’t know exactly what questions the recruiter will ask you, several standard questions are usually always asked in a job interview.
Among the most frequently asked questions will be those regarding your professional history and work experience, your motivation, and the reasons why you decided to quit your previous job.
The recruiter will also ask you questions related to your personality, investigating incidents of situations that occurred in the workplace in the past, to understand how you handled them and how you behaved. You can review what are the most frequently asked interview questions in this article here. This way you can prepare detailed answers and feel more confident.
Eventually, in the Job Interview section, you can find articles on other types of possible interview questions, such as motivational, aptitude, technical questions.
Prepare your answers
Even if you think you have all the answers ready in your head, I recommend that you prepare carefully and practice answering the best. Why is it important to prepare your answers?
Because during the interview, tension could play tricks on you. You may forget important information, you may contradict yourself, or you may find yourself rambling for 5 minutes without correctly answering the question asked.
Practice answering in a concise, specific, and direct way. These are the best answers. When you answer, be sure to talk about a concrete example, a situation that occurred in the workplace, in which you have demonstrated that you have your best qualities and skills.
In fact, the recruiter won’t take your word for it when you say you have a specific strength, you will need to talk to him about your experience to convince him of what you say.
Prepare questions to ask the recruiter
At the end of the interview, the recruiter will ask you: “Do you have any questions for me?”. You will have to answer “yes”.
First of all, remember that the interview is for the recruiter to get to know you, but it is also necessary for you to make sure that the position and company match what you want. The choice must be mutual, and to take it, you must first dispel all your doubts by asking the right questions.
Second, and equally important, asking questions is the best way to show your interest and enthusiasm for the position. Seeing that you want to have the most details about the role and the company, makes it clear to the recruiter that you are genuinely attracted to that job.
Know the breeder
One thing that can help you de-stress before the interview is knowing exactly who you will be dealing with. You can search for the recruiter or the person you will interview on LinkedIn, to find out about his career path and also evaluate the updates he publishes on his profile.
This is particularly important if the person you are interviewing with works in the company and therefore experiences, firsthand, the work context in which you might be placed.
Try to remember the name of the recruiter and don’t forget it during the interview, you can also pin it on your notes. You will need this if you need to contact him/her and contact him/her before and after the interview.
Make sure you have everything ready
Don’t wait until the day of the interview to deal with the “minor” issues. Before you go to the interview, print out a few copies of your resume to take with you. The recruiter will have his copy, but showing that you are attentive and dedicated is always a plus.
Also, bring a notepad and pen with you so you can write down the most important things you will discuss. On the notepad, you could write the questions you want to ask the recruiter, so you don’t risk forgetting anything.
Make sure you also pack your attire for the job interview. If you do not know which clothes to choose, a possible solution could be to adapt your look to the dress code of the company. But if this should be too casual, always focus on something elegant but not excessive, avoid bright colors and choose a classic style.
Remember that you will have to communicate professionalism. An accurate and precise candidate, who also pays great attention to detail, is certainly frowned upon by the recruiter.
During the job interview
Be on time (i.e., in advance)
Punctuality is key to making a good impression on the recruiter. A late candidate communicates not only a lack of professionalism but also a lack of reliability. The recruiter will think that if you take the interview lightly, you will most likely have the same attitude towards the job.
So, to make sure you are on time, plan to arrive at the meeting point 10-15 minutes early. Make sure you know exactly where the interview will be held and take into account the possible unforeseen events that may arise: increased traffic or a hitch before leaving.
Being early will not only allow you to make a good impression but will also allow you to reduce stress and have plenty of time to review your notes, go to the bathroom if you need it, eat a snack, etc.
Be courteous to everyone you meet
Remember that you will not only be evaluated at the job interview for the things you say, but also for your behavior. Be polite and courteous to the recruiter and also to any other people you meet before and after the interview.
It is not uncommon for the recruiter, after the job interview with you, to ask the staff what impression they had of you. And if the things that are reported to him are different from what he noticed during the interview, he will not believe that you are a sincere person, and therefore will discard you.
Listen carefully and ask for clarification
The tension of the interview may lead you to be impatient to answer the recruiter’s questions or to answer even when you are unsure of the question asked.
One key thing you will need to do during the interview is to listen carefully to the recruiter. Wait for him to finish formulating his question and take a few seconds to think before giving your answer.
Likewise, if you are not sure if you fully understand the question that has been asked, ask for clarification. It is much better to ask than to answer by saying the wrong thing because you didn’t understand what the recruiter wanted to know.
The recruiter wants to see a person, a thinking candidate, not a robot. So, take the time to formulate your answers and interact with him/her if you have any doubts about the focus of the question.
Be confident and relaxed
We all know that the job interview is a time of great excitement for candidates. However, you will need to try to be relaxed and confident in front of the recruiter.
Keep in mind that your attitude always influences your interlocutor. The interviewer perceives your anxiety and could be affected by it, just as you would if you were faced with a tense and worried person.
Secondly, anxiety doesn’t work in your favor because it impairs your performance. You may risk forgetting important details to talk about, you may be saying the wrong things, or saying things that aren’t relevant, or seeming disinterested when in fact it’s the other way around.
Unfortunately, the recruiter is not in your head, he knows you. So he will only evaluate based on what he sees in you and the things you say. For that, you’ll have to try to be casual. Your goal is to let the recruiter know that you are confident the role is right for you.
Pay attention to the things you say
If you’re worried about tension playing tricks on you, making you say the most inappropriate things, then you need to pay close attention to your words and know exactly what to say and what not to say at a job interview.
You can learn more about this topic in this dedicated article. Staying calm will help you manage the tendency to talk nonsense or say something out of place. Also, if you need to think a few seconds before answering, avoid expressions like “ahem” and “mmm”, replacing them with something like “this is a great question” or “give me a second to think about it.”
Don’t be modest
Remember that during the job interview you aim to sell yourself at your best and make the recruiter understand that you are a good match for the company.
So don’t be modest. Talk confidently about your qualities and strengths. Tell the recruiter the episodes that confirm your skills without shame or shyness. He/she must see what makes you special and if you don’t show it off, the candidates who do will pass you by.
Many are afraid of being arrogant or don’t want to brag, if you have such fears and feel troubled, try to talk about your results based on the feedback you received when you achieved good results. For example: “On that project, my boss complimented me for…”
After the job interview: advice
Thank you mail
After each job interview, it is advisable to send a thank-you email to the recruiter. This email, to be sent immediately after the interview, is your opportunity to show how professional and attentive you are.
In addition to thanking the recruiter for the time he has given you, you can reiterate your interest in the position, explain better the things you think you have left out, and include projects you discussed during the interview. The recruiter always appreciates a good thank-you email, so this is your chance to make a good impression.
Job interview advice on what not to do
While many of the following are fairly intuitive and common sense, to dispel any doubts, here is a list of the things you shouldn’t do during the job interview:
- Arriving late: The first few minutes are key to making a good impression and arriving late communicates the wrong message to the recruiter.
- Bring glasses of coffee or drinks with you: if you need to have a coffee or a drink to give you the charge do it before entering the recruiter’s office, not only if you did it in front of him/her you would be unprofessional, but also remember that you need to be focused and attentive during the interview.
- Use your phone: While you don’t necessarily have to turn off your phone, make sure you put your phone in silent and air mode and keep your phone in your bag or somewhere else, so it’s not a distraction or temptation for you.
- Not knowing the company: make sure you know the most important things about the company, going to an interview knowing nothing about the company is equivalent to excluding yourself from the selection.
- Forget information on your resume: While it is sometimes difficult to remember dates and details of past work experiences, be sure to remember the information you have listed on your resume so that you know how to respond to the recruiter and not create a contradiction between what you say and what you wrote.
- Talking too much: some candidates, overwhelmed and unprepared, let themselves be carried away by their stories until they talk endlessly. The recruiter doesn’t want to know the story of your life, so be concise and direct, not mentioning details that are not relevant to an interview (such as those concerning your private life).
- Speak badly about previous experiences: recruiters want positive candidates who do not give problems, speaking badly about your previous job, boss, colleague or other, is a wake-up call for the recruiter. While you may have every reason to complain, the recruiter doesn’t know the facts and can’t take your word for it. For this, he will choose a candidate who demonstrates that he can get along with everyone, that he is collaborative and not quarrelsome.
- Don’t pay attention: Throughout the interview, you should try to keep your concentration level high. If you don’t listen to a question or get lost thinking about something else, the recruiter will wonder how focused you can be on your job if you struggle to be during an interview.