I have a secret to reveal to you: I have always hated interviews since my first job interview! The stress I feel when I try to answer questions, being asked about my skills and about myself, didn’t seem like an opportunity to sell myself. I rather felt an uncomfortable feeling of being lucid and telling people how amazing I am, even if I didn’t think that way…
This has changed in recent years. After graduating from college, like any other “Young Graduate”, I started looking for a job in my field of study.
And that’s where the interviews started to become important to me. The CV allows you to get an interview, but only a good interview will help you get the job.
Since then, the value of an interview has skyrocketed. Knowing that I was not good at interviews, I started looking for advice, examples of answers and ways of speaking in order to introduce myself.
I started running for positions I didn’t even want to fill just to get the experience I needed to answer questions and at the same time impress the recruiters. And I can tell you that I learned a lot from my experiences and my research!
How to succeed in a job interview?
Recently, I was asked to interview candidates for vacancies in my agency. I thought I understood all the techniques of the interviews and the means to impress during the interviews. I was wrong !
Interviewing people gave me a totally different perspective than what interviewers are looking for. I thought I knew a lot. Well, I know even more now!
This is why I decided to share with you some of my recently acquired knowledge. If you’re looking to get a new job or are having a very important job interview, these simple tips can help.
1. Learn about the company!
Before you start your phone, Skype or even in-person interview, make sure you know the company you are applying for. Hiring managers, who can be HR, sales or even a colleague, are going to want to know what makes you want to work for the company.
Knowing the mission and values of the business can help you sell better. Employers often want to know how much research you have done on their business to determine if you are genuinely interested or if it is just a “spontaneous application” via LinkedIn.
- Make sure you know what the company represents and what its mission is
An application that fits with the mission and vision of the company shows that you are already on the same wavelength. If your missions and values fit together, it shows that you are a good partner for the company.
On the other hand, finding a company can help you understand how interested you are. It helps to know what is expected of you in the workplace and what kind of culture the company has.
- Being convinced to be able to convince
After all, you have to be convinced of the business before you try to convince the recruiter!
You are going to invest a lot of time, energy and all your effort, so you have to make sure that you do something meaningful. In the long run, this increases your dynamism and your commitment to the company.
2. Know how to anticipate questions!
Before any interview, you must anticipate the questions the interviewer will ask you. Preparing responses will help you to be less stressed and better prepared for an interview.
It is difficult to anticipate the questions 100%, but prepared answers will give you an idea to manage the content of the interview. You may even be able to adjust your answers based on the questions asked.
To help you prepare for your interview, you can use certain resources. For example, you can visit Glassdoor in the “job interview” section. You will find out about candidates’ experiences and the type of questions asked during the interviews.
Glassdoor, Cadre Emploi, or even Apec are great tools to help you prepare some answers at the start of your interview.
The other search method that I often use is to take a look at the company’s “About” page. This can give you hints about the intensity and process of the interview, as well as the expectations of the candidates.
What question should you prepare?
Depending on the type of position you are applying for, the questions asked during the interview will vary. Some are standard questions for each interview that you need to prepare for. If you do not answer it, you may endanger your interview.
According to RegionsJob, here are the most common questions:
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself?
2. What are your strengths?
3. What are your weaknesses?
4. Why should I consider hiring you?
5. Where do you see yourself in five years?
6. Why do you want to work here?
7. What is your salary expectation?
8. What motivates you?
9. Are you a good teammate?
10. Do you have any questions?
3. Answer the questions!
The structure of the responses is quite simple, but it is very often overlooked by the candidates. When the interviewer asks you a question, don’t simply answer with an empty statement. No one is interested in superficial claims.
What is the best answer?
In your answer, you need to focus on the question of course, but also show the benefit of your experience (what you have learned and how you can apply it).
Show a growth mindset by reflecting on your experiences, show that they are opportunities for the company. Many companies are looking for people who say “coachable” and ready for development and evolution. Companies are more likely to invest in this kind of candidate, knowing that their evolution will help them to develop.
4. Ask questions!
Now it’s your turn to manage the maintenance. There are several reasons why you should definitely ask questions:
1. Ask questions to learn more about the company, its culture and its expectations of you and themselves. Ask the interviewer to sell you the business, just as they asked you to sell yourself to them.
2. How likely is it that this position will help you climb the ranks? Are they just looking to fill a role, or are they looking for someone to fill a role and become a leader? Remember to assess your career development opportunities.
3. Knowing how to handle an interview and asking questions also shows your interest in the business. Ask probing questions to impress interviewers with your knowledge and show interest in the company.
4. You can also get personal information, for example, by asking questions about the interviewer’s experience, what he likes and doesn’t like about the business. These kinds of questions can give you an idea of the culture and values of the company.
5. Thank them for their time!
You should always thank the interviewers for their time. This is polite and a great way to end an interview.
These tips will help you get the most out of your interview. They will not guarantee you the job, but will help you make a good first impression.
Don’t be afraid to show your knowledge, your curiosity and your interest in the job and the company. All of this can greatly increase your chances of landing the job you’ve always dreamed of!