From the hundreds of resumes you competed against, yours got chosen. It’s an important moment, and one that can make the difference between landing the job and being sent back to the start line. Don’t make the mistake on relying solely on your charm, wits and professional skills. An interview is not only supposed to help the employers to better understand and explore the potential of your professional skills and experience. It is also a way for them to understand if your personality is compatible with both the job and the team you are going to be a part of.
Here are 5 things you must know and do before walking into an interview.
1. What the job is about
It may sound like something trivial - you must know what the job is about if you applied to it, right?
However, a lot of people only read the job title, and don’t bother to understand what it is exactly they will be supposed to do. Always read the description carefully to understand the job! In different companies, the same job title can mean different things. A well-prepared candidate understands both what his future tasks will be, and how they relate to the rest of the company.
2. What skills does the job require
This is also a tricky aspect when going to an interview. Why? Because while your academic qualifications may recommend you for a certain job, your experience might not be appropriate. For example, an Economics degree doesn’t necessarily qualify you for a job at a bank, the same way it will never fully be able to turn you into a good sales person, if you don’t have the necessary soft skills.
For a right match between your skills and the potential job, you must know yourself, by answering these questions:
o What are you good at?
o What do you like to do?
o Are the answers to the questions above going to help with this particular job?
It is important to know the answers to these questions, not only because it will help you figure out the best way to approach the potential job, but also because these will be questions that might pop up in the actual interview. That’s why it is so important to be honest about yourself. The WorkinAfrica software algorithm helps a lot by matching your skills with the ones requested by the job. Did you add all the skills you have to your profile?
3. Research de company
A great candidate shows up at a job interview only after doing a bit of homework in advance. Knowing a few things about the company you want to work for will firstly help you realize if you really want to be hired by them (Do they have a good reputation? How many employees do they have? How have they evolved throughout the years?). Also, it will show the interviewer that you are serious about your career and you don’t just randomly choose your next step. And if after your research you still feel like going to the interview, you are actually willing to commit to the job.
4. Try to anticipate potential interview questions
It is important to be on top of things no matter what. So, while many of the questions will probably be about you resume and experience, any smart interviewer will also put the problematic aspects on the table as well. Why is there a six-month gap between your former two jobs? Why did you reinvent yourself professionally all of a sudden? Why have you changed jobs so often?
In order to anticipate these questions, try to take a good look at your resume and think of all the tiny details that might raise questions for your potential employer. Then answer them, as you would at the interview: honestly and, at the same time, emphasizing the fact that you want to be their top choice, regardless of any minor setbacks. You really don’t want to start babbling randomly if you receive one of these questions during the interview.
Also, don’t forget the most important interview questions that you must prepare for, as some of them will surely pop up. Don’t waste your time and your interviewer’s time by being relying solely on your improvising skills.
5. Ask the interviewer
Last, but not least, always think of two or three things to ask about your potential employer or the job at the end of the interview. It will show the interviewer that you went the extra mile, you did research and have the desire to fully understand your future role in the company and to be the best choice for the job. It is a great way to leave a good impression, but be aware: your questions must be pertinent and on topic and their answers have to actually help you in some way for a better understanding of the job. Otherwise, the effect will be the exact opposite.