How to get prepared to be the best candidate in a job interview? Blogger Shabnam Almammadova-Najafova shares her experience and advice in this regard:
You have passed the main stage. They reviewed your application and liked you. Now you are invited to a job interview.
What to do? What to wear? How to prepare? What to say?
Let’s get started!
First impressions stay in memory for a long time. You should be in business style on the interview day. It means that to appear in jeans, T-shirt, sport shoes would look ridiculous. Men should wear a black suit, a white/blue shirt and a tie (and black socks); girls should wear a business style black dress or a white shirt, a black skirt/trousers, not high-heeled black shoes. Girls’ clothes should not uncover their upper part of the arm, the knee and the breast (except if you go to Victoria’s Secret Model agency). Your clothes should be ironed and tidy. Using of perfume is a non-professional attitude, because that perfume may cause a headache or a negative reaction of the person in front of you.
Face and hair.
Of course, men should be shaved. Girls, take into account that you are not going to Halloween party or the wedding. You do not need to put on too much make-up. Just a simple eyeliner/shadow and a little bit of rouge are enough. Your hair should be well-combed and neat. You should tie up your hair the way that wouldn’t obstruct your eye-sight.
I was looking for an employee for the company I was working for. We were interviewing one person, the first question was about our activity (hey, when did you come out of the cave?). Read about the company before each job interview. Visit their web-sites, Facebook, Twitter pages. Get familiarized with company’s activity; try to figure out which experience and skills of yours would be useful for the company. At the same time prepare questions about the company.
Frequently asked questions during the interview are the following:
Why do you want to work with us?
This is your chance to demonstrate your knowledge about the company. Tell them which company goals coincide with your experience. ‘’Because you are a good company’’ is not a good answer. They are not interested in what their company is like, but how you can contribute to this company. For instance, if the company looks for a PR and Marketing specialist and you have a readable blog and Facebook pages, then you should definitely mention about them as well as about your social media experience and success. It was my 3rd year at university, Azercell invited me to an interview. I did not pass the interview. Now I know the reason, because I criticized my previous workplace. This is one of the gross mistakes made by jobseekers. Employer is not interested in problems you have faced at previous work. In each workplace there can be concerns, so employer wonders how you could handle such situations. If you say negative words they will think that if you get this job, you will still be negative in a new workplace. Therefore, show them another reason. For example, ’’my current workplace is very good, I have a very strong team, but I would like to change my career in a new direction’’ or ‘’I have gained enough experience there and would like to move up in my career’’ or ‘’after working in small companies, I have realized that big companies attract me more’’, etc. Before showing the reason, do not forget to praise your previous workplace!
In order to be prepared for this question, have a look at job announcements. Look what requirements they are looking for in a candidate. Then coming out of your experience, think which of these characteristic features you possess. For example, they are looking for a person who is able to work well in a team. In which teamwork did you achieve good results in past? So, you have one answer ready. ‘’I am very good at teamwork because I took first place in teamwork at X event’’ or ‘’I was organizing events at school’’. Other positive features are: to be optimistic (no one wants an employee who always complains), hard-working (in my previous workplace in order to finish X project, within a week I worked 14 hours a day), to have leadership skills, to be responsible, punctual, etc. Prove what you say by vivid examples. This is a tricky question (thanks to Google.translate). You should always avoid such answers like ‘’uhh, I am lazy, I am always late’’! In order to answer this question think of your previous practice, or any problem you had in past and how you solved it. Ex.: ‘’before I was shy, I was hesitant in taking initiatives, but in my previous workplace when I was in charge of X task, I took on responsibility and completed the task successfully. After that I took some initiatives and was quite successful. ‘’I am a perfectionist, I try to do everything perfectly’’- is the standard answer to this question. You can answer this way but who needs such a conservative response?
Yes, yes, again Yes!!! Prepare at least 4-5 questions for the company before each interview. Do not be afraid of taking their time. Take into consideration that you are going to work here at least 8 hours a day during long months; you have the right to ask a lot of questions. This might also be a complicated question, such as ‘’ in 2012 Ms.X said some bad words to the address of your X journalist, how did you react to this issue?’’ or standard questions such as ‘’what are the expectations from the position that I applied to for the next 1 year? What was the reason for the previous employee to leave the company? What is the office atmosphere like here? Is a team or individual work appreciated here? Could you provide some information about my future team, please? What is an incentive that encourages you to come to this office every morning? Why do you want to leave your current workplace? What are your 3 strongest points? What is your weak point? Do you have any questions to us?
After the interview
After interview you should DEFINITELY send an mail of appreciation. Touch the questions you discussed during the interview and mention that you are very enthuastic about this new job. If you did not hear anything from them within a week, send an email or make a call to the interviewer and ask about the result. In general, bear in mind some tips about job interview:
Take a deep breath several times before the interview. It will relieve your excitement. Open your hands wide and jump in the lifts. Researches show that when we get excited we become physically weak which results in less self-confidence. Keep your back upright, head up during the interview. Do not tell a lie at the interview, the world is small, so it is very easy to reveal out a lie.
Keep your voice professional during the interview. Smile. In no way flirt with an interviewer. You will not be able to get either his number or a job. Keep in mind that they will Google your name and find all information about you in Internet. Stop posting your problems on Women’s Club page. And remember that not only they test you, but you also test them. You will have longer months, years here, and so pick out your workplace carefully. Therefore, observe the office environment, employees, take a deep interest and ask questions.