When faced with preparing for an interview, the most common fear we come across from our candidates is being put on the spot by questions that they haven’t prepared for, and finding themselves caught off guard. Unusual questions are almost impossible to prepare for, but the good news is that companies are moving away from them. That being said, it is always wise to prepare thoroughly for your interview by first considering what kind of thing you will be asked. In this article, we'll outline five simple tips that will ensure you go in fully prepped and ready to ace that upcoming interview, but first, let’s look at the most commonly asked interview questions so we know what you’re up against...
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
Where do you see yourself in five to ten years?
What are three things your former Manager would like you to improve on?
Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of
Why should we recruit you?
We know what you’re thinking, those questions sound relatively simple to answer. But how are you going to ensure you stand out from the crowd and leave a lasting impression? Keep reading for our Top 5 tips that will help you ace your next interview and get that dream job!
1. Know the Company, Know the Role
No matter how prepared you are to talk about yourself, not knowing the essentials of the company and job you are interviewing for conveys a lack of preparation and interest. Delve into the company website and build an understanding of what they do and who they are. Conduct a Google search on the company to find recent company news articles. Visit the company’s social media pages to gauge how they comes across as a brand. This will give you an insight into the company culture, and help you get a feel for the environment you would potentially be working in. It will also allow you to ask relevant insightful questions during the interview.
Study the job description thoroughly. Picture yourself performing every task required of you. By doing this, you should find competency based questions a little easier to tackle.
2. Know why you’re the right candidate
Consider exactly which elements of your experience, qualities and values fit with the role and then tailor your answers accordingly. Prepare your answers as a short ‘value statement’, and keep it concise! Skip the clichés and go right into the qualities about you that make you a great fit for the job.
3. Find your “Hook”
Most hiring Managers interview multiple candidates for each role, so oftentimes that they will find that have to go back to their notes post-interview to remember candidates except the candidates with a strong ‘hook’. Your hook could be a past success story, or one that focuses on demonstrating your work ethic. Our advice would be to cover all your bases. Dress to impress, prepare a strong work related story and let your personality shine throughout the meeting to ensure you leave lasting positive impression on your potential employer.
4. Practice, Practice, Practice
The difference between a good interview and an excellent interview lies in your preparation. You don’t need to memorise all of your answers word for word, but instead prepare bullet points and use them as a reference point during the interview. Make sure to conduct a mock interview for yourself. Its best to record yourself until you’re able to speak comfortably and can be flexible with your answers. It may feel awkward when you do it, but it will pay off on the day, trust me!
It may seem obvious, but it’s important to take your time and stay as relaxed as possible both before and during an interview. Obviously this can be very difficult to do when you are nervous. When formulating your responses, focus on the actual question you are being asked. Many of us can tend to ramble and get flustered when nervous. So take a deep breath and think before delving into each response! Finally, we would advise that you always answer questions as honestly as you can. If you interview dishonestly, two things might happen; you will either not get the job because the interviewer will see through you, or you’ll get the job but it will be a poor fit for you and the company. We always advise candidates not to focus on what they think the interviewer wants to hear, but instead to focus on giving an honest and passionate breakdown of what they have to offer. Ultimately this gives both parties the best chance at finding a perfect fit for the job in question.