Updated: Sep 15
The job interview is the main objective of every person who is actively looking for a job, since it is one more step to get the desired job.
In today's post we cover information on how to present yourself at a job interview - be it face to face or online - how it takes place and what mistakes to avoid.
Depending on the company, a face to face or online interview is only the first selection interview that the employer conducts with his candidates. In most cases, this type of interview represents the change of getting to know each other with the HR representative of the company. At this stage, the candidate's expectations are clarified, details about the company in general, details about the position, his future tasks and responsibilities are communicated, but it is also a stage where the recruiter can select which candidates have matched the profile sought.
Other employees may have a second interview (also known as a "final interview"). Employers organize these selection stages according to the specifics of each company, or as the case may be, depending on the specifics of each position. Therefore, the candidate can go through one, two, three or even more tests and / or interviews to fill the position in the organization. The final interview assumes that the decision-maker who decides who he wants in his team also participates in this discussion.
How to prepare for a successful face to face or online interview?
Facing a job interview is a stressful situation and regardless of your suitability for the position for which you apply, a prior preparation can make the interviewer's analysis on your candidacy change substantially.
Here are some tips that will make talking about your interview an experience to look forward to. Why? Because you will know that you have the correct approach.
Before the interview
Study the company and the job description.
Try to gather as much information as possible about the company's activity, its industry, the specifics of your work in their economic sector and try to transmit some of this information whether you are asked or not by the employer.
Think about possible questions and find answers to them before the interview. Imagine different situations and scenarios and how you would react to each of them.
Some answers to the questions you have prepared in advance may be helpful during the interview. Having them ready already helps you react at the right time and leave the best impression.
Be flexible and instead of wasting time trying to imagine very concrete questions, think better about possible problems and general questions. This way, you will be able to adapt your answers much easier during the interview and you will be better able to handle more concrete questions.
During the interview
Pay attention to what you wear
Regardless of the field for which you applied, the outfit plays an important role. Avoid bright colors, extravagant clothes. Neutral tones are preferable, which always give a note of seriousness. If you are a woman, do not resort to heavy make-up, a large number of jewelry and shoes with exaggerated heels.
Even if you participate in the online interview from the comfort of your home, it is good to have an outfit through which to convey professionalism. A very tight attire would convey that you are trying too hard. Therefore, maybe a shirt with the first button open conveys the balance between professionalism, but still a casual outfit in the business space.
At the same time, it depends on the position you apply for. If you are an IT programmer, the recruiter will certainly not expect to see you in a shirt, but rather in the T-shirt that you would normally wear in the office.
Manage your emotions
Make sure you show up for the job interview with the right attitude and and strive to look as relaxed and confident as possible.
Many people spend hours thinking about all the things that could go wrong, and then, as a result, they even make a mistake in the interview. Think of the job interview as a game. This is your chance to prove your qualities and be much more convincing than in your CV!
Remember that it's not just the employer interviewing you for a job and that you also want to see if that company suits you.
Treat the interview more like a conversation
During the discussion listen actively and answer as completely as possible the questions addressed to you.
Do not fill the discussion with empty words, but try to provide details of your work, studies or professional experience and the expertise that recommends you for the position you applied for.
A more global vision of your achievements will be given if you try to support your message with qualitative and quantitative data (eg: "I led a strategic project, managing a team of 10 professionals and achieving a 10% impact on the growth of the company").
The secret lies in moderation
On the other hand, do not fall to the other extreme. Do not overdo it with praise and affinity for the company and the job. If, indeed, this is a company for which you have cultivated great respect, strive to put into concrete words what has aroused your respect. What are the results or beliefs of the company that you consider excellent and why. Be as objective as possible and void empty phrases and general praise.
If you present concrete examples of your appreciation for this company in the interview, not only will you provide convincing answers, but you will prove to the employer that you are well acquainted with the activity of his company.
Control your non-verbal communication
What we say with our mouth is as important as what we express with our body. Regardless of gender, offer a firm handshake as the first greeting.
You can make a comment before sitting down to do the interview to break the ice but avoid rough topics (politics, religion, sports, etc.). Look the interviewer in the eye while you are talking to him or her. You can direct your gaze elsewhere while you are telling him something, but try to make eye contact every so often to keep your focus on your presentation. An elusive look denotes a lack of security and sincerity.
Non-verbal language is very important to know how to prepare for a job interview, so you must control your hands; It is not a bad thing to support your message with gestures, but an excess of gesturing can become overactive and take away the focus from what you say. Hands should preferably stay on the table, and avoid hiding them under the table as it can give the impression of hiding something. Avoid crossed arms, as they reflect a defensive attitude and what you should seek is to make it easier for the interviewer to know you.
Closing the interview
Discuss next steps
At the end of the discussion, the recruiter will give you information about what will happen next. You, too, can ask 2-3 questions and briefly inform yourself about the next steps in the selection process (if you will be accepted). It is important to leave this stage clearly to know if and how you should prepare for the next selection stage. For example, if you find out that you will take a practical test or you will have to take a knowledge test, it is good if the information reaches you first because you will be able to practice what you have previously learned and update your knowledge. Some tests look like exams. Well, we can't pass them if we don't give them importance and don't put a minimum preparation effort.
How is an online interview different from a face-to-face interview?
More and more companies have started using the online interview as a first form of candidate evaluation. The online interview involves almost entirely the same format as the conversation structure between a candidate and an employer, except that the discussion takes place online.
If for the face-to-face interview you were worried that you can't find the address on time and that you will be late, in the case of online interviews things are much simpler: you just have to make sure you have a good internet connection and that you are in front of your laptop at least five minutes before the interview begins.
In the case of platforms that require installation, our recommendation is to take care of these details the day before the interview, so that if you encounter problems, you have time to fix them.
Almost all the rules for a classic interview are also valid for the video interview, so don't get too relaxed thinking that you talk from the comfort of your home, and keep the necessary level of seriousness and professionalism.
Here are some tips to keep in mind during your online interview:
● Shut down any other device that might distract you from your online meeting.
● Pay attention to the discussion and do not hesitate to write down important information
● The human connection can also be replicated online, if you are present in the discussion and you are trying to establish a relationship with your interlocutor.
● Behave naturally: smile, make eye contact, gesture and communicate to the interviewer if you have emotions. It is as normal as possible and a recruitment professional will help you adjust to the situation.
● To know how to prepare for a job interview, first you have to use all the resources at your disposal to demonstrate to the recruiter that you are the most suitable candidate for the position, so if you are doing an interview via Skype it may also be a good time to share with the recruiter documents, reports or publications that reaffirm your skills as a professional.
● Ask questions. Do you remember the list of ambiguities? You will probably receive an answer for many of them during the interview, but if there are still issues that have not been addressed, ask your interlocutor towards the end of the discussion if you can ask a few questions.
● Ask for information about the next steps in the process. Will the next stage also take place online or will you have the opportunity to get to know each other live in the near future?
● Ask for feedback. Surprise your interviewer and ask his opinion on how he thinks the interview went. What advice does he have for you to have even more successful online interviews from now on?
Regardless of the result of the interview, it is important to understand that each discussion of this kind helps you to develop and train for that interview that will bring you the job you dreamed of. Look at these face to face or online meetings as opportunities for knowledge and be open to discovering new people, new companies and, why not, new things about yourself.