The job interview is the most important stage of the recruitment process. You will have previously submitted your resume for the express purpose of having the recruiter contact you to schedule this long-awaited interview.
Everyone, whether qualified or not, must prepare for this meeting with the Human Resources officer because it is their only opportunity to make a good first impression. But how can one be truly prepared? Here are 6 tips to follow in order to tilt the odds in your favour during a professional interview.
1- Know the company to which you are applying very well
Do some research on the organization, on the position you hope to hold, and on the company culture. A solid knowledge of the position's prerequisites will let the recruiter know you are serious and motivated. The more research you do, the more you will know the employer and the better you will answer the questions you are asked.
2- Be on time!
Plan to arrive 15 minutes before your interview appointment. Take into account the location of the interview and your mode of transport for getting there. Always plan a bit of extra time in case of heavy traffic or an unexpected delay. If in spite of your planning ahead you think you will arrive late, try to notify the interviewer so he/she is expecting you to be late.
3- Prepare not only your answers, but also your questions!
As much as possible, try to predict what types of questions the recruiter might ask and rehearse your answers ahead of time. Just having a preestablished sketch of what you would answer while help alleviate some of your stress. That said, do not recite a memorized speech for the recruiter. The aim is to project confidence and the sense that you are on top of things.
After the interview, it's your turn to ask the questions. You can prepare them in advance. This will show your degree of interest and that you did your homework on the company. It is important to be ready to ask questions that show an interest in how the company operates or in the job. In the process of asking questions, you will discover if the job is truly suited to you.
4- Dress appropriately
Plan your wardrobe ahead of time, keeping in mind that you must appear professional, regardless of the job you are applying for. A candidate's appearance is of the utmost importance during a face-to-face meeting, so keep in mind that the recruiter will be evaluating you on this. It is recommended that you show up in top form, wearing sober, simple attire and well groomed.
5- Avoid distractions
Before the interview starts, power off your cell phone or put it on mute. This will keep you focused, confident and with the right purpose in mind.
6- Use appropriate language
The interview is your chance to shine in a professional setting. You are not there to make friends. Stay focused on your goal, show your professionalism and try to avoid any familiarity.