It is an opportunity to showcase your best qualities and make the first impression on the recruiter/potential employer. How can you manage it? You should prepare carefully in advance!
10 steps to prepare for an interview
1) Do extensive research on the company
Research the company inside and out – its activities, industry, business model, recent projects, etc. It is also good if you know all the brands and products of the company.
The better you understand its intricacies, the more it’ll be obvious that you want to work for this company. If you and the recruiter are on the same page, the chances of getting the job will be high.
Check out different sources to get info:
· Official website of the company
· Social nets of the company/ brands it works with
· Various press releases (e.g., you can research what PR activities the company is holding), etc.
2) Thoroughly review the position
You should take a close look at the job description and the requirements for similar positions in other companies. Thoroughly look through the qualities required for a perfect candidate, along with the daily duties that you will have. Then, during the interview, you will be sure which hard skills (e.g., writing program code) and soft skills (e.g., time-management) you need to focus on when presenting yourself.
3) Research the recruiter
Try to find out who will interview you. First, read the recruiter’s career record on LinkedIn (in Russia, you can go on LinkedIn through VPN). Check out the interviewer’s social media profiles, and also try to find mutual acquaintances, who probably may have worked with them or know them personally.
The more you know about the recruiter, the more confident you will be in the interview. For example, if you are interviewed by a person with experience in management consulting, they are more likely to give a lot of attention to how you think and convey your thoughts. If your interviewer is a person with a creative background, then your creative ideas will be meaningful to them.
4) Research the market and the industry
Properly analyze the industry of the company: trends, major players and their strategy, the market position of the company, its strengths and weaknesses, etc.
Once you make out the overall picture, it will be easier to present clear arguments during the interview and answer questions such as, “What would you do to achieve certain goals in the market?”
To search for such information, we recommend you look through thematic publications, news, press releases, and sources such as Harvard Business Review, Rusbase, VC.ru, etc. Compile different perspectives, and then you will see the overall picture and will be able to find the answer quickly.
5) Define why this particular company and position is interesting for you
Be ready to answer the question “Why our company and this position?” Your goal is to figure out your real motivation. It should relate to your long-term career plans, values, your current starting position, and the long-term goals of the company. Take time to think this question over and write down a clear answer to it.
6) Find out the type of interview you will be going on
Ask your recruiter what type of job interview conducted: case interview (solving a company’s business situations), fit interview (behavioural interview, when you need to give an example from real life), technical interview (solve a technical problem, more often in IT), stress interview (when a test-stressful situation needs to be solved, etc.) Usually, companies announce the type of the interview in advance, because many of them require careful preparation. Often, the interview type depends on the position and requirements. For example, some companies combine case and stress interviews and test the variety of qualities the candidate must have.
7) Immerse yourself in the company context
Sometimes, people share their experience of passing an interview in various companies on their social networks: YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, etc.
If you familiarize yourself with such content, you will dive even deeper into the company, and probably will learn the most common terminology. By applying this knowledge in the interview, you can show your involvement and be on the same page with future colleagues.
8) Get a good night’s sleep and meal
Be sure to sleep well before the interview and eat a nutritious breakfast. Physical preparation is highly important for passing interviews, as sometimes they last from 9 am to 8 pm.
To withstand such a marathon, you should be fit. In order to calm your nerves before the interview, stop preparing 24 hours before the interview; use this time to rest and sleep well. Your head already has all of the information (if you’ve prepared well, of course), and in the interview, you will be able to focus and present yourself in a professional and calm manner.
9) Prepare things beforehand
Think in advance about what to take with you for the interview (CV and maybe some snacks). Usually, recruiters print the CV of candidates to use, but not always. Therefore, it is better to print your resume just in case.
Sometimes, companies give tests in advance. Complete them at home, form a solution in their presentation format, print two copies, and take it to the interview.
Moreover, don’t forget about your appearance – dress appropriately, prepare suitable clothes, shoes, accessories. Recruiters pay attention to the appearance of the applicant as well, so be ready to show the best version of yourself in all aspects.
10) Thank the recruiter after the interview
After the interview, write a brief email to the person who interviewed you. Say that you were pleased to have this opportunity to have an interview, and you are interested in further cooperation.
Also, if there was a question in the interview, but you couldn’t give a clear answer at that moment, provide it in the email (if it is a worthwhile idea). This afterthought will emphasize your interest in the position, remind the recruiter of your motivation, and distinguish you from other candidates.
Remember that high-quality interview preparation is the key to success. Therefore, take your time and thoroughly look over all the steps!