Job Interview — A Practical Handbook to Help You Nail Any Job Interview
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Job Interview — A Practical Handbook to Help You Nail Any Job Interview

If you want to leave a long-lasting impression in a job interview and secure a new position in the job market, it’s essential to have an impeccable resume. In some cases, a Cover Letter also helps to highlight your qualities and skills. However, keep in mind that writing a good resume is only one part of your journey because, after that, there is still a detail just as important — the job interview. The interview is usually seen as scary by candidates, especially those who are shy or less experienced. 

In this article, we will discuss all the aspects that will help you nail any job interview. We aim to give you a practical handbook you can refer to whenever you need it. Let’s do this!

The First Step to Prepare Yourself for a Job Interview

It is time for the interview, and being confident at this moment is crucial. You know that your resume is appropriately updated, and you also know that you have the knowledge and skills necessary to fill the vacancy.

However, do you know how the dynamics of a job interview work? The first step to a successful interview is understanding how it works, what the types are, and what it is for.

What Is a Job Interview?

The interview is when recruiters or HR professionals get to know the profile and characteristics of the candidates for their open positions. During the interview, they will analyze if all the information presented in the resume is accurate.

There are different types of job interviews, such as the group interview, which evaluates several candidates at once, and the individual interview, which is the most commonly used format.

The COVID-19 pandemic has made online interviews a necessity, with everyone having to stay quarantined in their homes. This is another interview approach that is getting more and more space since digital media provides this solution. Online interviews can happen through Skype, Zoom Meeting, and Google Hangouts, among others. It is essential to share all the basic details that show you are beyond your resume, even in an online interview.

It’s essential to maintain a good appearance and speak clearly. Here are some tips to get you prepared for this moment. 

Choose an appropriate location. It is important to be in a well-lit place with minimal interference from external noises such as cars honking, dogs barking, and people talking. You must eliminate all distractions such as TVs, mobile phones, and people walking around the room.

Be careful with your looks. There is no need to wear your best clothes, but avoid appearing in pajamas, with messy hair and a sleepy expression. Keep the same professional attitude you would have in a face-to-face interview.

Check your connection. Before the interview, it is vital to test your internet connection to avoid problems. In this case, a helpful hint is to connect the Internet cable from your computer directly to the modem. 

Interview by Competence

Competency-based interview, also known as behavioral interview, is the most common employee selection process. During this type of interview, recruiters may ask candidates to describe real-life situations that they have been through. You should not hesitate to share how you behaved as honesty is highly valued.

Preparing for this type of interview requires the candidates to be calm because there is no established standard of questions in this modality. There may be questions from situations that you have not faced yet. It is important to have critical thinking and use other experiences to answer how you would act in the case presented. It’s essential to structure your answers well and be honest, avoiding clichés to succeed in a competency-based interview. 

How Do I Behave in a Job Interview?

It is one of the most frequently asked questions that candidates ask after filling out their resumes. Actually, there are no secrets. The proper behavior of a candidate who is about to participate in a job interview is honesty and tranquillity. There are also other equally essential requirements, such as the examples we will discuss below. 

Choose the Right Clothes for the Job Interview. The clothes for the job interview are related to your image. Remember that your appearance says a lot about you. Besides, you are facing a significant opportunity in your professional life, and you should also demonstrate attention regarding your looks. Also, take into account the profile of the company and the position. Many younger companies adopt a “no dress code” culture. Others, on the other hand, require more formal clothing. 

However, there is no need for exaggerations. Using common sense, it goes without saying you should avoid short clothes, shorts, caps, and flip-flops. 

Be Right on Time. Check the address before the interview and find the most appropriate route to get there. It is necessary to leave at least 15 or even 20 minutes earlier. If you still have a problem on the way (traffic, car failure, for example), contact the recruiting team and inform them of the situation. For this reason, it is important to have the company number, not to be surprised when faced with such issues. Remember that punctuality also applies to the online interview. So check your connection beforehand.

Mind Your Body Language. The way you speak and sit shows whether you are relaxed and prepared for the interview, as well as your motivation. The goal is always to keep the correct posture, face the other person, and actively listen to the questions and explanations. The ideal scenario is not to exaggerate your movements and speak the same way you would to your friend.

Practice and Know What to Say in a Job Interview. Knowing what to say in an interview is essential, and a vital hint is to train for it. Check your posture, practice your communication, and remember to answer questions objectively in front of the mirror. Answer the questions honestly; there is no need to use fancy words to make your delivery more beautiful. Get to the point fast and be concise with what you say. 

Identify the Recruiter’s Approach. If possible, try to find out prior to the interview what the recruiter’s approach is to be better prepared to answer the questions. You can find out this by getting to know more about the characteristics of the company. Also, companies today are looking for employees who fit into their culture. This is called “cultural fit.” For this reason, it is noteworthy to know the mission, vision, and values of the company. 

How to Succeed in a Job Interview

The candidate must be prepared for the job interview in due time, without leaving everything to the last minute. Practice your answers, choose the right clothes, and update your resume well before the interview. Moreover, it is also relevant to take other equally mattering points into account. Check them out!

Self-knowledge is Necessary. Being aware of your qualities and goals is one of the most important aspects for anyone who wants to succeed in an interview. Identify what your highest quality is. Do you know how to work in a team? Then highlight it. 

Strengths and weaknesses are a big part of the interview process. Some recruiters question your strengths and weaknesses to assess your self-knowledge. Avoid highlighting those clichéd strengths, answer honestly, evaluate and expose strengths you are proud of and believe can help you in the workspace. As for the weaknesses, again, avoid the clichés. Think about what difficulties you have had in other situations and characteristics you would like to develop better. It is also noteworthy to map practical actions to improve this behavioral aspect. 

Know the Company and the Vacancy. It is relevant to know as much as you can about the place you are trying to get into. Learn more about the company, search for information on their website and social media, research their main characteristics, days (or weeks) before the interview. Also, be aware of the position you are competing for. Try to get to know what exact knowledge is required. It will help you to perform well when asked about the role.

Use the STAR Method. STAR consists of a structure that allows you to tell your story and achievements briefly. The name STAR comes from the initials “situation”, “task”, “action”, and “result”. By following this structure, you will be able to demonstrate your main competencies adequately. 

Give Examples of Your Behaviors. Besides good technical knowledge, the recruiter wants to know the candidate’s behavioral profile in an interview. So, when using the STAR method, take the opportunity to highlight the characteristics of your behavior. Emphasize whether you are a good team player or have a leadership profile, among other significant attributes. 

Honesty is the Key. Once again, be honest in your statements. Also, if you have done your homework well, knowing the company and the position, there is no reason to lie. Remember that if you give false information, you may stutter, show insecurity, and the recruiter may notice it.

Ask Questions at the End. In certain situations, the recruiters ask the candidate if they have any questions at the end of the interview.  In this case, take the opportunity to show interest through a relevant question. It can make you stand out among other candidates. An example of a question is “how do you define company culture?”

Most Common Job Interview Questions

Some recruiters have a well-known set of questions. This already makes it easier for you not to be surprised and know how to behave in a job interview. 

Therefore, it is crucial to know some of these questions to improve your response and improvisation skills. Research what recruiters usually ask for the position you are applying for. Here are some examples:

“Tell me about yourself.” That’s a classic question. It’s usually the interviewer’s first move. If you answer this question well, you are very likely to capture the recruiter’s attention from the beginning to the end of the interview. Self-knowledge is your shield to get out of this question unharmed. So before the interview, take a piece of paper, make a line of your life, and list your major achievements. It also applies to answering the one about weaknesses and strengths.

“Where do you want to be in 10 years?”. It is an excellent question to know if you intend to evolve in your position within the company and see if you have a vision for the future and a career plan. In this case, you can answer in which area and what knowledge you see yourself with, what growth you want to achieve, either in position or learning. That is why knowing the company becomes a requirement.

“Why should I hire you?” or “why shouldn’t I hire you?”. Such questions require you to have emotional intelligence. These questions also allow the recruiter to recognize characteristics such as honesty and humbleness; after all, when answering why they should NOT hire you, you will have to highlight your weaknesses.

Tips for a Job Interview

In addition to everything we previously discussed, here are some more basic tips:

  • Be nice
  • Fit into the recruiter’s approach. The person can be humorous or more serious
  • Keep eye contact with the recruiter
  • Don’t badmouth the company you have worked for previously or confidential data 
  • Eat properly and sleep well before the interview

The Job interview is an Important Step for You to Join a Company

Knowing how to behave in a job interview defines several aspects of your profile and your knowledge. Thus, pay attention to these hints and prepare yourself in the best way for a job interview. 


And if you’re ready to give a boost to your career, have a look at the open positions we are currently hiring for.

The author

Author

Ieva Tamošiūnė / @ievatamosiune

Brand Communication Manager @ Hostinger

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