After a tiresome routine of waiting by the phone or checking your mails, you have finally been shortlisted by a well reputed company to attend a live job interview via phone call, video call or in person. The first thought would be how or what to do to create a best impression at the interview. This is indeed a very important point to be thought over because there are a lot of factors which will influence the candidate selection apart from answering the questions right, such as the manner in which you dress, speak and move.
There are a lot of jobs in the labor market with a surge in remote hiring. As per job site Indeed, 94% of all employers surveyed are now open to hiring outside of local markets, and 77% say their companies are open to remote workers, with SMBs and enterprise employers reporting similar numbers.
So here are some helpful pointers for you to get over those first-interview jitters and face it with complete confidence.
Do a thorough read-up.
In an interview, apart from questions revolving around your career goals, the most important question is when they ask about what made you choose to apply for that particular company or what according to you is the company’s mission. So do a thorough research about the company’s history, their founders, completed and upcoming projects, various departments and also about your hiring manager, their expertise or accomplishments. This will allow you to feel at ease and answer in a more natural and confident manner. It will also encourage you to ask more targeted questions and indicate your level of seriousness about the job.
Practice with a mock interview Q&A session.
It is normal to feel nervous when you enter an interview room and sometimes that nervousness can get the better of you. In order to make yourself calm and composed during the interview process, you can hold a mock or practice interview session with the help of your friends or family. First, make a list of common interview questions that can be asked at the actual interview. The questions can be split into two categories. Category one can be interview questions that you will be asked and category two can be questions that you can ask to the interviewer. Make sure to keep your answers short and to the point and also see to it that they are within a 60-90 seconds time frame. For your reference, given below are some common questions:
Questions for you
- Can you tell me about yourself?
- What do you know about our company and how are your goals aligned with ours?
- What was your most difficult challenge in your career and how did you overcome it?
- What is your salary range or salary expectations?
- What are your greatest strengths?
- Why should we hire you?
Questions for the interviewer
- What sort of projects or responsibilities will I be handling?
- Will there be any changes for this job role within the next one year?
- What sort of skills or qualities do you look for in an ideal candidate?
- What opportunities will be there for the development of my career?
- What is the company culture followed here?
A sharp, professional dress code is a confidence builder.
The first aspect you will get judged on is the way you dress. This is because it is the first visual factor an outsider automatically or unknowingly connects you with. The manner in which you dress can say a lot about your level of dedication or seriousness for the job. So your attire should communicate professionalism at the first glance. This does not mean you have to spend all your savings on designer brands. Get a few classic coloured (white, black, navy, cream, brown, grey, pastels, neutrals etc.) shirts and pants for men and blouses and skirts or pants for women. Then, two pairs of suits or formal jackets. Wearing a suit is not compulsory for all interviews since the dress code will vary from one field to another. Finally, buy good quality and work appropriate footwear even if you need to spend a bit more than usual because you will be needing them everyday for your future job. Wearing a clean and neatly pressed, formal attire automatically switches up your level of confidence. In case you are not sure about what dress code to follow, you can always check with the respective company’s HR to confirm.
Adopt the right body language.
Body language and your manners speak a lot about your character. So first you need to have a calm and confident mind because if you tend to get nervous, that nervousness will reflect on your body language and manner of speaking as well. Take some deep breaths and remind yourself that you are here because you were shortlisted from a large number of prospective candidates. While entering the interview room or video interview, greet the panel of interviewers, making eye contact and wearing a pleasant smile. Give a handshake only if considered safe or appropriate. Always walk with your head held high and back straight, sit upright and do not slouch. Practise the day before with the help of your friends or family on how you will greet the interviewer.
Prep all important documents beforehand.
Make sure all your important documents are in hand, such as your resume, degree certifications, achievements, project works etc. Always keep extra copies of the mentioned documents in case you need to submit to the hiring manager for their reference. Keep them all neatly filed and packed away in your bag, so you won’t miss out on any or rush at the last minute.
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Keep a sound mind & a healthy body.
When the date for your interview nears, you tend to be restless and may not feel like eating or sleeping much. This can take a toll on your health and can affect your interview performance. Instead you can ease your mind through meditation and involve yourself in physical activities like exercising and outdoor games. Eat healthy meals three times a day, do not skip them because you need all the energy you can get. Most importantly, you need to have a good night’s sleep, minimum of 6 hours. Avoid drinking caffeine late evenings and resist staring at your mobile screens before going to sleep. These habits will help you feel fresh, energised and ready to seize the day with confidence.
Punctuality is of vital importance.
Whether it is an online or in-person interview, ensure you are on-time. If you are traveling, keep at least 30 minutes of grace time, in case you face any obstacles on the way like heavy traffic, parking delay etc. For an online interview, be ready at least 10 min before the estimated time. Arriving early will give you some cool off time before the interview and also review your notes in the meantime. It also shows your time management skills to your potential employer as well as respect for the interviewer’s time.
Post-Interview follow up.
Following up one or two weeks after your job interview through call or email shows your continued interest in the job position. Keep your message short and to the point. Mention that you would like to know the status of your hiring process and also thank them for considering you as a candidate.
So to conclude, keep all the above points in mind and put them to practice. It will definitely help in opening up new doors toward your career goals and always maintain a positive and determined approach, no matter what the result. Keep your drive for success intact and take the next step forward.
Further Reading: 5 most important tips to crack your next technical interview.