Job Interview Checklists: 6 Tips to ace an interview

Congratulations! You've been called in for a job interview. You're really excited about the chance to work at this innovative, dynamic organization, but you're terrified. What do you need to do? What questions should you ask? How should you dress and present yourself? With that in mind, let's talk about some tips to ace an interview.

1. Know your CV, Inside, and Out

One of the most critical aspects of the interview process is a thorough understanding of your resume. Before attending any interview, you should be able to go through your resume and explain each part in detail. It's even better if you can orally summarize your resume. Additionally, you should know the type of impression your resume will make on the interviewer.

Is it the right length?

Is it too detailed or brief?

Did you include your critical skills?

Is it current or out of date?

If needed, polish your resume and ensure it best reflects your skills and expertise. Here are some of the tips for building a fantastic resume:

- Keep your CV short, simple and sweet (Maximum 2 pages)

- Use a proper format

- Write an impressive summary

- Proofread and check for errors

2. Research the company

Asking questions about the company is a no-no in most interviews. But researching the company and founder before the interview shows your interest and helps you connect better with the interviewer. Remember, no one likes a job seeker who has no clue about the company.

In this digital age, there are many ways to get information about the company. You can use the internet, company annual reports, websites, social media channels, industry publications, and investor relations websites. 

Essentially, you are trying to find as much information as possible about the company's history, current situation, and future plans. The more you know about the company, the better you will be able to tailor your answers to fit the position you're applying for and differentiate yourself from other candidates. The best topics to find about the company are:

The Founder: What is the origin of the company? Who was he? What was his motivation? Knowing the founder and his background is important because it tells you about the company's vision and values.

Company Philosophy: How has it changed over time, and what new philosophies have they introduced? What are its ideals and mission statements?

Products & Services: What products or services are they offering? What is their current market share in their respective industries?

What's next on their plan for the future: What innovative products/services does the company offer or plan to offer in the future?

Investors: How does the company stay in business and meet customer demands, expenses, and financial needs?

The Competition: Who are they competing with, how are they different from them, which market segment do they dominate, what are their biggest challenges etc.

3. Understand Your Role Properly

It is good to know company information and have an idea of the company's future. But the most important thing is to see the role and what you will do in the job. The interviewer is trying to determine your ability and skill set to do the job. So you should be ready to answer the question, "what will you do in this job?" If you have applied for a specific job, you should know about that job. Even if you are applying for a completely different position, you should know about the job and be ready to answer further questions.

Ensure to read the job description carefully, figure out the job responsibilities, and prepare to explain how you will do an excellent job in the position.

4. Be Punctual, Carry a smile, and look Confident.

Being on time for an interview is crucial. Not only does it show that you are responsible and prepared, but it also shows the hiring manager that you respect their time. If there is a genuine reason why you are running late, you can inform the interviewer of the situation and apologize, but make sure you arrive at the interview with plenty of time to spare. Smiling is another essential part of the interview process. It can help you relax and make a great first impression.

Moreover, it shows that you are friendly and interested in the interview. Carrying a positive and confident attitude during the entire interview process is essential. You should have a piece of good knowledge about yourself and your skills and be ready to talk about it.

Here are a few tips to consider:

Look Happy: You may not be in the best of moods (this job search can be long and stressful), but you need to look like you are. You want to make an excellent first impression, so go ahead and smile at the interviewer.

Groom yourself:

  • Make sure you have the right clothes.
  • Wear appropriate shoes.
  • Be well groomed (trim your hair, cut your nails etc.).
Make eye contact: Maintaining eye contact throughout your interview is your primary method of expressing confidence and being careful about eyes that appear intense or prolonged.

Take care of your body language: Nervous signals, such as fidgeting, may reflect stress or disability. If you can control such nervous gestures before your interview, do so.

Related: 5 effective ways to develop your personality

5. Talk about your experience, if any.

Although, the answer to the question "Tell us about yourself" can seem pretty boring. To make an impression, you must present your experience and make a communication in a good and exciting way. Mention key responsibilities that you have achieved, successes and failures in your past jobs, and what you will focus on during this new job.

Also, it is good if you have some stories to share about your past achievements. The interviewer wants to know that you are a person who can deliver results, and it is a plus if you can talk about accomplishments you're proud of. Take a look at some important points to remember while sharing your past experiences:

Don't badmouth your ex-employer: Never badmouth your ex-boss or the company. You never know who might know the person you are talking about, which can hurt your chances for the current job.

Just be Honest: Being honest is important, but don't leave things out just to be politically correct. The interviewer wants to know that you can handle the job, so be honest and do not exaggerate or lie. You don't want to get caught in a lie when it matters most.

Answer questions quickly: If you are asked a question in an interview, answer it as soon as possible. If you leave the question hanging, the fact that you didn't answer it will reflect your attitude towards the job, which is not good.

6. Get ready for questions.

Interviewers ask questions about your job experience, career goals, and hobbies. They want to know your speaking ability and if you are a good fit for the company and if the job is a good fit. It's important to be ready for every type of question so you can give the best answers possible. Some common interview questions are:

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Where do you see yourself in five years?

Why are you leaving your current job?

What is your greatest achievement?

What are your short-term goals?

What are your long-term goals?

By conducting practice interviews in advance, you will feel more confident in actual interviews. Ask a trusted friend or relative to come with you to the interview practices.

The next step

Successfully finishing an interview is only half the battle. You must also follow up with a thank you letter. A thank you, the candidate writes a letter to the hiring manager after the interview. It is a chance to express gratitude, show interest in the job, and provide any details you forgot to mention during the interview. Follow these six tips to ace an interview, and you'll have a better chance of landing your dream job. Good luck!

Finally, you must be prepared to go above and beyond to secure the job. You should be ready to make your interview experience memorable. And to do so, you need to be prepared to go the extra mile with your appearance, have a positive attitude, and be prepared for challenging questions.

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