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“You will never get a second chance to make a great first impression” - Will Rogers
It takes seconds for us to create an impression about those we meet. This highlights the need to prepare well, to make a solid first impression during job interviews.
Here’s how the typical job hunt scenario unfolds. You have been planning to look for a new job for a while now, and have checked out job adverts on the usual sources – job portals, social media, word of mouth etc. You liked a few jobs and have shared your resume, which, by the way, took you some time to polish and make relevant to the jobs applied.
Now’s the turn to wait for the interview calls. No need to fret over what and how, because here’s a guide on what you must and mustn’t do in job interviews.
If you're scrummaging through the web trying to prep for your dream job, we can help instead. From negotiating with the HR to curating the best CV, our expert has you covered: Get job ready.
Before the interview
1. Research is key
Research the company well. Think about how to position your skills and achievements in the context of the organisation and role that you are applying for:
- You can read about the financial health, structure, and culture of the company.
- See if you have any contacts on LinkedIn who currently work or have worked in this organisation.
- Research the interviewers.
2. Prep and read
Read the job description in detail. Prepare for the interview, and think of any questions that you’d want to ask to help make your decision clearer.
3. Be a STAR
Think of your key achievements, skills, situations where you worked under time pressure, people management, strengths & weaknesses and the likes before your interview, and jot down the Situation, Task, Action, and Result (STAR) for the same.
4. Don't skip the homework
Do your homework on salary trends in the market for the job, keeping the market situation (high growth vs slowdown), sector (growth trends), and movement (progression vs lateral move) in mind.
- Consider the complete package, including pay, benefits, flexibility, learning opportunities, growth potential etc, while making a salary decision.
- Keep room for negotiation.
During the interview
1. Dress professionally for the interview, and try to keep your energy high for the discussion. Reach a bit early.
2. The toughest questions are where we have to describe our response to a situation via examples. Your STAR approach should help with these.
3. It’s okay to admit that you do not know an answer, but would be willing to apply logical reasoning to think it through.
- Take a pause to think through your response.
- Don’t make something up. Seasoned recruiters and experienced professionals can instantly catch lies.
4. Maintain your calm through the discussion. It shows how you handle pressure. Smile and maintain eye contact.
5. No matter what your reasons may be to leave your current job, never bad mouth an old employer or manager.
6. Ask questions to understand as much as possible about the job, work environment, benefits, flexibility, and the like.
The interview is a time for both sides to assess whether or not the job in question matches the applicant.
After the interview
1. Ask for a specified timeline for the next steps during the interview. Follow up with the recruiter after a week or two to confirm if your resume has moved to the next stage.
2. Irrespective of whether or not the job interview worked out or not, end the discussion on a positive note.
Remember, an interviewer doesn’t want to know more about your resume, but about you. Preparation and confidence are the keys to a successful interview! Now that you're all set to go, find your dream job on our Job Board. Breathe, stay positive, and give it your best shot.
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