Published on LinkedIn by Mateja Hanžurej, Career Adviser / Project Manager at University of Maribor.
The excitement about getting a job interview invitation often does not last very long, since attending a job interview is a very stressful situation for every candidate. To reduce the stress, good preparation is necessary. The awareness of what you can offer the employer can increase your self-esteem. In this article I will present a few basic steps that can help you prepare for the interview.
1. Analyse the employer. Who is your employer? It is expected of you that you make your homework and find out as much as possible about your potential employer. What are the main activities of the company? Who are its key clients? What are the expectations? What are its achievements? What is the vision and mission of the company, organisational structure, company culture, etc.? Gather as many information as you can. Use also other sources beside the company’s webpage, for example its LinkedIn page, Facebook page, articles in newspapers or magazines, TV, maybe you or your friend knows someone who works there. All the information you collect must be trustworthy.
2. It is essential to choose appropriate clothes for the interview. Appearance is very important. Usually you cannot go wrong with the business look. If you make a mistake with your look, you will probably not be hired. So learn about the company culture. If they have a dress code, stick to it.
3. Prepare a short presentation. In almost every job interview you will be asked to tell something about yourself and this way present yourself briefly. Have in mind the position you are applying for and choose the work experiences, skills and competences that are the most relevant for the job. Do not forget to mention your achievements. Your presentation should be about 1 minute long.
4. Get there on time: Being late on your job interview is not excusable. Check the location of the interview. Plan how you will get there (car, public transport). If possible, go to the location a day or two earlier, just to be sure how much time it takes.
5. Ask questions. It is important that you ask questions as well and therefore express interest in joining their team. Prepare your questions in advance, so that you won’t be surprised, when you get the opportunity to ask something. Do not forget to ask about the next steps of the selection process and when you can expect the answer.
Nowadays, job interviews are often carried out via Skype or other similar tools because of the long distance between the employer and the candidate. Before such an interview takes place, make sure your equipment works properly and that your internet connection is good enough to carry out the interview without disturbance. The room that you choose for the skype interview should be quiet and try to avoid any possible disruptions.
Job interview is a very wide topic to discuss. I recommend you to visit a career adviser, where you can simulate a job interview, or attend a workshop to get more detailed information.