This article provides some essential tips to prepare yourself for interviews and help you feel more confident on the D-Day. The preparation is your chance to carefully re-evaluate your goals, your qualifications, your achievements and understand why you are the best fit for the role. Here are some tips for your preparation:
Tip: Not a history test!
Many candidates waste their time preparing for the wrong thing! The interviewer won’t ask you for an in-depth description of all the major events since the company was founded. Therefore, I wouldn’t recommend spending too much time learning about the company’s history, but more around the company’s culture, mission, and values.
Tip: Prepare to answer the big question
The main purpose of the interview is to find out why the company should hire you. The interviewer expects you to make a solid case on why you are a good fit for that role and how you can contribute to the company’s success. Therefore, you should dedicate a larger amount of time preparing this question. Here is an example on how you can make your case:
“From what I understand about this role, you’re looking for someone who can handle regulations challenges quickly and efficiently. In my previous roles, I had the opportunity to overcome such challenges by…”. You can then give examples that would show the interviewer the value you can bring to the table.
Bonus: Make a data-driven case – you need research, facts, and evidence to support your claims.
Tip: Be prepared to answer the following questions –
Why this company? Why should you hire me?
Collect the latest newsworthy bits of information about the company that you can use to enhance your conversation with the interviewer. Illustrate how you can solve some commonly faced issues in similar projects or examples of how you’ve helped improve your current company’s efficiency. Prepare at least 5 key selling points to answer the question as to why you are a good fit for that role. Here is an example of how you can present your selling points:
“From what I found out about the company, there is a current need to bring in more business into the consulting division. As a senior manager in my previous company, I successfully brought on board 3 clients looking for consulting in this space and helped increase the revenue in the division by 24% over a span of 2 years.”
Tip: Prepare to ask two or three open-ended questions
One of the simplest things that you can prepare for the interview is a set of two or three interesting and relevant open questions for the interviewer that shows that you are genuinely interested in bagging the role and would also stimulate the interviewer to discuss more.
For example, you can better understand the expectations from the role by asking – “What are some of the major targets that would have to be achieved for this role in the next quarter?”
Tip: Anticipate the interviewer’s hesitation and address them
As you know, there will be other candidates who will be applying for the same position along with you. One of the ways in which you can distinguish yourself from other candidates is by preparing yourself to address any reservations the interviewer might have to hire you.
Maybe you don’t have all the skills required for the position, or you haven’t got experience in the same type of business – in this case you could overcome any concerns by saying:
“I understand you may be concerned that I don’t have much experience in adhesives research. However, I have 10 years of experience in polymers research and both these products are similar in many ways. My experience in polymers will help me address industry specific issues in the following ways.. ”
Tip: Don’t compromise on the basics
You don’t need to be overwhelmed with the amount of information that you need to prepare for the interview. Try to keep it as simple as possible and make sure that you are prepared to answer basic questions like –
“Tell me about yourself and your experience in this field” or
“What are your strengths and weaknesses” or
“Where do you see yourself in the next 5 years”, and so on
Tip: Practice makes perfect
And lastly, it’s important to recognize the importance of practicing the way you deliver your answers beforehand. You don’t need to sound like you memorized a whole lot of data, but it would give you more confidence. You can time and/or record yourself: this will help you get an idea of what your answers sound like and help you cut out bad filler words that may catch the interviewer’s attention in a negative manner. Always remember that preparation is key!
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