Here are some top 12 tips for candidates to crack that job interview.
1. Tailor Your CV
First things first, have the basics right. A generic CV won’t do. Make sure you tailor your resume according to the opportunity you are applying for. Highlight all the top skills that make you the most suitable candidate for the role. We often see many candidates making a big mistake of copy pasting generic job responsibilities on their resumes from websites. Instead of merely mentioning generic job duties, highlight your achievements, mention how you performed those duties to achieve the objectives of the companies you worked for.
if you are applying for a Business development manager role
My duties included
As a Business Development Manager of XYZ corporation, I have been instrumental in increasing the total revenue of the company from Dhs. 300,000 to 1 Million within a span of five months by onboarding 8 new clients and turning around the sales by optimizing the process…..
2. Carry a hard copy
Though you have already sent a softcopy of your resume over email, always carry a hard copy to an interview. Most interviewers do keep a printed hard copy of your resume on the table during the discussion, nevertheless, don’t assume they already have one. It’s always good to carry one in hand.
3. Do your homework / Research
4. Check their social presence
Make sure you spend some time checking the company’s social media pages. This will give you an understanding of the organization’s work culture and office environment. If, by any chance you know the name of the person who would be conducting your interview, look up the person on LinkedIn. See if there is anything there, that could be used to strike a personal note with the interviewer. Maybe a mutual contact or a university you both attended.
5. Dress your best
Dress your best for the interview for this is going to play a major role in creating that important first impression while you walk into the interview room. When you look good, you feel good and it increases your overall confidence when you talk to the interviewer. Try to adhere to a strictly formal dress code but also make sure it is in line with the work culture of the organization or matching the industry style.
6. Reach on time OR earlier!
Punctuality is a very important quality that every employer expects from their staff and making it on time for your job interview is vital. Check the company location map, trace the location on google and save that information handy, so there is no last minute hassle to find the location. Leave home early anticipating any unforeseen circumstances like traffic jams or the like.
7. Observe everything
One of the advantages of reaching earlier than the schedule for your interview is that you get a chance to relax before taking your interview and also observe the organization’s work culture, ambiance and the people that work there already. Make sure you take note of every little detail, for god is in the details. Right from the flooring, the furniture, or the potted plants in the lobby, make sure you take note of everything that is interesting and can be picked up to break the ice during the discussion.
8. Do the communication right!
Make sure that every communication with the prospective company is professional, consistent and displays your unique personality. Be prompt is responding to communication from the prospective employer, be it over email or Skype or other media. Make the prospective employer feel that you are passionate about the opportunity and look forward to meeting them for an interview.
9. Aura & Positive Attitude
Right from the time to respond with your interest to the prospective employer to the time you walk into the campus of the organization, you are being watched, judged and possibly rated. This is why few companies today invite candidates over a corporate lunch or dinner. Some companies find it very important to assess a candidate’s confidence level and manners in social settings. Walk in with confidence with your head always held high. Make sure you pass a smile and act courteously to everyone you meet there, right from the doorman, the receptionist or other employees you meet along the way.
10. Confidence nails it!
Display a positive and pleasant aura, walk in with a gentle smile and greet the interviewer /Interviewers first before getting seated. Give relevant answers to the questions and always maintain eye contact. Looking elsewhere, fidgeting with your pen, or scribbling on your notepad shows you are a distracted, uninterested candidate. Show interest by keeping the eye contact. Keep the vibe positive with a smile on the lips at all times.
11. Be attentive
Be attentive and try to understand the interviewer’s question first before answering. If you did not understand the question, you can gently ask the interviewer to repeat it. Don’t interrupt the interviewer in between. Wait for him/her to finish their question before answering. You can take a short pause before answering to show that you are taking the time to understand the question before blurting out an answer. But don’t make the pause too long enough for the interviewer to start feeling that you don’t have an answer.
12. Ask Questions
One of the most important questions most interviewers ask before concluding the interview is – “Do you have any questions about the company?“ Pause for a moment and ask the pre-prepared queries. It is an important element of the interview process and this last but not the least important question can make or break your chances of getting the job. You must ask relevant questions and use it as an opportunity to raise concerns or find out details about the job that may not be there on the JD provided by your recruitment consultant or on the company website.
You could ask pertinent questions like: What is the single biggest challenge faced by the organization and how your job could help solve it. Do they offer any perks, incentives for performers who meet or exceed their targets? Does the company offer training or allow travel abroad for specialized training in the field? etc. are some of the questions you can think of.
Maintain the same smile and composure with which you walked in. Before you leave, make sure to exchange a handshake with the interviewer and thank him for the time he spared. Also, let him know that you are very interested in the offer (If you are) and that you look forward to hearing back from them soon.
You did your part by giving your best shot for the interview. Now it is the turn of the management to decide whether you are a good fit for their organization. Don’t keep calling the Human Resources the very next day to know the results of the interview. Wait for a few days for the company to get back to you. If you don’t hear back from the company for more than two weeks, do a follow-up and find out if your candidature is successful.
John Thomas is a UAE based social media & employer branding consultant who currently works hand in hand with some of the leading brands in the MENA region, helping them improve their digital footprint, increase employer brand awareness and accentuate their social media presence.