Cracking a job interview has always been daunting and makes it stressful for candidates. With the Covid-19 pandemic, this has become even more challenging as organizations adjust to the new normal and candidates also have to deal with changes occurring in the work culture. As the majority of organizations have moved towards adopting a digital infrastructure, it is quite common for the initial rounds or the entire interview process to be conducted online.
Regardless of whether it is a virtual or in-person interview, advance preparation for it is imperative.
To pass the interview successfully, there are a few key things to keep in mind:
Research for the employer
While having an impressive resume and experience are helpful, understanding the employer well also makes you stand out in the interview. Research is a key factor in conducting a successful interview. Knowing the company and whether or not you could be the right fit for it makes the candidate a better fit for the company.
On the other hand, not knowing about the company can frustrate the interviewer. It also shows a lack of initiative on your part. Having some knowledge of the company is so important that many interviewers even ask their candidates what they know about the company.
Those who have negligible to say about the company are immediately eliminated from the next round, given that they are unprepared/disinterested. Thus, in the present scenario, doing basic research can give you an edge over other candidates
Show your interest in the company
There are many ways to show that the candidate is interested in working with the company. One effective way is to ask relevant questions about the company’s work culture at the end of the interview. It helps to get more insight into the company and how it feels to work with them.
Start by going through its website, where you can find the most relevant information about the organization.
Once you know the information that has been mentioned publicly, start making a list of questions that you would like to ask the interviewer. Be specific about each question and try to include the things that can bring you more clarity.
For example, if you have seen that the company invests a lot in the training and development of its people, you can ask more about the programs they offer.
Set your first impression
Whether you’re interviewing face-to-face or virtually, first impressions are always helpful in making a mark. It starts the moment you walk into the room or turn on the online interview video.
For virtual interviews, make sure you are seated in a noise-free area away from household and other distractions. Moreover, having a clean and clear background is also paramount to show the level of professionalism of the candidate.
Also remember to look directly into the camera and stay focused. While appearing for a face-to-face interview, make sure you are properly dressed and well-dressed. Apart from decent formal wear, be confident in your body language and go for it.
Share more about your experience
One of the most common questions interviewers ask these days is “tell me something that’s not on your resume.”
This helps determine whether the candidate is a good fit for the company’s work culture or not. In addition to letting the interviewer know about the competency, be sure to let them know that you will be the right fit for the team.
As a candidate, take this question as an opportunity to share your attributes, strengths, and qualities. When the interviewer knows about your intangible strengths, it becomes easy to succeed in the interview.
Avoid yes or no answers
Yes or no answers to questions should be strictly avoided as they are clear signs of lack of confidence and nervousness in the candidate. Always clarify answers and try to go through the Q&A round in a conversational tone.
One of the biggest reasons to avoid yes or no is that it doesn’t tell the employer much about your experience. View the interview as an opportunity to sell your skills comprehensively.
For example, if the interviewer asks about a specific professional course you’ve taken and mentioned on your resume, try to explain how you used it and its relevance in your current role.
No matter how difficult your interview may be, be sure to prepare thoroughly for it. Also, after the interview is over, try to contact the interviewer or hiring manager.
For example, you can make a short text message or email to thank them and share how valuable the interview round is. Also, stay proactive when you know you are likely to be shortlisted for the next round.
If you haven’t received any updates, you can always write a short follow-up email. Keep sentences short and formal.
Article by Ms. Yogita Tulsiani, MD and Co-Founder, iXceed Solutions (Global Staffing Technology Provider).
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