The job market can be extremely tough. You are either well prepared but do not have any experience or you have too many qualifications. Acquiring a great job is quite an accomplishment.
However, most people do not do that well at interviews. With the pressure building up they start feeling stressed. Emotions are normal and an optimal amount of stress does help your mind work quicker. The best way to take the edge off is to prepare in advance.
Do your homework
Dozens of people are chosen out of thousands based on their CV and cover letters. But when dealing with a manager face to face, things are slightly different. There are a few standard questions you can expect to be asked, such as ‘Where do you see yourself in five years?’ or ‘Why did you apply for this particular job’. Most people do say that they would still like to be working for the company which they are interviewing for right now, and they applied because they like what the company stands for or does.
However, things could then get a little tricky. The follow-up question will most definitely be ‘And what is that?’ If you did not do your homework on the company, you will surely never be called back again.
How to prepare
Research the company on the internet. Know everything about the biggest project it had and certain industry trends. It is advisable you know who the CEO, founder and other important people are. Search their profiles on LinkedIn, if they have one, and see what they have been working on lately. Find information related to how this company came into existence. Try to correlate every single piece of information with your own strengths.
Become familiar with all of the company’s products or services. If you can, try to come up with original ideas that could be applied for an added value. Make a list of all the potential opportunities you see, and how your own experience and expertise could improve certain aspects of the sector you will be working in.
The art of selling yourself
Remember, at an interview, you have the chance to sell yourself, so do it well. Think about certain potential questions in advance. Even if the question the interviewer will ask you does not relate to your accomplishments but is meant to assess your knowledge of the company, you can still say you agree with a certain aspect of their core beliefs, and so on.
If you are a graduate, you will most definitely be asked about how and why you chose a specific course. ‘I just like it’ is not a good answer. You have to be more specific. Start by giving an example of a personality, an event, a magazine article that made you acquainted with the field, and then talks about what you love specifically, how you progressed and what you want to learn in the future.
Finally, dress appropriately. No matter how great you are in your field, a good first impression is always a big plus!