6 Steps for a Successful Interview

Success in searching for a job is a function of how well you assess certain tips and how good you are in presenting them during the interview.

The career of every young person is full of job interviews both during and after graduation. The breakthrough however is the actual interview itself. Here are a few tips that young people can use in interviews with a guaranteed positive effect on the outcome...

Choosing the right job is the heart of the process.  It is essentially a decision that will determine where you will spend 1/3 of your day, and a substantial amount of your future life. At this point, it is best to first assess your own self and set your goals.

· What you like and dislike

· Your strengths and weaknesses

· Your aspirations, expectations and preferences

· EVALUATE your goals and priorities

· Where you want to be

· Which sector you want to work in

· CHOOSE the department to apply

· Always be honest

Next is the job application itself. It is easy on paper but in practice can be cumbersome without adhering to certain rules. First and foremost, you have to go for the right medium – companies can and do prefer to receive applications for postings through various means like career sites, application forms or resumes to be sent directly to the HR department.  

Second step is to make sure that companies have your up-to-date details. Remember: Wrong information will fail you right at the start.  Also, refrain from presenting yourself way at the top or too down to earth. And remember to include a cover page on your resume.

Be ready to receive a phone call from the potential employers if your application had missing information.  Information you relay during these calls will shape how the HR generalist will view your resume. If you are called to discuss a specific part, the first step for you is to review your resume in advance.  If you are lucky, some part of the form is yet to be filled or there is lack of information. If you know that you will be called, try to find a convenient place to receive the call, somewhere nice and quiet. Lets say you will take the call on your mobile – find a spot with good reception. You should have a piece of paper and a pen readily available and your resume right in front of you. So now that you have all the necessary tools, you are ready for the call. Try to be as calm and clear as possible when responding to the questions posed. Speak clearly and do not rush. Try not to sound desperate, anxious or angry. With your your face nowhere to be seen, a happy tone on the phone can work wonders in terms of creating a good impression. Listen to the questions carefully and do not hesitate to ask for clarification where necessary. Always remember: Making an effort to clarify is more impressive than giving wrong or nonsensical answers.

Get to know your inner self

Step three is getting ready for the interview. Equip yourself with all the information. You already know the dress code and the need to be decent. Be at your destination a few minutes early as it helps to make a good first impression. It would also help to have some extra copies of your resume and references in case they are needed. And of course stay calm and confidently take a seat.

Step four is the moment of truth – you are sitting down for the interview. Interviews normally go for 35-40 minutes during which the HR generalist tries to assess the competency and knowledge of the interviewee above and beyond what is presented in the resume. Make an effort for a good handshake and remember to maintain eye contact. Use body language to reinforce your verbal interest in the position. Listen carefully, but if any part of the questions is not clear, do not hesitate to ask. If you don’t have a vast amount of professional experience, try to enrich the interview with excerpts from your life experiences. Remember to mention your achievements and always use “I” instead of “we”. Be honest, talk about your abilities and strengths.  Do not mingle the conversation with an unnecessary amount of words.  Ask questions yourself. Smart questions will allow you to get informed about your potential career. At the end of the interview, remember to thank the interviewer and ask for a business card.

Openness, Honesty, Clarity

Step five is post interview process. It is important at this stage to send a follow up note or an email to everyone who was present at the interview. If you are rejected, do not destroy yourself over it. Take it onboard as an experience and get ready for the next interview. And the final step is to evaluate how you will respond to a possible job offer. Do not forget: A high salary does not necessarily correspond to job satisfaction. It is not even guaranteed that you will receive the same high salary for years to come. Keep your feet firmly on the ground. Remember how you introduced yourself in step 1, compare it to the job description, make an objective SWOT analysis (with strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) based on your qualities. The questions you pose and the answers you reach by assessing your own self will definitely help you to have a more clear view of the way ahead.

The job is yours (or is it?)

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