As someone who’s adept in job interviews, I could say that there’s no single formula to acing every interview of your life. However, what I know for sure is that, there’s a way to avoid embarrassment especially when you don’t have an answer to a question.
How we answer a question depends on how prepared we are for that situation. Even if you’re a top-notch student from Harvard, but you came in an interview without knowing the background of the company, you’ll end up dumbstruck if the hiring manager asks you about the company’s vision (for example). That being said, the performance in job interviews varies greatly in every individual, and more often than not, getting a job offer boils down to who’s poised and confident with their answers.
What to prepare before a job interview?
✔(Yourself) Make yourself look presentable. Whether it’s a face-a-face interview or through Skype, it’s important to look your best. So take a shower, brush your teeth, fix your hair, put some makeup on (if needed) that way you won’t look pale when you’re nervous. Look fresh, feel fresh! When you do this, you’ll feel refreshed and confident. Isn’t it a great start for an interview?
✔ (Attire) There’s always something about your attire that can make or break your performance, so dress to impress but make sure to put on the right clothes. The accepted dress code for job interviews are the ones that look professional, or business attire. Make sure you’re wearing a neutral color and with simple patterns or design clothing.
✔ (Time/Availability) Under NO circumstances should you be late in your interview. Not only that it gives a bad impression of you, but you may lose that job opportunity entirely. No person in the right mind to accept you for a job when you’re late for an interview (well, except if that hiring manager is too lenient to consider your excuse).
✔ (Knowledge about the company) Although not all interviewers will ask how well you know about their company, but having some background about them will surely come in handy. Personally, I always go to the company’s website and under the ”About” section, I read it till I get the picture of what’s their work all about. You may take note of the year they started doing business or how long they’ve been in the industry, their headquarter, know a little about their vision or core values, their latest updates, awards (if they have).
✔ (Common Interview Questions) As we all know it, the question and answer portion is our least favorite. This is when our nerves start shaking. Let’s face it! This part is always nerve-racking (only when we know we’re not prepared), right? So, to avoid uneasiness, long pause, fillers, and awkward silence —be sure to practice or review the most common job interview questions. (I’ll share with you my most common job interview questions with sample answers.)
Most common job interview questions with sample answers
Job interviews are always daunting. You’ll never be 100% ready if you don’t make an effort for it. Some preparations like practicing the Q&A, reading here or studying there will do the trick to get it done, so knowing what to work on before the doomsday (I mean, the interview) is crucial to get that job of your dream.
Tell Me About Yourself.
I graduated from ____ with a degree in , and I currently work as which is something I’m very passionate about. I’ve always dreamed of becoming a ______, so I worked my way up to obtain the skills I need to qualify for this ______ position. I’d say that my determination is what have gotten me to this point, so I’m grateful to be given a chance for an interview.
What do you know about our company?
I’ve read great things about your company like the affordable online solutions that you offer to help businesses worldwide, the fun and friendly environment you have in your workplace which is awesome, and that you’re #1 in SouthEast Asia. Besides, I’ve read about the news when the company was featured in Forbes Small Giants, so congratulations by the way on that.
What are your strengths and why do you think we should hire you?
Aside from being always punctual, I’m the type of person who’s goal-driven, and work-driven. I enjoy working in a busily challenging environment, so working here would suit my ideal work ethic.
What’s your weakness?
I can be chatty from time to time which, for some people can be annoying.
But in other situations (I mean in most cases), others appreciate it, especially when there’s someone shy, sad, or heartbroken —that’s where I come in.
Why did you leave your previous job?
The company struggled financially, so they had to downsize, which resulted in my entire team being laid off. After almost a month of waiting, _____ became my fallback. But I enjoyed my time there, especially that my co-workers became very close to me, and I hope to find a similar work environment here in _______.
What is your salary expectation?
Thank you for asking. My compensation expectation is in line with my qualifications (education, skills, experience), so I feel that the rate between $___ to $___ is comfortable and appropriate for this type of work. I am, however, flexible and open to hearing about the company’s salary offer for this position.