An Easy guide on how to prepare for job interviews
Written by: Shikha Arora
Preparing for an interview but don’t know what to start with?
A lot of times we overwhelm ourselves with a bunch-load of information on the internet on how to prepare for an interview, but don’t end up actually preparing anything.
Here, I’ll be sharing with you a personal checklist that I followed to crack my first job interview.
#1: Research About The Organization
Your very first step is to do an intensive research on the company you're going to be interviewing for. You need to be thorough with all the recent updates of the company.
Do not use Wikipedia for research. Always open the organization's website. Whatever they have on their website is what is authentic and the most reliable information you'll find on the internet.
Also, stalk their LinkedIn profile. Yes, you read that right! Stalk it like you stalk your best friend's boyfriend. Their recent updates, events and articles about the company are all up there.
Why do you need to know so much? It's because you can always bring it up while answering questions. Also, it goes without saying, but you need to know who you're going to be working for and what they stand up for.
#2: Know The Position You've Applied For
Take some time to research on the position that you're going to be interviewing for. The job description will provide you with the responsibilities of the position. Look into it and study them.
Also check for the skill requirements of your role. If you've got them, highlight it in your resume.
One of the best ways to know what your role is going to be is, to go on LinkedIn and reach out to connections working in the same position. Send them a polite message asking them about their role and responsibilities. They can be from the same organization or not, but you'll get an idea.
#3: Prepare For Different Rounds
If an organization tells you beforehand what rounds are going to be conducted for the interview, it gets easier for you to prepare for them. If not, you can always prepare for a few general ones. Usually, the rounds conducted are aptitude tests, group discussion, personal interview and technical interview.
Aptitude Tests: An aptitude test generally tests you on verbal & non verbal ability, logical reasoning, technical aspects such as MS Excel, SQL or any other hard skill that you're expected to know. There are a lot of websites that let you take practice tests. One such website is India Bix, where you'll find practice questions with answers and explanations for them. They also have aptitude test papers of various companies for engineers. This website is a treasure for anyone preparing for aptitude tests. While there are a lot of tips to pass an aptitude test, I'd suggest you to just go through a lot of questions for references.
Group Discussions: A group discussion usually tests your interpersonal skills such as communication, leadership, social behaviour, problem solving ability, etc. The topics for these discussions can be anything abstract, current affairs related or a case study, even. You can get a better idea of these topics, here. You'll be given a few minutes to prepare on the spot and then the discussion begins. I know a lot of you must've heard that the first one to begin the discussion gets brownie points. Yes, it's true but it is okay even if you don't. Just make sure you have valid points and you put it out there. Stay attentive and acknowledge your fellow group members. Remember, this is not a debate so don't start an argument. Be polite and keep adding value to the discussion.
Personal Interview: As much as we dread this, we've all got to face it sometime in our lives. But once you understand that the key to drive the interview in the direction you want is with you, you're sure to ace it. This is where they see if you're a good match for the organization. You'll be asked a lot of questions about yourself. Ensure that you don't say anything that is contrary to what's on your resume. That will get you into trouble. What I did to prepare for this round was- I listed down some generally asked questions in an interview. Then, I wrote my answers to them. Only after that did I read up about how to answer these questions and found out what mistakes I was making. So, I altered my answers and practiced how to put it across. Once you do this, you'll be good to go.
Technical Round: Here's where your hard skills are tested. Brush up on your basics- it would be of great help. These questions are usually behavioral, situational and about your education. Your experience on projects worked on before may also be asked, so be ready to talk about them too. You can use websites like Glassdoor and Indeed to look for people who share their interview experiences. Point to note- if there's a question you don't know the answer to, or something you're not sure of, let the interviewer know about it. Do not beat around the bush or try to make up answers, because the interviewer will know. It's only going to create a negative impression of you. Instead, tell them you're not sure of the answer but would go back and check for it.
#4: Get Active On LinkedIn
LinkedIn is a platform to showcase your professional life. Some companies even like to look at your LinkedIn profiles to see if you'll fit in. So, being active on this platform can come in handy.
Make yourself a profile if you don't already have one. Post all your achievements and share some posts that are impactful. Check that you have an All-Star profile. This helps your recruiter find you easily and will create a good image of you.
#5: Read Your Resume 20 Times
I cannot stress on this enough. Proofreading your resume is the most important part of all. Your resume reflects your personality, so you don't want to go wrong there. Make someone read your resume & point out mistakes so that they doesn't show up during the interview.
Knowing your resume in and out is of paramount importance. Your answers in an interview need to match with your resume. If you make certain of this, nothing can deter that confidence in you.
If you haven't made your resume yet, you can make one using the Google docs resume template or Canva. I prefer Canva because it has so many templates and always gives me the right idea as to what should be included. LinkedIn also creates a resume for you after you complete making your profile on the platform.
#6: Wear The Right Clothes
"Dress to impress" is the motto you should go by for an interview. The best impressions are made when you dress appropriately.
Wearing basic colours like black, navy blue & grey to an interview is ideal.
A little advice to the men- see to it that the colour of your belt matches with the colour of your formal shoes. Your tie should be at your belt level. Not too high, not too low.
Most importantly, wear something you're comfortable in. An interview is not the right place to try new types of attire.
The idea is if you feel comfortable, you look comfortable. So, with comfort comes confidence and that's what we're aiming at, right?
So this was the one stop, easy to follow checklist that includes everything you need to do before an interview. Top it all with a tinge of confidence & you'll do superb on that interview. Good luck!
Comment and let me know if there's anything else you'd like to add to this list.