Have you ever spent days and months figuring out ways to prepare for your interview but then you got nervous at the last moment?
Don’t worry, it happens to most of us. The key to ace any interview preparation is to have a good grasp on the art of selling yourself to your prospective employer.
Just getting good marks and grades won’t do the job, they do have a role to play, but your selection will not depend entirely on them.
An interview outcome depends on several factors like the first impression, the way you present yourself, attitude, experience, and knowledge of skills.
If you perform exceptionally well and make a mark of yourself in the interviewer’s mind, you are sure to bag the job!
The answer to making yourself ready for the interview is quality pre-preparation. How you prepare for an interview is very crucial.
Therefore, you must devote a fair enough amount of time to prepare an interview checklist and attend as many mock interview sessions as possible.
This will make you confident as now you can strategize and play on your strengths and work on your weaknesses.
This blog will highlight various tips and tricks on how you can prepare for your interview.
How to build your confidence for interviews?
The proverb “practice makes a man perfect” rightly highlights the importance of practice and preparation to win any battle.
It is applicable for interview preparation too.
Since you already know that your campus placement is around the corner, or even if you are planning to apply for any offline placement, you should keep track of the timeline.
Start your preparation well in advance so that you get accustomed to the simulated placement interview environment.
- Prepare extensively and focus on standard interview questions.
Preparation for an interview cannot be done just by pulling an all-nighter the day before your scheduled interview date.
So, it’s crucial that you start your preparation well in advance and focus on the basics.
Make a list of standard interview questions generally asked in all the organizations and prepare your answers for the same.
- Give plenty of mock interviews
Mock interviews can help you in a big way to be confident for your final interview. It tends to provide you the simulated interview environment feel and help you prepare for the actual round.
For this, you can take help from anyone you are close with or anyone outside the group.
Request them to ask you a set of questions about the job profile and the organization you are applying for.
Now, see how you perform, monitor your progress and keep improving further.
- Try getting out of your comfort zone
It is crucial that you attempt striking conversations with strangers as it would improve your interpersonal skills and give you the confidence to hold a fluent conversation with a new set of people.
This way, you won’t be nervous when you have to talk to your interviewer.
How to deal with interview stress and anxiety?
Preparing for an interview is not a cup of tea.
With so many people surrounding us advising on what and what not to do, our expectations, doubts, and competition are some of the factors that may cause stress and anxiety during the entire preparation journey.
So, it’s vital that we tackle these so that we push ourselves to our fullest potential and deliver our best.
Here are some tips on how to deal with stress:
1. Positive mindset
Having a positive mindset does play a significant role in boosting your confidence and performance.
Before heading to the interview venue, reassure yourself with a positive thought that you will come back successful.
This positive energy will reflect in all the activities you do.
2. Invest time in relaxing activities
Do activities that will make you feel fresh and relaxed.
Take a brisk walk, listen to soothing songs, exercise, or meditate. Investing time in these activities will make you feel active and energized.
Things to keep in mind when you appear for an interview
- Be punctual
Punctuality is one of the key aspects a prospective employer would look for in you.
As it would reflect your time-management skills and how serious you are about your work.
It is better to reach the venue 15-20 mins prior to the scheduled interview time.
This way, you can avoid any last-minute hassles both online and offline.
- Dress Appropriately
No matter if the interview is happening offline or online, you must dress appropriately for the interview.
Some companies send out guidelines on the standard workplace outfit even if they don’t, you should wear decent, formal attire.
A well-groomed look will make a good impression.
- Project yourself professionally
You must project yourself professionally.
Every move you make during the interview process is analyzed to determine your personality and whether it will fit the organization.
So, make sure that you are confident, have the right attitude and warmth to the people you meet right from the start.
- Be crisp with your answers
Keep in mind that the interviewer has already gone through your resume.
So make sure that you don’t repeat yourself with the same information again unless they ask.
Whenever you are posed with a question, please take a minute when required, listen and analyze it carefully, and strategically frame your answers.
How to tackle some of the common interview questions?
As explained before, your answers must be short and to the point.
Therefore, when preparing for your pre-interview, jot down some of the key points that highlight your skills that you think would attract your interviewer.
Tell me about yourself
This is one of the common and the initial questions posed during the interview rounds.
DO NOT stick to a cliche narration style, telling the interviewer about your journey from your school days till now.
Always keep in mind that the answer to this question should carry points that will answer the following questions.
- What makes you suitable for this job profile?
To tackle this question, you must be well-aware of the company and the job profile.
The interviewer wants to know if he/she hires you whether you would be an asset to the organization or not.
You can back up this answer by telling how your interest aligns with the organization’s vision.
You can also talk about your previous experience in the same or similar kind of profile and the amount of value you had contributed during that period.
Remember to always talk with numbers. They add a significant amount of value to your answer.
- Define your Unique Selling Proposition (USP)
This is a crucial part of the interview process as there might be thousands of other applicants who might have a similar experience, background, and interests as yours.
So, if you have to set yourself apart from the competitors and impact your interviewer, it’s important that you highlight your USP to them.
This will let them know how this aspect of yours can be valuable to the company.
You can also hook up this answer with the reference points from the previous question and tell them how this quality positively impacted your previous experience.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
This is the second most common question that you will be asked during the HR interview round. This forms an important part of the entire interview process.
It will help the interviewer understand your capabilities and whether it aligns with your job profile and the organization’s goals.
- Create a SWOT Analysis of yourself
To make sure that you answer this question rightly, the first step you should take is to make a SWOT (Strength, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats ) analysis of yourself.
Jot dot key points in all these categories so that you know which are the highlights and how you can project them to your interviewer.
- Techniques to present the answer
Identifying your strength and weakness is essential, what also plays an important role is how you present this answer.
Make sure that you highlight your strengths that align with the skills and qualities that they are looking for.
On the other hand, while you are mentioning your weaknesses, make sure that you mention those points that they are not really looking for in their prospective employee.
Do you have any questions for us?
Most of the interviews are concluded with this question.
This may appear to be very simple as you can clear all your doubts regarding the organization with the interviewer.
You should also remember that the interview process is not yet over and they are still testing all the candidates and you should utilize every opportunity coming your way to impress the interviewer.
So, make sure that the question you ask them reflects your interest level to join the company and shows them you have done good background research on the company and the job profile you are applying for.
Because as much as you want to ace the interview and get selected even the interviewer has the role to source the best candidate on board.
- Prepare your questions beforehand
Since, this is one of the most standard questions asked during an interview it shouldn’t come up as a surprise at the last minute.
So, it’s advisable to keep a set of questions that you would like to ask the interview panel.
- DO NOT ask questions just for the sake of it
If you have no questions in mind to ask them and clear your doubts then it’s better to tell them that ‘I have no questions in mind as of now,’ rather than asking generic questions just for the sake of it.
Acing an interview is not a cup of tea but if you follow a well-strategized plan for your interview preparation then it can help you in a big way.
Your skills, personality, and attitude will always have a higher weightage as compared to your marks and grades.
So, make sure that you work on them and challenge yourself to be the best candidate among the lot.
As you are your own competitor so push yourself to your fullest potential.
To know more about how you can ace your first campus placement interview head over to 5 AWESOME tips to nail your First campus interview.