The key to unlocking job interviews

Whether fresh out of school or looking to switch from your current role, job interviews can be overwhelming.

Here are several tips and tricks I have learned from experience and from the advice of my peers and mentors that can help you feel confident before and during an interview!

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1. Do your homework at the company.

It would be best if you had a good sense of what the company does, their products/services, their office location, number of employees etc. You don’t have to rote learn statistics, but just an understanding will suffice.

2. Understand the role that you’re applying to.

This means more than just reading the job description. Search for similar positions in other companies. Instead of cramming role-related jargon one day before the interview, focus on how you connect to the role and where you can add value. When asked why you’re interested in the specific role, this will result in a unique answer.

3. Talk to people.

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Whether they work in the company in a different role or similar to the one you’re interviewing for, it’s constructive to understand the company from a team member’s perspective, including its work culture, benefits, and opportunities. It can give you a clear picture of what the day-to-day responsibilities in a specific role look like, which is an add-on to the job description available on the official website.

4. Get a sense of the company’s salary bracket for the role.

For new graduates, you might not have a clue about the expected salary you should quote when asked. Even for people working, we often end up underestimating ourselves based on what our current employer is paying us. It is an excellent practice to recalibrate your salary scale now and then to incorporate the market scenario and put yourself in a better position to negotiate. Make this a regular exercise but especially before a job interview.

5. Look up potential interview questions and practice them beforehand.

Photo un Unsplash

As cliché as it sounds, it is helpful even if you don’t get a single question from that list in your interview. This practice gives you confidence and a feeling of being fully prepared.Mock interviews. This is especially beneficial for people who are interviewing for the first time. It gives you an idea about what to expect in an interview setting, the importance of having a strong sense of presence and how to tackle difficult questions.

6. Ask questions.

This might seem like a strange tip since interviews are traditionally thought to be an opportunity for the company to get to know you and evaluate whether you’re a good fit for the particular role or not. Most people overlook that it’s a chance for you to get to know the employer and the position in detail so that you can make an informed decision.

  • What are the day-to-day responsibilities in the role?
  • What are the hierarchies within your organization?
  • What is the career path for this role? Where can I envision myself to be in 5 years?
  • What kind of opportunities do you offer? For instance, regarding relocating to a different country or cross-functional movement?

Another thing you can ask for is if it’s possible to arrange a visit to the office. This will not only give you a chance to see the workplace but an opportunity to meet and interact with the team as well.

Asking questions will correct the imbalance of power that usually exists between an interviewer and interviewee. It will make you feel in control and, at the same time, will give the impression of a smart, confident person who is gathering data to analyze it and make a well-thought-out decision.

7. Believe in yourself

In an increasingly digital world with access to other people’s lives, we often compare our lives with those of others around us. These include people we went to university with or knew in some professional capacity. The advice that has stayed with me is that while it’s true, we can’t do everything that other people around us are doing, it is also true that they can’t do everything we are doing. Each person has their path and destination. To convince others of your skills, value and abilities, you must first believe in yourself. This will automatically give you confidence in an interview.

It is always a good idea to look at your resume before sending it out but alternatively, before an interview. Do a quick revision of the projects that you may have completed a couple of years ago. While you can’t preempt the unknown, you should be prepared for the questions on your achievements and accomplishments over the years as listed on your resume.

Confidence will go a long way, even after you’ve aced the interview and landed the role. Always be confident in what you bring to the table. While it is natural sometimes to feel like you’re not doing enough, it is essential to remember that as long as you’re working hard and working with honesty, you’re all set. This belief in yourself will serve as a recharge or boost for your confidence levels.

This blog contribution was made by Aleena Ahmad.

Aleena is a graduate in Electrical Engineering and currently working as a Market Analyst. She loves to
read books; is obsessed with political non-fiction, finds baking therapeutic, and likes to start her day
with yoga. Aleena believes writing is the best way to articulate one’s thoughts and start a conversation.
She feels passionately about women empowerment initiatives and is always looking for opportunities to
contribute.

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