From documented experiences, the problem sometimes is not that there are no jobs. There exists the challenge of not knowing how to clinch the opportunities that come one’s way.
Recently, I read about a candidate who was asked what he understood and thought about the requirements of the role he was being interviewed for.
He did not even know the role he was being interviewed for and asked to call his older brother to confirm the role! Trust that the rest of the conversation was very awkward and that he did not get the job.
Situations like the above as well contribute among other similar uninspiring reasons, to candidates missing out on tangible opportunities.
It is for reasons like the above and ones where candidates do not know about the organization they sent job applications to among many others that leads to missed job opportunities candidates. Here are points to examine on how to prepare for an interview:
- Plan what to wear
Plan what to wear for an interview ahead and in fact, have options. It is never a good idea to start figuring out what to wear to an interview on the morning of the interview. There are many reasons (from lack of electricity supply to the shocker that the outfit might be dirty) why it could go wrong.
Very importantly, understand what colours and what kinds of outfits that the company you are going to prefers. It is always safer to go dressed in formal and in very warm colours like grey, navy blue, white and black except where otherwise advised. For the interview stage, it does not matter what the company’s culture is when it comes to dress codes. Be dressed formally.
2. Plan what to bring
When going for an interview it always helps to go with extra copies of your CV and relevant certificates. It does not matter if you have submitted them to the company prior to the interview.
Planning what to take with you for an interview goes beyond taking a mental note to take copies of your CV or other necessary documents but actually preparing and having copies of them ready before the interview. This is one of the important tasks you don’t leave off for the last minute.
3. Pay attention
The non-verbal cues of your interviewer are just as important as what he/she says. Again, pay attention. And this includes listening actively to what they are saying and not just for the purpose of responding. Can I really say this enough? Watch closely, what is their body language saying?
4. Know when to follow up and actually follow Up
The words are ‘follow-up’, and not stalk or pester. Check in on the interviewer and in some cases, your contact person to get an update
5. Research the organization
See, do not let anyone deceive you or convince you otherwise. The importance of this singular act often proves and distinguishes the more astute and prepared candidates. A recruiter or recruitment organization will take more seriously a candidate that has bothered to look up the organization, and endeavours to understand as best as possible what the company’s business, objectives and values are all about.
Knowledge of the above shows preparedness and that you the candidate, takes the company seriously as well. Indeed, it also helps you answer questions and saves you from looking stupid when basic questions about the company and your potential role within are asked. Honestly, I have ended interview sessions when the candidates did not know the little things about the company I expected they should know.
6. Match/test your skills and qualifications against the job requirements
This is one way to test how qualified you are for the role. It also helps you notice what gaps you might have as regards the role and so your responses to questions are better guided and constructed.
7. Prepare responses
Anticipate the sort of questions you will be asked and prepare your responses to them. Do not imagine what you will say, actually say it to yourself or record it to be sure you like it. There are interview guides online that show the kind of questions interviewers would ask and for different levels. Check them out and have a response for each, should you be asked. Also, if you have a friend in the organisation, it would help to also confirm from them what their interview process is like and be prepared for it.