How to succeed at a job interview?

An interview is the most important stage in the job search process. This is your only chance to make the first impression on a potential employer and show yourself. You will have little time to prove that you are the perfect fit. Thus, it is important to think through how to take advantage of this chance in advance.

Preparation

Preparing for a job interview gives you an opportunity to gain an advantage over other candidates. This shows that you are motivated to join the company, which is very important for any company. Bear in mind that a positive attitude is often a key to success.

Research

Do a company research before you go to a job interview. To help you with the research, an Antal Russia's consultant will tell you about the company's corporate culture, its team, employer's expectations, requirements for candidates, and answer all other questions you may have.

What you should know about your potential employer: 

  • What does the company produce? What services does it provide?
  • What is the company's potential for growth?
  • Who are the main competitors of the company?
  • What is the share of the company in the market?

Use Internet, corporate websites, and social media to find the required information.

Think over your outfit in advance

Choose a formal business attire. Avoid flamboyant make-up and accessories. Make sure you look neat. When you are introduced to a prospective employer do not use business cards of the companies where you no longer work. Take a copy of your CV, a notebook or a blank piece of paper, and a pen to make notes.

Clarify place and time of your job interview

Be sure you know the exact time and place of the interview. Antal Russia's consultant will provide you with a contact's name and travel directions if required. Make sure that you have contact numbers of the hiring manager and the representative of the employing company. To get to the interview, allow for extra time in case of any unexpected delays. Take along your ID to gain access to the business centre and bear in mind that registration at the reception desk may take 10 to 15 minutes.

Prepare a story about key moments of your career

Be ready to show that you are knowledgeable about the business of those companies where you have worked or continue working. You should prepare answers to a number of common interview questions. The majority of those questions will be related to your previous work experience. Prepare several examples to demonstrate your skills, experience, technical knowledge, and motivation.

Competence-based interview

In order to learn more about a candidate, some interviewers use a special type of interview based on the applicant's previous experience and ask real-life questions rather than what-if ones. You may be asked to describe a case from your practice or give an example of a situation from your experience.

A certain scheme should be used to answer such questions:

  • Describe a situation; 
  • State your task; 
  • Specify your actions; 
  • Summarise the result.

These components are easy to remember using the acronym STAR — Situation, Task, Action, Result. Emphasise your role in the project and what exactly you did in this or that situation. 

Additional assessment and testing

Apart from interviews, some companies also test candidates. Be ready to take a psychological or IQ test, to demonstrate your professional knowledge and skills in solving business cases or working with certain equipment. In general, the employer's aim is to define whether you will fit the corporate culture, get along with the company's team and how successfully you will perform. 

Companies often engage third-party providers to conduct the tests. In such cases, don't judge the company by the tests you are to take. Consider them a necessary stage of the screening process.

Questions to the employer

An interview with a potential employer is a dialogue. Prepare several questions about the company and the vacancy. This will demonstrate your interest in the company and help you to understand whether the job is the right fit for you. Read our article and learn what questions you may ask a potential employer.

Finishing the interview

If you are interested in the position, ask about the next interview stage.

Don't expect to get a job offer during the interview. In general, your interviewer needs to consult with colleagues or conduct other interviews with other suitable candidates.

If the interview seems to be a failure, keep your chin up. Sometimes, the interviewer deliberately creates a stress situation to see how you react. In this case, your chances of landing a job are in no way compromised. No matter what, you should maintain a positive attitude.

Don't forget to thank your interviewer.

After the interview

After the interview, it is important to call your consultant and tell him/her the result. In general, the consultant can receive a feedback from the client only after talking to you. A delay on your part can slow down the whole process.

The feedback you get after the consultant talks to your potential employer is the most important lesson that can be learned from a job interview. The feedback helps you to understand what impression you make on people. Whether the result is positive or negative, use this experience for your future interviews. It is a great opportunity to learn something new.

We wish you the best of luck with your interviews!

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