Preparing for a job interview

Memory Nguwi

ONE of the aspects of job hunting sets in when you are invited for a job interview. Both experienced job seekers and new entrants to the job market tend to experience this level of anxiety. The anxiety normally arises because the job seeker does not know what to anticipate in a job interview.

How can I be successful in an interview?

Here are the tips you can use to be successful in a job interview:

You must have a thorough understanding of the job and build enough confidence to show the interview panel that you know what the job entails. This information is normally provided in the job advert. If this information is not available, you can try to get more information from the human resources department.

Research about the company and the department you will be working for should you be successful. Most of this information will be available through the company’s website or other sources. Do whatever you can to get as much information about the organisation as possible. In this search for information, focus on how the business is doing in general. Specifically, look at the challenges it has faced or continues to face and how you are going to come and assist through your role.

Anticipate the questions likely to be asked in the interview. Companies differ in their approach to interviews. Organised and mature organisations may use competency-based interview methods. In that case, you have an opportunity to display what you know and the value you are likely to bring to the organisation. If you are unlucky, you may find the panel disorganised and asking uncoordinated and random questions. In such a case, take control and stick to factual information in your responses.

Stick to facts and be precise when answering questions. Generally, interviewers get put off by people who waffle.If they ask you provocative questions, stay calm and stick to the information. Never show your anger in the interview no matter how provocative the panel is.

Have a good night’s sleep a day before your interview. It is important to take a full day off so that you have no pressures from your current workplace.

How do you introduce yourself in an interview?

The focus on your responses to the first question, which is normally “tell us about yourself”, is why you think you are the right candidate for the job. How does your job experience help you in this particular role? Do not waste time on things that are too personal like what primary school you attended. “Tell me about yourself” interview answers should always focus on why you think you are the right candidate for the job. It is your best opportunity to impress the interview panel.

What do you say in an interview?

When responding to interview questions, this is what you need to do:Only stick to facts and evidence. The evidence must come from your previous jobs. Display what you did yourself and the results that you achieved.

Do not give speculative answers that will allow inexperienced interviewers to ambush you with speculative questions.

Never take more than a minute to answer an interview question. If you take more than that you are likely going to waffle.

If asked a question you do not know, you must say: “I do not have an answer for that one for now. It would probably need me to do more research.”

If you take some of the advice above on preparing for a job interview, you will win. The job interview gives you the best opportunity to sell yourself. Do not waste this opportunity.

Nguwi is an occupational psychologist, data scientist, speaker, and managing consultant of Industrial psychology consultants (Pvt) Ltd, a management and human resources consulting firm. — https://www.linkedin.com/in/memorynguwi/ Phone +263 4 481946-48/481950/2900276/2900966 or cell number +263 77 2356 361 or email: mnguwi@ipcconsultants.com or visit our website at www.ipcconsultants.com.

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