How to Successfully Navigate an Interview for Your Dream Job — Tips from ZONE3000
New month = new dose of useful materials that we prepare together with ZONE3000. And today we decided to focus on an important topic — the rules of conduct during an interview.
On one hand, advice on how to “hook” an employer during an interview has been given many times. On the other hand, when the crucial moment arrives, for some reason, they slip from the mind, and due to nervousness, the applicant may not always make a good impression (especially if they are newcomers).
The first thing we want to emphasize: it’s normal to be nervous before and during an interview! After all, the interview is about stepping out of the comfort zone. Unfamiliar people, unexpected questions, the realization of the event’s importance — our psyche finds it challenging to handle such moments, so this process is often accompanied by anxiety.
However, each interview (regardless of the outcome) should be seen as an experience. Interviews gradually train us to maintain composure, highlight our strengths, and establish contact with strangers. Agree, all these skills come in handy in many life and professional situations. So attending and analyzing them is indeed beneficial.
Well, now let’s get to the tips that will help you go through this process calmly and confidently.
Rule #1. Be Honest
An experienced recruiter immediately sees when a person clearly exaggerates their real knowledge and skills. And even if it’s done skillfully, this “flaw” will inevitably come to light during work, and it will be very unpleasant. So, presenting yourself as an expert in an area that is distant from you is definitely not worth it. However, emphasizing your abilities which are key requirements for the job is a good idea.
Rule #2. Understand the Requirements in Advance
To speak clearly and to the point, we recommend discussing (or even better, writing down) your knowledge and experience for each point of the candidate’s requirements the day before the interview. If there is a gap somewhere, it is not a reason to refuse the opportunity to become a candidate. Honestly admit that you do not fully meet a certain requirement, but be sure to mention what you plan to do to fix it (self-study, attending courses, practice, etc.).
Rule #3. Stay Calm
Breathing exercises, meditation, affirmations — choose your way to prepare for a calm conversation. Also, try to tune in to the fact that the interview is just a dialogue, not something that determines your fate. And even if success does not come today, it is not a catastrophe. By the way, if nervousness is a significant obstacle, you can sincerely mention it at the beginning of the interview. Trust me, it will get a little easier.
Rule #4. Ask the Recruiter/Manager Questions
An interview is not an interrogation of the applicant, but a process of mutual communication. We recommend preparing questions about the role, the company, etc., in advance to ask them during the interview. In addition to valuable information, you will demonstrate your interest and serious attitude towards future work. And this is an important signal for the recruiter.
Rule #5. Learn About the Company
You can further emphasize your serious intentions by being informed about the company where you are interviewing: what it does, what values it has, and who works there. Information can be obtained on the website, social networks, blogs, etc. During the conversation, use phrases like “I read on your website that…” or “Your posts talk about…”.
Rule #6. Take Care of Your Appearance
In the IT sphere, there has never been a strict dress code. And most interviews take place online. Dress in your style to feel more confident. However, it will be better if your image looks neat and well-groomed.
Rule #7. Don’t Avoid Small Talk
Starting a conversation with a brief discussion of non-work topics or discussing common hobbies is a genuinely good idea. This will help ease the atmosphere and connect with the interlocutor. Music, movies, events — there’s a wide range of choices. However, don’t forget that there are taboo topics that should definitely not be touched upon (politics, religion, etc.).
Rule #8. Leave a Pleasant Impression
Even if during the process you realize that it’s not the right fit for you, be polite and open until the end of the conversation. Perhaps, in the future, this company will appear in your life again. And, of course, it’s worth adhering to general etiquette rules: listen carefully to the interlocutor, and give clear answers. Such basic things have a significant impact on the interviewer’s impression.
Do you have anything to add to this list? Perhaps you have your own rules that you follow during interviews.