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Job interview tips - Share your suggestions and insights

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  • Job interview tips - Share your suggestions and insights

    I came across this great infographic which breaks down the do's and don't for job interviews. Which others would you add in addition? What has worked for you in the past as an interviewee or interviewer?

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    Last edited by stan; 04-08-2020, 02:13 PM.

  • #2
    I think that being knowledgeable about the company you're interviewing with is a really important one. If you haven't at least looked through their website, you're not going to be able to contribute to the conversation. It isn't necessary to be an expert on the company, but being able to chime in with insight that proves you at least have a general idea of who they are and why you want to work there can be really impressive. I've had hiring managers in the past who have expressed surprise that I would mention something specific from their website. Apparently it's common for potential hires to go into an interview entirely blind.

    Another thing on researching a company before you interview is that you may find information that either encourages or discourages your interest. How do you really know if you want to work somewhere if you know nothing about the company?

    To the point about trendy dress: I don't really agree with this one. I think your attire really depends on the industry and the dress code of the company. When you're asked to interview, if you're not sure how stylishly you should be dressed or whether to come business casual or business professional, you should ask the person setting up the interview. And I have never been told I was overdressed, so if you're not sure dress up rather than down. I really think it's more important to present a confident presence than to fret over whether your outfit is too trendy. Your clothing should be the least interesting thing about you during an interview.

    Comment


    • Bjun
      Bjun commented
      Editing a comment
      I agree about having knowledge on the company you're applying to. I remember my first job interviews were referrals from a job agency and they sent me to 3 job interviews. I was so naive that when the interviewer asked me how many companies I'm applying to, I told him I was going to 3 interviews (I went to their company first). He then asked which company I would choose if I got accepted to all three. Obviously, I said theirs and went on to enumerate good things about their company that I've read on their website. He also seemed surprised and quite pleased that I took the time to research about the company that he hired me after that interview.

  • #3
    I thought this video was pretty helpful. It outlines the top ten interviews tips. I thought some of the tips were super clever

    Comment


    • Bjun
      Bjun commented
      Editing a comment
      I like the video, quite entertaining. What stood out for me was tip # 10. A handshake could seal your chances of employment. A firm handshake exhibits confidence and professionalism.

      I remembered talking to an alumnus of an organisation I was a part of in uni and at the end of the discussion, he offered a handshake. Some gave a weak handshake and he told us to always make sure to give a firm handshake because it also shows sincerity. Such a simple gesture but it can really say a lot about a person.

    • Kamille
      Kamille commented
      Editing a comment
      I enjoyed watching that video, very straightforward. Tip #1 is so simple yet more people are still guilty of. This is my biggest pet-peeve. It is far better to arrive ridiculously early than to arrive late. That way, you still have time to review your notes, straighten your tie and calm your nerves. Same goes for video interviews. Be sure to do a system check at least 30 mins before your interview.

      However, if you're arriving late, contact your interviewer and let him know. Take responsibility and apologize. If you don't know where to reach him, then you clearly did not do your research enough.
      Last edited by Kamille; 07-24-2020, 12:48 PM.

    • mjmnl
      mjmnl commented
      Editing a comment
      Great video! It's very interesting and informative. Each item is very important and one should keep these tips in mind. In my experience, practicing common interview questions really help. I have experienced being dumbfounded by a question during an interview and it's not something I wanna suffer again. There is a separate thread for the common interview questions in this forum that might help. Like what the guy in the video said, you don't have to memorize. At least have an idea of the possible answer and just build it up during the interview.

  • #4
    Seek which happens to be a major job search website has this covered: https://www.seek.com.au/career-advic...interview-tips

    Confidence, research and ability to prepare to answer potential questions seem to be recurring themes in job interview preparation.

    Comment


    • Bjun
      Bjun commented
      Editing a comment
      Good read. One of my struggles when I applied for a promotion was with situational questions. To overcome it, I would ask for mock interviews and a list of possible questions they can throw at me. It helped but sometimes, no matter how much research and preparation you do, it would all be forgotten due to the stress.

  • #5
    I agree with Rchou89, it is really important for you to research about the company first. Know their vision and research briefly about their operations. Aside from the company research, make sure to also know how to prove that you are a good fit for the opening. Find your biggest strength that will match the required skillset of the job that you are applying for. And of course, be confident.

    Comment


    • #6
      Click image for larger version

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      INTERVIEW PRACTICES BEFORE THE INTERVIEW
      • Preparation. Preparation is an essential step in the whole application process, not just the interview.
      • Review and anticipate questions.
      • Dress for success.
      • Observe punctuality.
      • Make good first impressions.
      • Be authentic.
      • Ask insightful questions.
      • Thank the interviewers.

      Comment


      • Bjun
        Bjun commented
        Editing a comment
        You've got me thinking if I've ever thanked my interviewers in the past. I've verbally thanked them after an interview however, I haven't sent them any "thank-you" emails. Apparently, it's best to send a thank-you letter for a job interview within the first 24 hours following the interview. As hiring decisions can be made quickly, then you wouldn't want to risk making a poor impression by being the last candidate to get your thank-you email through the door. It's also a good opportunity to reiterate your interest in the position and why you are a good fit for the job and the company.

    • #7
      That is so true. It is important to research the company you are interviewing for. You should have an idea about what they do and what they stand for. This gives the impression that you are interested and well-prepared. Be true to everything you put in your resume. Remember, telling the truth is easier than lying. Plus, it speaks volumes about your character. Also, no matter what questions the interviewer asks about your resume, you will surely be able to answer since you know what you put in there by heart.

      You may also check these tips for more ideas: https://theundercoverrecruiter.com/t...job-interview/

      Oh, just to add, before, during and after the interview, always keep your demeanor. It's always good to make good first impressions.

      Comment


      • stan
        stan commented
        Editing a comment
        I agree with you Lou! Conceding imperfection and being honest will give you authenticity and the interviewers will recognize this. They want to be able to have trust and trust will go along way if it can be gained. Great link by the way!

      • Bjun
        Bjun commented
        Editing a comment
        There's a topic here about lying on resume's. I'm surprised some thought exaggerating one's skills on their resumes is ok. You have a good point about being able to answer whatever questions the interviewer has on your resume because you are being truthful instead of trying to memorise lines and remember which parts were exaggerated and which ones are true.

    • #8
      First impressions are important especially in a job interview. One of the first things an interviewer notices is what you're wearing. You'd want to look professional and confident. You can check this link for a guideline on how to dress for an interview: https://careernetwork.msu.edu/jobs-i...nterviews.html

      Comment


      • kdy
        kdy commented
        Editing a comment
        I really think that physical appearance plays a very big role in setting first impressions. Are you familiar with the Halo Effect? In the halo effect, attractiveness is one factor. Consider 2 applicants who appeared to have performed the same during the interview and tests - who gets hired? it's the more attractive one.

        I am not saying that this is always true, but nevertheless, still true. We can't be pretties, but maintaining a presentable appearance and showcasing your likable traits throughout the interview sets a better first impression.

      • Bjun
        Bjun commented
        Editing a comment
        I agree about the Halo Effect. Physically attractive individuals have always been more likely to get hired, get promoted or earn higher wages. So, it's best to dress appropriately for the job interview. Being neat and not looking disheveled would certainly make you look more "attractive" and would set a good first impression.

      • mjmnl
        mjmnl commented
        Editing a comment
        I was not familiar with the halo effect before I read your comment. First impression does matter to hiring managers and would benefit the applicant if he was able to represent himself well. However, upon reading this article (https://www.allbusiness.com/the-halo...t-21374-1.html), it may result in a negative outcome for the hiring managers if they rely on this alone. With the example mentioned in the article, the positive energy that the applicant showed during the interview does not equate to the performance that he gave for the job itself. Recruiters must still consider everything about the applicant's profile before hiring.

    • #9
      Most of us here firmly believe that preparation is the key to a successful interview. Watching videos works well for me. I first watch tips in nailing interviews and how to have a great first impression. Then, I follow it up with sample interviews of people applying for the same position or industry.

      Sharing this video for you to start with. It tackles the most common interview questions with tips on how to answer it properly:
      https://youtu.be/dE5a1mmVJD4
      Last edited by mjmnl; 04-29-2020, 08:21 AM.

      Comment


      • Indelible_Mark
        Indelible_Mark commented
        Editing a comment
        I agree! As the adage goes, "Failing to prepare IS preparing to fail", and no one wants to fail an interview by 'winging it'!

      • JerryYan
        JerryYan commented
        Editing a comment
        I agree with preparing responses to common interview questions. I think it is also important to review them in different angles and making them in aline with the vision of your target institutions. It's important for some companies that you have the same vision for yourself as the company has for itself.

    • #10
      Here are the tips I find helpful during job interviews:

      Get a good night sleep the night before. You'll look and feel better which will help you make the best first impression.
      Do your homework. Read the company's website and prepare questions you might want to ask during the interview. This will show how genuinely interested you are in being a part of their industry.
      A smile is the the best thing you can wear. Your positive energy and confidence will set the mood. (But you have to dress appropriately, too )
      Prepare answers to commonly asked questions and practice with a friend. Bring your notes during the interview if you must. It will be a good reference when your mind goes blank.
      Showcase your strengths, especially those that you think is beneficial and qualifies you for the position.
      Relax and don't let your nerves get to you. Remember that your interview is a sample of your work.





      Comment


      • sammie83
        sammie83 commented
        Editing a comment
        Sleep! I cant remember the last time I had enough of it. Its worth getting a good nights sleep to be at optimal capacity to think and respond plus I think we all look better with an extra hour or two sleep hehehe

    • #11
      Working from home is the new norm even before the pandemic. Sharing this article on preparing for a video interview. And yes, it is just as serious as face-to-face.
      https://biginterview.com/video-interview/

      Comment


      • sammie83
        sammie83 commented
        Editing a comment
        Very interesting resource. The tie comparisons (distracting vs good) made sense to me, I am begging to realize there are many subtle signals in human communication and presentation that can all contribute to being successful at the interview stage.

      • JerryYan
        JerryYan commented
        Editing a comment
        Hi Sammie83! I have had an interview that ended in quite literally what you will call 'banter' and a good professional exchange of work experiences..mostly funny task-related ones. Then there were a few that out-right hired me. That would be the best outcome right! Then there were those that try as the recruiter might, she gives me the scoop that 'I'm hiring you but let me at least interview the rest..' This list kinda captures most of the ones I've seen that signaled success during an interview: https://www.careeraddict.com/signs-good-interview

        Of course, the list is not complete and sometimes the interviewer just succeeds in helping you feel really comfortable.

    • #12
      Some notes I can add are the following:

      1. Know how a smile in the interview appears as forced versus genuine. Genuine smiles include the eyebrow movement, while forced smiles don't have eye brow movement at all -- it can be spotted by people that only move their mouth muscles in an attempt to smile.

      2. Posture is key, and the chin shouldn't be too high or too low. Around the middle, as in the usual, signals as even assertiveness. If you go lower, the more submissive it registers to the interviewer, and the higher you get, the more you give the impression that you're insubordinate.

      3. Speak plainly, clearly and around the same tempo as the interviewer. It registers as interest because you're adjusting your pace to their pace -- discreet but this works, generally.

      4.Replace uhhs and uhmms, or their urges to breathing pauses. Speaking moderately and accurately is better than speaking fast to the point that it appears like a word salad.

      5. If asked regarding a topic, start from the specific to the general parts for Western-leaning interviewers, and if the interviewer is around the oriental format, they generally prefer general to specific answers, due to cultural reasons.

      6. Lastly, if you're not used with eye contact because you're shy, a common tip is looking at the spot between the interviewer's eye brows -- it registers as eye contact from the interviewer's point of view.

      7. Ask questions as this somehow gives the impression that you're taking charge of the conversation.

      Comment


      • jcoppi29
        jcoppi29 commented
        Editing a comment
        Kamille:

        I think one nice practice my Speech teacher told me was talking as many times as possible to English speakers, or also talk in front of the mirror to slowly build up the confidence. Intentional pauses can also be a good replacement, as many polished actors or celebrities do this during interviews, it often comes as a habit of method acting where pauses are used to deliver emphasis instead.

        An additional alternative is actually practicing breathing in instead of the uhmms and uhhs. Breathing is a relaxant and allows the person to re-gather thoughts that are loosely stitched. Sometimes, I think what worked for me is writing a particular answer then reading it out loud.

      • Kamille
        Kamille commented
        Editing a comment
        jcoppi29 You mentioned some really helpful tips! It takes constant practice but its attainable.
        I just like to add that reading books aloud works too. Pausing at the right moment, and using the correct tones and intonation can be part of the breathing exercise. This will help build fluency skills, continuity and confidence in verbally presenting thoughts. It may be weird to hear an adult reading books aloud, but hey, it works for me.

      • jcoppi29
        jcoppi29 commented
        Editing a comment
        Only other things I can recommend, aside from what you've added, would be imitating TV show characters whose tones and accents you like. Getting the feel and the vibe of a particularly themed show or documentary and imitating it actually is a startup for most speakers that eventually learn their styles. There's also this Charisma in Command youtube channel that tackles the do's and don'ts of conversation as observed in various settings, even celebrities.

    • #13
      We already know that most of the interviewers have desired requirements in the position they are hiring for. Even if you're already qualified, it is always best to give your 100% during the interview. Always have eye contact when you are interacting with the interviewers and remember that non-verbal communication matters, too. Deliver your answers precisely by telling them your best assets and what you can do to contribute to the company. Always be confident while talking or answering. They also give importance to how you present yourself.

      I love this blog post tackling about job interview tips and tricks: https://theundercoverrecruiter.com/t...ps-and-tricks/
      These are great insights coming from a professional interview and job search consultant.
      Last edited by mjmnl; 05-11-2020, 09:24 AM.

      Comment


      • Kamille
        Kamille commented
        Editing a comment
        I agree that non-verbal communication matters in an interview. Tapping your fingers or repeated touching of hair can make you look nervous while the right eye contact and good posture will make you look confident. I found that this is also effective even during phone interviews. Your interviewer may not see you but they can sense your confidence. It's also the why most customer service companies train employees to smile when dealing with customers on the phone.

    • #14
      What to wear for a job interview..how does one even decide what to wear (will look into that )?

      Seeing that 55% of the 'first impression' is all on what is visible, what you wear to an interview becomes the unsolicited business card if not your walking billboard! This wiki article https://www.wikihow.com/Dress-for-an-Interview-as-a-Man covered more than the basics

      What you wear speaks to who you ARE as much as who you want to BE.

      Comment


      • Kamille
        Kamille commented
        Editing a comment
        I agree. Its important to look professional and polished in an interview. I found this guideline for women. https://www.wikihow.com/Dress-for-an-Interview-(Women)

        While its advisable to look professional, it is also important to wear something that you are comfortable in. For example, for petite women like me, its important to wear shoes that you can comfortably walk in. Wearing high-heeled shoes can help you look more professional, just be sure to choose the right heel height. You can practice walking in them days before your interview. If you're not used to wearing high heels, don't be afraid to wear your neat, polished flats. Better that than to trip, fall over or walk like your skating on thin ice.
        Last edited by Kamille; 06-15-2020, 02:13 PM.

    • #15
      Video interviews are no different from in-office ones when you speak of what to wear. I agree with this article that you need to wear pants..definitely wear pants! https://theconversation.com/pants-or...om-home-137552

      If only to keep you comfortable and confident that you are entirely 'present' for the interview.

      Comment


      • mjmnl
        mjmnl commented
        Editing a comment
        Such an unfortunate experience for that reporter. He became too comfortable working at home that he's that confident to have a video call with good morning America without any pants on. Could've been better if he double-checked everything first before pushing through. Haha!

        Dressing up for your video interview could also boost up your confidence and make you think that you are attending a face to face interview. The location also matters as mentioned in this link (https://www.indeed.com/career-advice...nterview-guide). I can recall one interview I did previously and I chose a room in our school building. I failed to put a note that I was having an interview then suddenly a schoolmate barged in while loudly chatting with her friend. Definitely lost my focus during that interview. Learned my lesson! 😅

      • Kamille
        Kamille commented
        Editing a comment
        Since more people are working from home, there's been a lot of videos circulating online with people not wearing pants on video conferences. Its tempting to wear comfortable pajamas. Besides, they won't see it anyway especially when you angle the camera correctly. But I'd say wearing pants (or dressing up for women) can put you in the right mindset. I agree with mjmnl that dressing up will boost your confidence, and that confidence will project through the screen. Also, if you want the job, why not put an effort on presenting yourself professionally regardless if its a video interview or not.

        Although I must admin, those 'quarantine conference calls gone wrong' videos are hilarious
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