How To Practice For A Job Interview
Practice ideally makes anything better, from learning to play an instrument to responding to the questions asked in an interview.
After struggling to create a resume and cover letter that stands out from the rest, with careful choice of words and modest exaggerations of your accomplishments, you have finally been shortlisted for the job interview. This is where you have a face-to-face sit down with the person(s) who determine whether or not you are a good match for their organisation.
With so many jobless people and so few job openings, you cannot simply leave the interview to fate or decide to think on your feet. So, how do you practice for a job interview?
- Research the company and industry
You need to gather as much relevant knowledge as you can about the company and the latest trends and issues in the industry. You can get such information from the company website, including the news/blog section, as well as relevant trade publications, industry blogs, and social media pages, among others.
Also, try to identify the interests of the company outside work, like through CSR projects or personal involvements of individual directors or executives in the company. It may help if you have common interests.
- Master your selling points and core competence
There are three things that you need to address during the interview: That you know your strong points; that you are competent for the job; and that you are interested in the job.
You must perfect your elevator speech, with details of your past experiences and successes, skills acquired, critical abilities for the job, career expectations, and other things that you may want to include in response to the question “tell me about yourself.”
Your ability to perform critical tasks required of the job will also be questioned, so you must prove your competency. When closing, you will probably be asked whether you have any questions. Even if you have done your own research, it is good practice to ask a question that shows you’re interested in working with the organisation.
- Identify the requirements of the vacant position
This bit requires a bit of critical thinking as you need to anticipate management’s priorities with regard to the position you’re applying for; what will be expected of you in the first week, month, several months; and how success in that position is assessed.
Some positions require you to get on the ground running, so you need to have a definite plan or the capacity to plan fast and execute for short-term goals. Other positions have long-term goals that simply require you to adopt fast to the organisational culture.
You just need to know the current state of the organisation, and what tasks you will need to undertake in your capacity.
Last but not least, close your interviews with a firm handshake and end on a positive note. You can express your gratitude for the opportunity, expectations for positive feedback, or some other positive and appropriate statement.