By Lilian Wamaitha
Are you attending an interview soon? Looking for tips or advice on how to prepare for an interview? Whether you are a fortnight away from your big interview, you can still beat the competition through preparation.
When it comes to interview, this is your one chance to shine and convince the interviewer that you are the best candidate. Preparing for any interview is therefore key to succeeding and finally landing a job.
Mistakes job secrets make when preparing for an interview
There is never a second time to make a first lasting impression. You therefore need to keep the interviewer hooked from the moment you enter that room to the minute you leave.
These mistakes can kill a job interview and they are common among Kenyan job seekers.
1. The dressing
The first impression an interview gets from you before you even talk is the way you are dressed. If you dress in shady outfit that proves that you never thought this through, you have already killed the interview before it even starts.
If nobody has ever told you, t-shirts, short skirts, jeans, sandals, hats among others are never acceptable in an interview. Ladies, that kinky latest hairstyle that seems like you spent an entire day in the salon doesn’t do well for you. It’s an interview not a socialite audition!
2. Coming unprepared
Lack of preparation is an automatic opportunity killer. Think of an interview as an exam. Research the company; go over the job description again. This way you won’t appear uninterested in the interview.
3. Getting angry
Sad to say that, angry people are not what employers are looking for. Yes the interviewer may have gone overboard in the questions by bringing in some personal issues (but rarely will this happen). Don’t show him/her that you are annoyed. Instead if you can’t answer a question give them a reason why and let them move on to the next question (not clear consider revising). Getting angry will only cut your interview short and you won’t get the job.
4. Negative body language
Body language determines to a large extent whether you get a job or not. Let your actions portray what a positive person who is interested in the job and what the interviewer is saying.
5. Sharing too much
Some job seekers tend to think of an interview as tell the truth and nothing but the truth sort of situation. So they end up spilling their guts and sharing too much unnecessary information. Not useful or relevant in any way!
Ways in which smart job seekers prepare for an interview
Smart hob seekers know that an interview is a do or die kind of situation. This is why they go a notch higher when preparing for an interview. Here are a few tips on how to prepare for an interview that will guarantee you the job.
1. Prepare good responses
Most interviews involve basic questions based on your CV and some behavioral aspects. Knowing how to answer basic questions that interviewers ask before the interview is vital if you want to move past that stage. This is where interview coaching comes in. Interview coaches prepare you by giving you responses to different interview questions in Kenya.
2. Prepare what to wear
As we mentioned what you wear portrays a lot about the inner you. What kind of an interview are you attending? Is there anything you can find online about what to wear to an interview at such a company? If not, dress very formally and make it simple.
3. Plan what to bring
This is one of the biggest challenges to most job seekers. Basically on the day of the interview, you are supposed to have an extra copy of your CV and documents. Don’t just assume that the interview already has your documents which you used to apply.
Make extra copies in case it’s a panel interview. Knowing what to bring and not bring beforehand will save you a lot of stress and embarrassment of explaining to the interview why you don’t have a copy of your CV when they ask for one.
4. Research the company
When asked ‘what do you know about us’ in a job interview’ what do you say? Don’t just walk into an interview room, not knowing anything about the company you want to work for. Nobody wants to hire a person who is not interested in their company.
The moment you get that call or email to attend an interview, go online. Learn everything you can about the company– their culture, their vision and setbacks they have had in the past, their employees and so on.
5. Analyze the job description again
How much do you know about the job you are interviewing for? A smart job seeker will analyze in depth the job description paying attention to the skills, knowledge and competencies required to perform the tasks. Determine where the job fall in the hierarchy or the company – managerial or supervisory.
Compare your qualifications to what the employer is seeking for. This will help you maneuver questions like ‘why should we hire you’ or ‘why do you think you are qualified for this role.’
When you know how to prepare for a interview, the interview stage becomes less stressful. If you put into consideration the tips discussed above, you are on your way to landing that dream job.
Lilian is a Communications Officer at Career Point Kenya. Got any Interview queries? Contact her via firstname.lastname@example.org