5 easy steps to help you nail your job interview!

You just received the email you have been waiting for. You have been invited to interview for a highly coveted role at your dream company. You feel ecstatic and begin to jump up and down…and then it hits you — there is only one vacancy and you start to feel the stress build up in your muscles. Fear not! We are here to help.

How exactly can you stand out from the crowd and make a memorable impression in the interview?

To make the best impression try out these 5 easy steps..

 

1) Give thanks

Pressing on thank you button

To leave a lasting impression and illustrate your amazing business repertoire, your first step in getting ahead of the curve is to draft a response to your interview invitation to show them your enthusiasm. Show enthusiasm for the role by explaining how excited you are and thank the organization for considering your candidacy. You may also want to add a sentence highlighting why you are attracted to the role. This will help HR ‘mark’ you and associate you with that quality, allowing them to remember you.

2) Do your research

Arab doing research

It is important that you begin to have a well formed understanding of the company you are applying to and the job you are applying for. You do this by 1) understanding how the company perceives themselves, but also by 2) understanding how the company is perceived by others, namely the industry it operates in, the wider business community and most importantly the company’s customers. It is important to do this as it is a part of what makes (and keeps) a company successful is its reputation.

Moreover, this is a critical step as it will lend you the opportunity to evaluate whether the company is a good fit for you. In other words, do the company’s values, culture and reputation align with your business objectives and brand? Chances are that if you join the company, you will be associated with the qualities that the company is known for.

To help answer these questions, first carefully re-read the job description in full, and get acquainted with what the organization you are looking to join is looking for in a candidate.  Next, visit the company’s website to learn more about their mission, business activities and culture. You may even want to have a quick glance at the company’s annual report to gauge their financial performance and brush up on their CSR activities.

Moreover, don’t shy away from exploring the company on social media, such as Facebook and Linkedin, for additional data points. The latter will also provide you with information on who in your wider network works at the company. Individuals in your network not only have the potential to provide additional information on the company and role you are applying for, but can also support you with building your question bank and offer to provide you with a mock interview session (as we will discuss in points 3 and 4).

Following that, you may want to read up about company reviews from current and former employees and business partners. Popular websites such as Glassdoor and Bayt provide a wealth of resources and commentary for you to form an impression of the company’s outside image.

 

3) Prepare your question bank

Closeup portrait young pretty woman in blue shirt resting hands on keyboard browsing digital computer laptop isolated background of sunny outdoor green trees office background

An often underestimated and underutilized tool when preparing for a job interview is your question bank. Have you taken the time to consider and think about what questions your interviewer will ask you? Close your eyes and try to visualize the day of your interview. Do you know what the first question you will asked to answer is?

In over 80% of cases, the first question asked in an interview is “tell me about yourself”. But what about the others?

Fear not! There is a relatively simple tool that you can use that will help you reduce the uncertainty — we like to call it the question bank. A question bank is a simple collection of frequently asked questions and your personalized answers to these questions.  

Personally, I have built my interview question bank over excel, creating different tabs for each company I am applying for.

As it turns out, there are easy to access resources that will allow you to build your question bank. Glassdoor has become an extremely popular tool for finding these questions. The website features the questions of other candidates who have interviewed with the company. In some cases you will be able to filter questions down by job title. Copy these questions into your question bank excel tool and start to think about the kinds of answers you would have. Record these answers into your tool. Often times, you can have more than one answer for each question. We recommend you prepare for at least 10 questions.

Click here to learn more about creating a question bank and to download a free sample prepared by Wadhefty that you can use. While using our platform is a good start, we highly recommend that you personalize it for the company and role you are applying for.

The question bank is an extremely powerful tool for a number of reasons. First, it will give you the opportunity to think ahead of the interview and prepare for questions in a risk free environment, allowing you to reduce the incidence of filler words, such as your typical “hmm” and “you know”, and uncomfortable silences in your actual interview. Second, having this tool in hand will facilitate your preparation of other interviews coming your way as many of the questions are often repeated by other companies.

4) Practice with a friend …or more

Closeup portrait two surprised girls looking at cell phone discussing latest gossip news sharing intimate moments shopping laughing at what they see isolated outdoors background

Once you feel you have made enough progress on your question bank and have come up with strong answers that reinforce the company’s and the role’s requirements, take your preparation to the next level by getting the assistance of family or friends to perform a live mock interview.

Depending on the interview, we recommend anywhere from 1 to 2 simulations to help you get comfortable in a live setting. Your first mock will allow you to identify weaknesses in your interview skills and the second will give you another chance at practicing those areas where you need additional development.

One rule stands true — the more you practice, the more prepared and at ease you feel during interview day.

5) Smile

Closeup portrait appointment with office manager job interview hiring isolated indoors office background. Getting that first job or excellent customer service with a smile

You have heard plenty about the importance of first impressions and of dressing for success. Equally as important however is your body language. Did you know that smiling for example, can have quite a big impact on yourself and others? Not only has smiling been shown to reduce stress levels, but it can also have a profound impact on how others view you. In fact, you are more likely to be perceived as confident and competent. It can also be contagious and it certainly won’t hurt if your interviewer catches on to your smile!

Congratulations, you have taken the first step at nailing your job interview. Now get ready to knock your interview out of the park!

One of the smartest tools you will use to help you succeed in your job interview

Successful professional casual man gesturing and checking cellphone messages towards city skyline. Entrepreneur enjoys success in job.

You recently used our expert services at Wadhefty and have a top-notch CV that reflects your individuality and offers employers the best representation of your experience and qualifications.

But in addition to using your CV, did you know that there are other tools at your disposal that can help get you closer to the role you are yearning for?

Enter the question bank. The question bank is a powerful tool that will help you prepare for your upcoming interview in a systematic and methodological way. It allows you to focus your attention on the important messages you want to relay so that employers see you as the best candidate for the job you are applying for. Additionally, it is comprehensive, providing you with a database of all interview related information.

HOW IT WORKS

The question bank is a live tool that features frequently asked questions that come up in a job interview. It is split up into 2 sections: general questions and company specific questions to ensure you are able to cover the full-spectrum. The goal is for you to sit and reflect on your past experiences and to generate answers for these questions. Questions can range from open-ended ones such as “Why do you want to join our company” to behavioral questions that draw on your past experience such as “tell us about a time you had an unproductive team member”.

We advise that you create the tool over excel, as it offers the most flexibility with making additions and iterations, and offers the best functionality.

Sure the tool seems simple enough (and it is), but the impact it can have can go a long way to help you stand out from other candidates and allow you to tweak your background so that it is a strong fit for the role.

As we are committed to your success, we have created the Wadhefty question bank, a free excel resource that you can use to help you prepare for job interviews.

Click here to download your free Wadhefty question bank.

While the Wadhefty question bank is a strong tool that will allow you to differentiate yourself from other candidates, we highly advise you to build on the questions in the tool to suit your personal needs. We recommend that you create a different tab for each company and/or role you are interviewing for.

 

STAR APPROACH TO ANSWERS

Catch the star. A person is standing next to the Milky Way galaxy pointing on a bright star.

Equally as important as building the question bank are the answers you will have to those questions.

Have a scroll through the file. You will find that the file already boasts over 10 questions. So what is the best approach to employ in answering these questions?

We recommend that you use the STAR approach. While the first thing that comes to your mind might be the solar system, STAR actually stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result.

Let’s quickly break it down. First it is important to describe the situation and provide context. Were you working with a team on a school project? Or was it during your summer leadership expedition? Once the scene has been set, it is important to describe what task you have at hand and what the expectation of your role was. This allows you to smoothly transition into the next step: what actions did you take to achieve the tasks at hand and how did you behave when encountering some of the challenges along the way? Finally, show how your actions proved to be successful by explaining the results of your actions. If relevant, you may want to prove this also by communicating numbers and figures.

To illustrate, we have provided a sample answer for you in the Wadhefty question bank.

 

QUICK FINAL POINTER

As a best practice, consider updating this tool every 2-3 years depending on your speed of promotion and the frequency of changes in experience. Taking my personal experience as a yardstick for comparison, I have updated the tool at least 4 to 5 times over the course of my 5 year career.

 

Good luck with your tool and make sure to have fun with it!