Before the Interview

Someone has said that success is neither magical nor mysterious. Success is a natural consequence of perseverance in what we have chosen as important.

In order to succeed at an interview, we need to prepare our "homework".

Yes, it is certainly annoying to have to look at yet another website of a potential employer who called you for an interview. However, if we do not "do our homework", the chances of success at the interview would be much lower.

In this line of thinking, the first thing you need to pay serious attention to is the ad itself. And more precisely, whether it sounds formal, serious, even dry, or it is rather creative and interesting, whether it uses everyday language or it is even fun to read it. This will tell you a lot about the potential employer and you would be able to assess whether their culture would suit your style, whether you would feel good in this environment and what you would need to prepare for the interview.

Take a look at the company's website. You do not need to be a design and marketing expert to find out if the site is modern, interesting, easy to navigate through and quickly find what you are looking for.

If the ad and the site are rather formal and serious, the probability of the interview being strict and conventional is quite high. This means forgetting about casual clothing and preparing your presentation according to a more formal style. Of course, you must first decide whether such a corporate culture matches your preferences and whether you would feel comfortable working there. However, do not rush to conclusions. You will find out during the interview if your assumptions are correct. It is worth going and verifying if your initial impression was correct.

If the ad and the site are non-standard and sound modern, prepare for a non-standard interview. Expect questions that are different from the usual ones.

Appearance is very important to create a good first impression. In addition to clothing, prepare yourself with confidence, positive attitude and appropriate non-verbal behavior. Rehearse in front of a mirror. Why not?!

Use the information on the website to get well acquainted with the company you are applying at - history, structure, products / services, centers, growth, potential, goals. You can't be particularly convincing when you say you really want to work for a company if it's obvious that you don't know the basics about it. Check out other news and information sites. In the forums you can also find useful opinions from former and current employees to help you build an impression. If you know who the interview will be with, check out their LinkedIn profile.

Analyse the requirements and job description from the ad. If you are asked to share your experience so far, prepare in advance and narrate concisely, starting from your most recent position backwards, structuring your presentation so that it always answers the question why you are the most suitable candidate for this particular position.

Your initial words should be very strong. Usually within five minutes of starting, the interviewer knows if they want to continue or will look for a way to send you as soon as possible. Therefore, you need to prepare in advance. A good rehearsal will give you confidence and minimize the influence of side factors that would otherwise confuse you.
Choose good examples from your experience and do not go into unnecessary details. Think of situations in which you have used the skills required by the position. They do not need to be directly related to your work. They may also apply to other projects, training and relationships. Each of these stories must include three main elements: (1) What was the situation; (2) What action you took; (3) What the results of your actions were. And don't forget - concise and without unnecessary details!

Be prepared to be asked to give an example of your reaction when things did not go as planned or when you failed. Do not think that if you do not answer the question or name your weaknesses, you’d leave a better impression. There are no perfect people. Everyone makes mistakes and fails. What interviewers want to know is what you learn from such situations and how you stand up after a fall. Therefore, it is better to prepare in advance on how you will respond.

As you browse the site and the ad, prepare a few questions that you would ask. Show interest in the company, not the salary level. You could ask about the organisational culture, the immediate goals of the company, even why the interviewer chose to work in this company and what they like most about it. It is certainly good to ask what the next steps in the selection process are. And why not go a step further by asking for feedback on your performance?

Preparing for an interview is your "homework". To be sure of its quality, seek the advice of professionals. We at ExcluCV will be happy to be a part of your success! Impress employers! Don't let yourself be chosen. You choose!