A Guide To Acing Interviews

Interviews, they can be quite daunting and scary. On the day of the interview, you wake up feeling like you’ve got a million butterflies in your stomach like there’s something on your chest restricting your breathing. It’s normal and its a feeling that will never go away but preparing well for your interview can lower the risk of you flunking your interview. So to get you prepared, we’ve come up with a list of pointers for you to run over before your interview.

1. Do Your Research

Research is so important. Knowing about your company beforehand gives you such an advantage. It makes you look like you’re actually interested in joining them. Not doing your research is as good as digging your own grave.

Look out for what your company’s mission, values, and beliefs are and try to put yourself in line with the company’s beliefs. This shows your interviewer that you are a good fit for the company.

But on the flip side of things don’t overload your interviewer with too much information about the company. They are the company and would already know all these facts. Subtly show your research. Maybe pull out one or two projects the company has done and talk a little bit about them.

2. Test Yourself

Type out some questions and conduct a fake interview for yourself. Here are some questions that might help you along the way.

Could you tell us a little bit about yourself?

They don’t care about your dog at home, your hobby or your favorite Netflix show at the moment. They are asking about what related skills, qualifications or jobs you’ve had that might help you with the position you’re going for.

Why do you think you are the perfect candidate?

Be calm, this is when your research comes in. Link your beliefs with the company’s beliefs. Paint a picture in their heads on how the company can benefit with you on their team. At the same time, show them how you can grow and benefit as an individual from being on their team. Create a win-win situation.

What are some of your strengths?

Sell yourself! Be confident! Don’t worry about being too cocky just go all out. When you’ve participated in a group project don’t keep using “we” instead, use the word “I”. After all, the interview is about you, not about what your team members did. If you led the team even better, mention it to your interviewer. Use as much statistics as you can. For example, if you organized a charity event, mention the turnout rate for the event and the amount of money that was raised through the event.

What are some of your weaknesses?

Please don’t say you’re a perfectionist and you want everything to be perfect… It’s so cheesy and it really doesn’t tell your employer much about you. Instead, talk about a hard skill, not a soft skill because it’s easier to develop a hard skill than to develop a soft skill. What are the hard skills? Well, it’s an actual skill that you have yet to learn, for example, knowing how to use Photoshop is a hard skill.

Could you share with us an incident that you’ve faced with your previous employer and how you solved the issue?

This is quite a common question from companies so make sure you don’t get thrown off. Share about the issue you’ve faced, make sure to leave your emotions out of it. Instead, focus on describing the issue and the solution you proposed. Show that you have seen through the process of the initiative until it was a success. Show your interviewer that you have the initiative and resilience when you’re faced with issues.

3. Have A Portfolio

Build a strong portfolio, no matter how well you do in an interview, a portfolio still plays a huge part. A good portfolio will determine if you get a job or not. Nowadays, with the help of websites like Wix, it’s extremely easy to make a sleek and professional online portfolio.  Online Portfolios are good because it can be easily accessed and it gives the interviewer a more interactive experience being able to scroll through your stuff conveniently on their laptops or smart devices.

4. Dress Appropriately, Look Presentable

First impressions always count! Imagine you’re the interviewer and you see someone turn up in slippers and a tank top. You’ll definitely have a bad first impression of that person. This lowers the likelihood of you wanting to hire the person. For the ladies, make sure you don’t show too much skin and for the guys make sure to style your hair and wear a belt. Belts are always overlooked, but it usually helps to tie the entire outfit together. Just don’t look sloppy and you’re good to go.

PHOTO CREDIT: https://luxe.digital/style/men-smart-casual-dress-code-guide/
PHOTO CREDIT: http://stylefavourite.com/2018-what-should-women-wear-for-a-job-interview/

5. Be Confident And Honest

Don’t ever feel like a lesser being! Be confident, your interviewer isn’t going to hurt you and what’s the worst that could happen. Find a company that matches you, be honest about who you are. Don’t stress about not getting the position but instead get to know more about the company through the interview. It should be a two-way conversation. Body language means the world, it’s really these little things that can change someone’s perspective on you as a person. Don’t sit up straight all the time, it just looks plain creepy. Just don’t slouch too much because you wouldn’t want to give off the impression of not caring about the interview. All in all, just don’t be afraid, remember there’s no right or wrong, it’s ultimately about how you portray yourself in front of your interviewers.

6. Ask A Question At The End

At the end of the interview usually, your interviewer will ask you if you have any questions for them. Its always good to ask your interviewer questions because this gives you the final chance to make yourself shine. It doesn’t only show that you’re interested in the position but it always shows that you are looking for a company that fits your personal needs as well. But remember to avoid asking about the salary or about how much leave you’re entitled to. It just makes you sound like a slacker. Instead, ask questions about the company culture it’ll make you seem like your ready to join the team, which is a definite plus point!

With all these tips, you’re on your way to acing your next interview! Just remember to be calm, your interviewer is human too. Treat the interview as a two-way conversation, you’re allowed to ask your interviewers questions as well! They’ve had loads of interviewees before you and they’re probably very tired already so remember to keep your answers short sweet and entertaining. If you have any other tips on acing an interview do share it with us on our social media pages @lifeguide.sg! We’d love to hear from you! All the best for you’re interview!

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