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How to Prepare for a Job Interview in 2023

Updated on Apr 12, 2023 6244 views
How to Prepare for a Job Interview in 2023

You’ve got a mail from the hiring team, the content of the mail reads:

Hello Amahle,

Thank you for applying for the position of office administrator with ABC Company in Cape Town, SA.

We would like to invite you to come to our office to interview for the position. Your interview has been scheduled for 1 pm on May 10, 2023, at 123 Main Street, Cape Town, Western Cape ; Postal Code PO Boxes: 8000.

Kindly reply to this mail stating your availability.

Best regards,

Mandla Samuel

Naturally, the next thing to do is to get ready for the interview,  and what is the best way to go about this?
 

Here is a detailed guideline on how to prepare for a job interview in 2023

Firstly, you want to go over the mail again ensuring you get every detail about the interview, and the type of interview it will be, either a physical, virtual, or phone interview and prepare accordingly.

 

Types of Interview

Physical Interview

If the mail carries an address, a venue or a location, that simply implies you will need to be physically present for the interview. This can also be called an on-site interview. The physical interview could be located at the company address you applied to, a recruiting firm or a specific location.

It is paramount you do the necessary research needed on the location and get ready ahead of time.

Virtual Interview

The mail could carry a link to the interview and this implies it is a virtual interview, which means, you need to be present online for the interview. The interview link will also have a scheduled time and a hosting virtual venue.

A virtual venue is a site or an app the company has chosen to use in hosting the interview, such sites/apps are Zoom, google meet, slack, etc.

As a candidate, it is in your best interest to get familiar with the hosting site before the scheduled interview date and time.

Phone Interview

The recruiter might state in the mail for you to confirm your phone number and ensure the number provided will be available for a call at a scheduled time. This could be a normal call by a local network provider or a call via Whatsapp.

It is in your best interest to stick to the instruction and ensure all information provided is well-detailed and correct.

 

Interview Must-do Research

Research on the company and hiring team

Researching is key and can’t be over-emphasized when it comes to the best ways to prepare for a job interview. You want to take out a good amount of time to research the company, the founders and when it was established, the goal, vision and mission of the company and the services rendered.

 It is of utmost importance to also research the hiring team, if there are pieces of information available to learn about the hiring team, take advantage of it, and get to know the people hiring you before the interview day.

This will help guide you on how to prepare, it shows you are interested in the company and it gives the recruiter an idea of the candidate.

Research on the position/role being applied for

A brief description of the role has been stated in the job application but that is not enough, especially when you are transitioning to a new role or a new company. It is important to research the role being applied for to get a better understanding of what will be required of you in the role, the possible challenges that come with the role and possible solutions, also researching the role will help you see ways you can contribute to the growth of the company.

Research on the possible salary for the role

Salaries are often based on the level of expertise. For you to have an edge when it comes to negotiating salary with the hiring team, it is necessary to research the possible salary for the position in your industry, this way, you know how to negotiate and be paid the right value for your services to be rendered.

 

Practice Interview Questions & Answers

Self-introductory question

It has been said by recruiters that a large number of candidates find it hard to introduce themselves when asked the question “Tell me about yourself”

Oftentimes, Candidates don’t know what to say or how to answer this question the right way. There is a simple format to use: who you are, what you’ve done and how you did it, and what you are doing at the moment.

Who you are: this should entail your name, if you are a fresh graduate, your school, the previous role you’ve held
What you’ve done and how you did it: The previous position held and duration, state the skills you have that have helped you succeed in that role.
What you are doing at the moment: Your current employment status, either you are taking up a new course in your field, or looking to transition to a new role.
Using this format, you should be able to answer the first question asked by the recruiter and increase your chances to be selected for the role.

Questions about your previous job

This is also a very important question that needs to be answered with caution. This question is asking what your previous job was, the role you held, your achievements, and the reason why you are seeking new employment. You must take your time to answer these questions.

The response given to the recruiter will be a great determinant if you will be considered for the position or not.

Challenges and possible solutions in the position held

This question is simply asking if you have had any situations relating to your previous work where you needed to provide a solution to it, either in a team or personally.

This question could also be regarding the role you are applying for, the recruiter might ask a question and ask for a possible solution in such scenarios. This is why it is important to research the position being applied for before the interview to prepare ahead of such questions.

Information about the company

This is where all you have researched about the company comes in handy. It is best to keep your answers short, straight to the point, and simple.

Your answer should entail the name of the founders, the year established, the locations of the company, and the services rendered. If there is any project known to the public it is also a bonus to add this information.

Salary expectation

When asked this question, candidates tend to play it safe by not doing the required research on the salary being paid in the industry. This is your opportunity as a candidate to place a good value on yourselves for the work you will embark on.

Know the expected salary range in your industry and strike a good negotiation at the interview.

Questions for the recruiter

This is the most neglected question by candidates. Oftentimes, candidates will always respond to this question with a NO. This is a wrong answer, it tells the recruiter, you’ve not done proper research, you were not attentive or you are not fully interested in the job.

You should always have two to three questions to ask the recruiter and here are examples of the question to ask at the end of an interview:

  • Is there room for growth in the position?
  • How has the role evolved in recent years?
  • Are there systems put in place to help my transition into this role a success?

These are smart questions that show you are interested and ready to begin.

 

Interview Etiquette

Choice of word to use at an interview 

In every industry, there are acceptable terms and language that is used and words that are not also accepted. Knowing the right choice and usage of words will set you apart from candidates who speak without care. Do not be nonchalant with your words and make an effort to address people with the right words.

Posture and body language

Practice body posture when you sit or stand in front of the hiring team, you don’t want to be caught slouching, sitting too forward, or too relaxed, standing with your hands in your pocket or on your waist.

Ensure your posture is correct and your body language is not giving the wrong message to the recruiter.

Eye contact

Try to make regular eye contact with the hiring team. It depicts confidence and says you are not timid, it helps you listen to the hiring team, and make eye contact with the person speaking but do not stare.

Punctuality

Time management is a very important skill to possess as a candidate and coming late to an interview when the time has already been stated does not say you know how to manage time. You must be at the interview 20 minutes before the scheduled time. This will help you to stay calm before the interview commences, and you will not be looking stressed and sweaty.

Tonality

Your tone says a lot more than you mean to say. It either tells the hiring team you are happy to be there, you don’t care about the job, or you are timid, ambitious, hostile or rude. You want to make sure your tone is soft and gentle but firm and finally, can communicate without feeling intimidated.

 

What to Take to an Interview

A printed copy of your CV/resume 

Different scenarios can play out on the day of the interview and to be on the safe side, you need to have a hard copy of your resume in cases where the hiring team needs to see it. Be ready at all times for anything from the hiring team. Your CV has 60% of your information, it is also advisable you go over your CV so all you will be saying is in alignment with what you will say at the interview.

A notepad and pen

There might be information you will need to pen down at the end of the interview, having a pen and notepad at hand will come in handy.

 

What to Wear to an Interview

Cooperate outfit

Dressing the part is one of the best things to do, regardless, of the position being applied for, you need to look your best. A basic cooperate outfit will make a lot of difference from looking like you don’t care about the job. In addition to this, a neat hairdo or haircut, properly ironed and neat outfit should meet the basic requirement.

 

Essential Things to Do Before the Interview

Go over all you have researched

Going over all you’ve studied and researched is very necessary to help you refresh all you’ve learnt about the company, hiring team, salary and the position you are applying for, also go over your CV so what you will be saying is aligned with what’s is in your CV.

Take a mock interview

Get someone who is experienced, a friend or look for videos on the internet to help you practice before the interview. You need to rehearse the possible questions and how you will answer them. This exercise will help calm your nerves, point out places that need improvements and help build your confidence.

Get enough rest

7 hours of proper rest will do a lot of magic to your body, mind and head. You want to make sure you get enough rest a day before the interview. Get all you need a day before the interview, neat and Ironed clothes, a printed copy of your CV, a notepad and pen and most importantly, good sleep to help you stay calm, and relaxed and reduce your anxiety.

 

Conclusion

Preparing for a job interview is a whole lot especially when you don’t know the basic steps to take, this article has presented a comprehensive guide on how to go about it.

Remember an interview is your chance to show the recruiter why you are the best candidate for the role, it is a formal conversation between you and the recruiter. It is bringing your CV to life, treat it with utmost seriousness.

Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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