A job interview can be very scary, but even a shy or stressed person can improve their interview performance just by preparing a few days beforehand. Reading this tutorial is already a great first step! Use a few tricks to make a good impression, choose what you say well, and plan your schedule properly to make the interview go as smoothly as possible.
Part 1 of 3: Prepare for the interview
Step 1. Educate yourself
Once you have an interview scheduled, research the company and the position you will be applying for online. In most cases, you will be able to find the answers to the basic questions you have, especially about your schedule and role. You may also find information that you are curious about and you can ask the interviewer to clarify or expand on it.
- Check out the company's website, social media pages, and any page about it that your search engine offers.
- Try to understand its goals and mission as well as how it relates to your skills and interests. You will appear both well prepared and suited to the company, which will set you apart from candidates who will only repeat the key information they have found on the site.
- If you know someone who works or has worked at this company, ask them for specific advice about who will be interviewing you or the values of the company.
Step 2. Answer the common questions
Write a list of frequently asked questions you expect to be asked during the interview and compose a thoughtful answer to each. If some of these questions do come up, it will make you look confident and well prepared, and you won't have to improvise the answers, which will reduce your stress.
- Be prepared to summarize your previous work experiences and explain how they have contributed to your skills and knowledge that apply to the job you are trying to get.
- Certain elements in CVs are often discussed in job interviews. These could be things like a long time out of work, a job you've only had for a short time, or unusual work experience that the recruiter might not know.
Step 3. Know how to describe yourself
Be prepared to describe yourself in a way that is relevant to the job. The person may ask you non-work-related questions, and you should be able to give them answers that relate to your interest in the business. It may take a little ingenuity in some cases, but if you are focusing on your personal development and your passion for the work the company does, you should find a way to connect them to the question.
- Prepare a summary of a few things that you have accomplished in your career or your life. End it by explaining how these qualities make you perfect for the job. When the person says "Tell me about yourself", they want to know more details than the information in your CV.
- Search the internet for your name to be prepared to explain unflattering information about you, work experiences not on your resume, or unusual hobbies you may have. The last category can easily turn into a positive as long as you give positive reasons why you enjoy these activities.
- Other frequently asked questions in job interviews are: "What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?" "," Why should we hire you? "," Where do you see yourself in 5 years? "And" How did you hear about us? »They will all give you the opportunity to describe yourself in a positive way, especially when it comes to your connection to the company's values and your willingness to promote them. If you're struggling to come up with answers, ask a friend who's been interviewed to help you formulate answers that are positive without being trivial.
Step 4. Try different formulations
Practice answering questions in a variety of ways. Have a friend read the questions on the list to you, or do it yourself in front of a mirror. Respond without reading the responses you wrote down (you can take a look at them every now and then at the beginning). Do this several times, trying to phrase your words in a different way each time. The more you practice, the more natural you will seem when the other person asks you similar questions, even if they are not the same.
Step 5. Prepare the necessary materials
Bring a copy of your CV, a notebook and a pen. If you are going straight for the interview after another obligation, also take a comb, makeup or any other accessories you may need to look after your appearance before the interview.
- You can bring your phone to exchange contact details, but make sure it is on silent during the interview.
- You can print the company information page or the page dedicated to job offers on its website. Write down the information you want to learn more about.
Step 6. Dress well
Trim your fingernails, style your hair carefully, and wear formal clothing in good repair. If you are unsure of how to dress appropriately, check out this article for more specific information.
There are a few exceptions, but don't dress informally unless you've been told not to wear formal attire. Even so, you should be careful with your hygiene and be careful not to wear dirty or disrepaired items. This situation arises most often for jobs requiring physical work outdoors
Step 7. Go to the interview on your own
Make sure you don't have any other obligations. If you have a friend who is bored in the car or children waiting for you in the household, you will be more stressed. Also, make extra time in your schedule to avoid making someone wait if the interview ends later than expected. If you need to pick your kids up from school or have a date with a friend, have someone do it for you or change your schedule before the interview.
Step 8. Arrive early
Show up at least 15 minutes before the appointment. It is important to plan to arrive early in order to take into account unexpected delays. You only have one chance to make a good first impression. Even if you have a valid excuse for being late, it will hurt your image.
- Do not enter the office where you have an appointment more than 5 minutes before the appointment. If it's in a large complex or complicated building, allow plenty of time to find it.
- If you encounter an unforeseen event that delays you, call the company and indicate the reason for your delay as well as an estimate of your arrival time.
Step 9. Relax
Calm down before you begin. This article offers many methods to reduce stress. Pick one or two that you can use before the interview and that have worked for you in the past. If you usually have a hard time relaxing and aren't sure which method will work, try several in the week before the interview.
- If you have enough time, try eating lunch with a calm friend or getting a massage before the interview. Many people are distressed when they wait for a stressful event on their own. Try doing something else that will get you thinking about something else with a friend that helps you feel calm while waiting.
- If you only have a few minutes before the interview, breathe in and out slowly and deeply a few times. Take a short break after each inhale and exhale. If you can, perform this exercise for 30 to 60 seconds.
- Some relaxation techniques cannot be used just before an interview. If you show up with wet hair after taking a relaxing bath or dripping with sweat after running, you'll make a bad first impression.
Part 2 of 3: Pass the interview
Step 1. Prepare yourself well
Follow the advice in the tutorial section dedicated to this topic. The more effort you put in beforehand, the more confidence you will have in yourself. If you want to make a good impression, don't wait until the morning just before the interview to prepare!
- The tips in the preparation section include information on all the steps you need to take, whether it's researching several days in advance or techniques for relaxing right before the interview.
- This section is about the interview itself, starting with the introductions and ending with the correct way to go afterwards.
Step 2. Make a good impression
Your presentation is the key to this. Greet the recruiter confidently, without mumbling, and look him in the eye. Shake his hand firmly, but be careful not to crush him. If you live somewhere where another form of interaction is required to greet someone in a professional context, follow proper practice.
Consider standing for the last few minutes before the person arrives. It's easier to make a good impression when you're not trying to extricate yourself from a chair. However, this will not be a determining factor in the interview. If your knees are shaking or your legs are tired, feel free to sit down
Step 3. Stay positive
However, don't be a clown. You should never look sad or upset. Answer each question positively, even if it concerns a depressing topic, such as a job you lost. If you can get along well with the other person, that's great, but be careful not to start chatting instead of answering questions.
- When you talk about a job you lost, say something like, "I'm happy with my experience in this company" or "Now I'm free to apply to great companies like yours.. "
- Don't joke during the interview. It's hard to predict how a stranger will react to your humor.
Step 4. Don't share personal information
Focus on the questions you are asked and how they relate to the position you are applying for. Pay special attention to potentially controversial personal information, such as your religion or hobbies.
- Prepare a few answers in case you are asked any personal questions. Try to dodge them with answers like: "My state of health / my family situation / my hobby will not have an impact on my ability to do this job" or "I have an education / experience / vision. rich world which contributes hugely to my work ethic. "
- In France, it is forbidden to ask questions about ethnicity, religion, country of origin, political and union convictions, family and marital status, age, sexual orientation and health problems in job interview. Many other countries have similar anti-discrimination laws that you can find online. If the interviewer breaks any of these prohibitions, try to dodge the question without getting angry.
Step 5. Take notes
Write down some important information. Your notebook is used to write down key information you need to remember during the interview, such as the potential start date of your contract and contact details. However, don't spend all of your time writing down everything that is said. You need to focus on the conversation itself.
Step 6. Ask questions
The conversation doesn't necessarily have to go one way. If one of your answers leads to a question you want to ask, don't hesitate! When the other person asks if you have any questions, try to get a few that are relevant. This is an opportunity for you to learn more about the nature of the job you are applying for and not just to be evaluated by the recruiter.
Step 7. Learn about the next step
At the end of the interview, if the person hasn't told you yet, ask what the next step will be. Will the company get back to you in a week or 3 weeks? Will there be a second interview or will you be told directly if you got the job? Know what to expect before you go.
Don't forget to thank the recruiter at the end
Step 8. Send your thanks
Do it for an important job. A supermarket manager probably won't be interested in a thank you, but if you're applying for a position that's important to your career, it's worth the extra effort. Contact the company the same day just to say that you enjoyed the interview and that you are grateful.
Send a handwritten note only if your handwriting is neat and easily readable
Step 9. Contact the company again
If the recruiter told you that you will be contacted in a week, but you still have no news, send them a courteous email to inquire about the situation. This way, it will keep you in mind and tell you exactly what to expect.
Be careful not to appear to get annoyed or impatient, but don't hesitate to restart the business either. This will show your interest in the job and the reaction should be positive as long as you allow enough time to respond to the company (at least a week or the length of time indicated by the recruiter at the end of the job). interview)
Part 3 of 3: Make an appointment when you are already working
Step 1. Ask for the length of the interview
Determine how long you will need altogether by counting your trips. Find the office address as soon as possible, preferably when applying for the job. When someone contacts you to set up an interview, ask roughly how long it will last. Can you skip it during your lunch break? If the company phones you and you accept an impossible schedule out of enthusiasm, you may find yourself in an embarrassment!
Step 2. Don't accept an impossible schedule
If the date of the interview is more than a week away, you may be able to find a solution to change your schedule. However, if the deadline is very short or you already know that you will have an important meeting for your current job on the proposed schedule, suggest another one.
- If the company calls you and offers you an interview when you're not sure exactly when you'll be available, say you'll try to fit into your schedule and call back quickly. Call back the company or send an email as soon as possible, preferably within a few hours, to indicate your availability.
- Some employers have unreasonable expectations and expect candidates to show up with a warning the night before or to find time in their schedules, no matter what. During the first interactions, assume that the person is reasonable. If you've already exchanged a few emails and feel like you haven't, you may need to cancel important appointments or make other sacrifices for a position that really interests you.
Step 3. Be honest
Ask if you can get an interview before or after a day's work. Be open with the recruiter and let them know you already have a job. Your potential employer would certainly not want their employees not to come to work in order to apply elsewhere.Try to find another solution that conveys a positive message about your work ethic.
Step 4. Use your lunch break
If it is not possible to make an appointment outside of your working hours and the interview location is close, offer to do so during your lunch break. Consider asking how long the interview is likely to last so that you know if this option is possible or not.
Do not assume that the total duration of the exchange and your trips will necessarily correspond to your estimates. If this might make you late, ask your current employer if you can start earlier or finish later so you have a longer lunch break to run some errands on the day of the interview
Step 5. Request time off
If the interview is likely to be long enough or the location is remote, use one of your days off. If you can have several interviews on the same day, it will be even better!
- Depending on your employer's curiosity, it may be enough to tell them that you want to take a day off without giving details. If you want to go on sick leave, you'll have to lie, but with some employers or last-minute appointments, you may not have a choice.
- If you are going to quit anyway, you won't lose much by using your time off for interviews.
Step 6. Find a simple excuse
For most employers, it suffices to say something like, “I have an appointment on Friday afternoon. Can I work longer on Thursday to compensate? This explanation has the advantage of being true, which will help you be more believable. If your employer asks you what type of appointment it is, choose something simple and realistic, like a doctor or dentist appointment.
If you often ask for time off for interviews, the doctor or dentist's excuse still stands. Many people have to return to the office several times for dental or medical procedures, and you do not have to talk to your manager about your health problems
Step 7. Don't degrade your image
Don't choose an excuse that makes you look bad. Trying to cover up the fact that you are looking for a new job may make your employer even more angry. What would be the point of lying and pretending that you are away because you have a hangover?
- Always tell your employer before to take a leave instead of finding explanations afterwards. Even the best excuse in the world won't look professional after being away without telling your boss.
Step 8. Don't lie about your family
Of course, you should not tell your employer that yet another grandmother has died, but even another made up excuse about a member of your family is not recommended. It is quite possible that your supervisor will meet the person in question later. If you find yourself having to explain that your sister has no memory of her car accident, it might be embarrassing!
Step 9. Choose a legitimate excuse
Don't make up a problem that can be solved easily or that doesn't give you enough time. If the interview and travel are going to take 3 hours altogether, don't say your son is late for school. When you arrive at work several hours later, it won't be believable at all. The worst mistake to avoid is telling your employer that the delay is due to a problem they can fix: “I have a flat tire, but don't send anyone to fix it. I prefer to stay on the side of the road all day. »What arouse his suspicions for sure!
Many large companies offer daycare services for the children of employees. Make sure yours isn't before using your son or daughter as an excuse
Step 10. Schedule time to change
In most offices, it is not necessary to dress as formally as for a job interview. If you are going to the appointment directly after work, allow enough time to stop at a public restroom, a clothing store with a dressing room, or your home to put on more appropriate attire before the interview.
If you have nowhere practical to store your maintenance outfit, drop it off in a dry cleaner the day before and pick it up on your way to the appointment
Step 11. Take care of your children
If you can make an appointment outside of your working hours, but have children to look after, hire someone to look after them for a few hours. If you can't afford it, ask a responsible friend or family member to do this for you.
This also applies to other obligations. You may need to postpone less urgent tasks or ask a loved one to do it for you
Step 12. Manage a telephone interview well
Don't do it when you're at work. If the interview is to be over the phone, make sure the recruiter understands that you need to know when to expect the call. Do not agree to answer during your working hours. It's the easiest way to get caught!