A lot has been said about things you should and shouldn’t do during a job interview, as well as how the majority of companies want people with 5+ years of experience, filtering away fresh graduates. Quite often, however, qualifications and personal traits outweigh the experience requirement, which means you still have a solid chance of success if you show yourself in the beneficial light. Alas, a lot of newly made job-seekers get so nervous during the interview that they’re unable to demonstrate their potential to the fullest. That’s why we have decided to elaborate on the most valuable factors that in no small measure define the success of your interview.
Even if you are young and have never had an office job before, your knowledge and skill weigh a lot. If, after several interviews, you realize you lack some skills that are a must for the level of positions you’re applying for, try to develop them or at least start working on developing them. Why spend time in vain if you can learn from it?
Research the company before going to the interview, and it doesn’t only mean the area of business they’re in, but also their corporate culture. With IT companies popping on every corner, you can never be sure even what to wear on your interview. But what more important question is, what kind of behavior they consider normal. Besides, knowing the company you’re applying to will be a big advantage in weighing your options.
It is often said that you should avoid your real weak spots and replace them with artificial weaknesses. For example, “I am hyper-responsible and can sometimes work 24/7 to make sure I meet the deadline.” Well, no one buys it anymore. Try a real weakness that you have found a way to deal with. Something like “I can lose my concentration if I have a lot of things to do, that’s why I make a to-do list every morning, arranged in the order of priority”.
Being spontaneous doesn’t really work well in most of the cases, especially if you get nervous by the entire interview atmosphere. That’s why it is better to have at least some answers figured out in advance. Having mock interviews is hardly a useful thing to do though – you can’t possibly predict how it will all play out.
No matter whether you got the promised call or not, send a follow-up note after the interview thanking the recruiter for spending time with you. Even if you didn’t get the position, they can keep you in the database for future cooperation. Being on good terms always helps.
That’s pretty much it – prepare, be honest and straightforward, and try to address and improve your weak spots. Frankly, there is no magic in succeeding, you just have to approach it right.