How to Prepare For the Interview of Your Dream Job
You open your email account and an email pops up confirming that you have got a job interview in the next couple of days. And guess what? It is your dream job! The company, the job profile, the pay scale, the perks, almost everything is what you have ever been dreaming of. What will you do next? How will you prepare for the most important interview of your life, to make sure you make through it? What are the things you should avoid to ensure you don't strike yourself off the preferred candidate list? Here is what you should do
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Forget that it is the most important interview of your life
Yes, as nonsensical as it may sound, but the first thing that you should do in such a situation is to forget how important the interview is for you. Because if you enter the interview hall with an attitude of 'life or death', chances are you will make more mistakes and decrease your own chances. Also, you will appear too desperate to get the job which will not go in your favor most of the times, if not all.
Research on the company
A top notch advertising professional, who heads the creative division for a national digital ad agency, once told me how he had this applicant who asked him in his job interview if he can get a chance to work on television campaigns and not digital ones. "Surely, why not. However, you will have to apply to a different ad agency which actually works on television commercials. Because, we my dear are a digital only agency," replied this senior professional to the applicant. Not only, the person lost the opportunity to work in a good company, he also embarrassed himself.
Now that is a mistake you don't want to make in your dream job interview. So best is to do good amount of research on the company. What is its core business, what geographies and audience it serves to, who are its key clients, who are the top people, what are the organizational philosophies, vision, mission etc. Ideally you should do this research before applying. But if didn't do that or your research was not very thorough, now is the time to switch on your laptop and spend some time with your helpful friend Google to find out some details about the company.
Find out about your interviewer/s
This is very important part of your preparation, if you already know who are you going to meet for the interview. It is in your best interest to find out a bit more about that person like for how long he or she has been working with the company, his contributions, his responsibilities, his approach to work, etc. You can easily use social networking websites such as LinkedIn and Facebook to find out these details about the person. Having some basic information about the person will help you in breaking the ice in the first few awkward moments, making you feel more comfortable during the interview.
It will help gage some perspective on where the interviewer is coming from and what will he be looking for in the right candidate. Not to forget, how your understanding and awareness about the interviewer/s can help you get them to like you. Because remember people are flattered when they know you are aware who they are and what they have achieved.
Be the interviewer and take your own mock
The best way to get in the mind of the interviewer/s is to be the one. So just take a mock interview of yourself. To begin with, take a paper and a pen and think of all the key concerns that the interviewer may have. Think of possible questions he or she may ask you be it on technical knowledge, happenings in the industry, soft skills, your ideas about the company/profile, etc. For your assistance, we have already shared with you 19 common job interview questions and the logic behind them.
Next sit for a mock interview session with yourself. Be the interviewer and be the interviewee. Ask yourself the first question (out loud) and then answer it yourself (again out loud). Play this game, till you have exhausted your list of possible questions. You will notice how confident you feel by the end of this exercise. It not just boosts your confidence, it also helps you answer interviewers more effectively. Because you really focus on thinking what possible questions the interviewer/s can ask, you will at least get 50 percent (or even more) of the questions right. It has worked with many people before. Tried and tested.
List down conversation points
Taking the previous point a step ahead, you can also jot down points and topics which you are familiar with and which are relevant to the company and the job profile. For example, if going for a profile of a sales professional in a TV channel, you can check at top advertisers on television, impact of economy on the sector, etc. This will help you steer the conversation in a comfortable area during the interview, if you get an opportunity. But remember, don't talk about oranges in the midst of deep conversation on apples.
Know your strengths and count them
Very important to know your strengths and have them on your fingertips, so that you can easily tell the interviewer/s what you can bring to the table if they hire you.
There are certain very basic things which we all know and yet ignore or tend to forget them, But remember, doing so can cost you your dream job. So, here again we will repeat some of those basics for you. First and foremost is to update your resume because you don't want to find yourself clarifying and explaining in the interview about how your total work experience adds up to seven years and not six and a half years, or things like that.
Secondly, double and triple check your resume for spellings and grammar. Best, get it copy checked by a third person, with proficient language skills. Thirdly, do not lie on your resume or in the interview. Often people feel tempted to lie a few months or years in their work-ex or add a few hypothetical stuff under their projects or work-done. That really backfires, so stay away from such stunts unless you are really not serious about getting that job.
Breathe and relax
Lastly and most importantly breathe and relax, so that you are calm during the interview.
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