What you do before job interviews is just as crucial as what you do during and after. Here are five things successful people do before every interview.
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So you got the interview - Excellent! What you do before job interviews is crucial to your overall performance. If you ask any employee today how they got their job, they’ll probably have a unique strategy to share. One wrong move can make or break your chances of getting that job.
So this brings us to the main point: What do successful job seekers do to be successful, and how can you adopt the same strategies? Here are five things:
1. Research the company
You might hear this all the time, but this is probably one of the essential things successful people do before interviews. I have had my fair share of interviews, and this trick has always worked for me.
How did I start working with Fuzu? As soon as I heard Fuzu was in Nigeria, I created a Fuzu profile. I was scrolling through jobs one day and came across the ad I applied for. A couple of weeks later, I got an email informing me that I had been selected to take an assessment. I was super excited and nervous at the same time, but you know the first thing I did before the assessment? I took a deep dive into the company; I studied its background, mission, style, brand voice, strengths, and even weaknesses. Doing this gave me the ammo I needed to work on an assessment that would stand out from the crowd, and it worked - I got the job!
Before you attend job interviews, it's crucial to find out as much as you can about the job and the company. Employers love a candidate who answers and asks questions correctly but also has the accurate information to back it up. So for your next interview, here are some things you can check out during your research:
About us page of the company website
All their social media pages
The company’s latest media mentions
Their employees on LinkedIn
2. Prepare your answers to common questions
Some common questions asked during job interviews might seem basic but hold more weight than the technical questions. Companies are no longer really on your technical skills alone but your soft skills; they want to hire a team player, not a dictator.
Here are some common questions you may hear in an interview:
Why do you want this job?
Why should we hire you?
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
What do you know about the company?
What’s your leadership style?
What is your work ethic?
Do you have any questions for me?
Candidates that get their answers ready show the interviewer that they’re confident, precise, and ready for work. Any recruiter will be excited to bring an agile employee onboard. Here’s an article to help you prepare for this.
3. Research your interviewer
The most successful candidates go the extra mile to get what they want. Don’t stop researching the company; dig into your potential interviewers and familiarise yourself with them. This will help boost your confidence and make you way more comfortable during the interview.
Identify their professional social media profiles and scan through their interests. It often helps to find common ground with your interviewer and bring it up during the interview.
4. Prepare questions
I can’t explain how much recruiters love people that ask questions. It shows that you’re interested; you did your research and are not afraid. If they doubt that you’re the right person for the job, asking the right questions will change that.
I remember when I got a life-changing full-time position at a top company during the pandemic; once I got closer to my manager, she revealed that she had doubts about me from the first interview, but the second interview changed her mind. I engaged in conversations with her and asked in-depth questions that showed that I had done my research. Just because of that, she believed that I was the right person for the job.
At the end of the interview, most interviewers open up to questions from the interviewee. Having questions prepared at the end often shows that you are more interested in the role and want to learn more about the company. Consider questions such as:
What is the company culture like?
Is there an opportunity for growth in this role?
What’s success for you?
What is the most challenging aspect of the position?
What do you enjoy most about working with this company?
5. Prepare notes
Having little sticky notes or summaries of critical information helps a lot (Shhh this is a huge cheat). This might be difficult if you have a physical interview, but you’re about to smash it if it's virtual!
It's not uncommon to forget some information about the company, your key achievements or other critical terms during an interview. Before the interview, jot down on a sticky note key points that you’d like to mention during the interview and stick them around your laptop screen or whatever device you might be using for the discussion. Ensure it’s close enough to your camera, so it isn’t too obvious that you’re looking at something else.
This cheat works, it did for me, but I’ll share my story another day 🤫.
Successful people do what successful people do. If you want something, you have to go the extra mile to do it. So which of these tips are you adopting first? Start prepping for your following interview here so you can be next to share your great story of how you got a job.