Your C.V. was good enough to obtain an interview. Use this advantage to create an impression that will push you forward to the final round of interviews. Typically, invited job candidates will go through up to 3 rounds of interviews.
Ensure you make a sufficient impression to receive an invitation to the final round, so you are offered that desired employment contract. That dream job you’ve worked and studied so hard for and have wanted for so long is within your grasp.
Physical interview preparations
Physical preparations for an interview are fun and easy. Check the company’s basic culture and then align this information with the job you are to interview for, to appreciate the dress code. Most South African businesses require a formal dress code for men and women, unless you are applying for an outdoor position such as a construction job.
Dress for the heat or cold of the South African environment. If a suit is required, don’t put your jacket on until after you have entered the building during summer. Not the ideal approach, but you don’t want sweltering heat to overwhelm you.
Study the business website
Always prepare for interviews by finding out about the business you will be visiting for your interview. Browse through their website to evaluate their culture, the image they represent to the public, their overall vision and mission. Speak to those you know who may work there or have contacts there, to discover more information about its inner workings.
Check to see whether the business is reflected anywhere in the media. Often a separate link on their website will contain any news publications that they want to brag about. Look at their social media presence to learn anything else you can that may help impress them in your interview.
Go past page 2 on Google to look at whether employees have shared their knowledge of the company. Use this information as a guide because you don’t know whether the person making the comment has ulterior motives.
You were taught to exercise a level of critical thinking in your studies, so now is the time to exercise that muscle of discernment. Knowledge truly is power, so use this to your advantage to put your best foot forward.
From the company to its people
Find out the names of the people who will be at your interview. Look to see what information is available about them. Search social media platforms like LinkedIn to determine whether they have a professional career presence online.
Look deeper to see if they have accounts on other social media platforms. This exercise is not intended to snoop or use the information against them. Rather, this information will provide you with an idea of the types of people who will be interviewing you.
If you can access their social media accounts, you may find they like animals, traveling, are family-oriented or single. Don’t offer too much of any personal information in an interview, which may make them feel threatened.
But if you share a love for animals, you may bring this topic up in the interview when asked about your hobbies. If the interviewer shares the same interest, you will have found some valuable common ground.
Prepping for potential interview questions
Scan the internet for potential questions that will be asked in the interview. Other than typical work experience, write down your strengths and weaknesses on a piece of paper. Get to know yourself better through this process, so that you may share this information with your interviewers. Other potential questions they will ask, can include:
- Do you fit in well as a team player?
- What is your response to criticism?
- What leadership qualities are inherent in your personality?
- What is different about you in comparison to other applicants?
- Why are you the ideal person to fill this position?
- What specific value will you add to the department?
These questions may seem basic, but they are designed to gain better insight about your potential as a candidate. Well, thought out answers will deliver the best chance of getting you hired, so plan your answers well by broadening your internet search to ascertain what other questions may be asked.
Ensure you get to the right address
Unless you are aware of the specific business premises, get the address and find a map on their website or elsewhere online. The last thing you want before the interview is to lose your way and arrive late.
Getting lost will also increase your stress levels, which is also not ideal. Prepare yourself well for your interview, and your professional attitude will be appreciated.
Always arrive on time
Nothing says disrespect more than arriving late for an appointment. You’ve had a month or two weeks to prepare, so there is no excuse for arriving late. Plan ahead in case there is an accident on the highway that may delay your arrival.
Transport strikes are another element to be aware of in the South African environment, which may delay your time of arrival. Make sure that all buses, trains and taxis are running ahead of your interview date so that you are not caught off guard.
Knowing what is happening in your environment will enable you to arrive early at your destination. If transport strikes are a possibility, you can contact the recruitment officer to change your interview to a suitable time when you know you will be able to make the interview.
Observe the importance and value of the interviewer’s time will clearly show your professionalism, and that you respect their responsibilities.
Remain composed and collected
You can deliver your best impression when you have prepared yourself in advance, and are able to remain composed. Breathe deeply and visualize your interview going well, and then follow through with appropriate responses.
Visualization may not render the exact responses you anticipated in your imagination, but it will help you to remain calm and professional, while still being friendly. Hold yourself with confidence, behave in a confident manner and go out there and claim your dream job.