​How to Interview ​Well

An interview is typically a grueling experience and this being the case, knowing how to interview well is very helpful in a number of ways. It helps you to know the questions to expect, how to answer them and also gives you a clue about key interview aspects, such as punctuality, and the language of communication.

 In preparing as much as possible for an interview, you will be able to relax more for the interview, giving yourself the best chance for success. 

Keys to a successful interview

The following is a list of what you should and should not do.

  • The non-verbals say a lot about you.
    Non-verbal cues are the perfect weapon for a good display of confidence. Maintaining an upright posture, a firm initial handshake, eye contact are some of the techniques that you can use. To show that you are attentive, for example, maintain eye contact and nod from time to time as the interviewer talks to you.
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    Don’t be confused about the dressing code. 
    While some will tell you to dress in new clothes, others will tell you to dress either casually, officially or in what you best feel comfortable in. The latter always does the trick.
    What you choose to wear, must, however, go in line with the organization’s culture or the position you are seeking. You can even visit the company’s website or just visit it physically to observe their dressing code and replicate just that during the interview.
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    Listen! Listen! Listen!
    Every interviewer wants to know whether you have the ability to listen keenly. He/she might give you a briefing and just ask you a question on the same. Answering the question correctly is an added point towards getting that job.
  • Don’t talk too much
    When the interviewer interrupts you with a new question or when he/she needs a clarification about something, know that you have already said enough for the question at hand. Taking a pause is also a good way of knowing whether you have said enough on a given question. If you take a pause and realize that the interviewer is still listening, don’t stop. 
  • Use formal language
    Using inappropriate or unofficial language could send you a straight out the door very quickly. Avoid using slang, disrespectful words, and phrases that are political or racist in nature.
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    Don’t be too desperate for friendship
    Instead of aiming for friendship with the interviewer, you should focus more on replicating his/her professional demeanor. By being too friendly or casual, you could overstep your position as a job candidate. If the interviewer wishes to be friendly or casual, however, just go with the flow.
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    Be confident but don’t overdo it
    There is a clear line between confidence and cockiness. By being over-confident, you can end up making mistakes without even knowing. Retaining your personality in between modest and confident is the best way to play it out.
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    Answer and ask questions as well
    To pass their interview, you must answer all the questions as expected. The interviewer will only choose the candidate who has smoothly explained the skills that he/she possesses in favor of the job position.

    When asked if you have any question after the interview, no should not be an answer. Asking questions reveals that you are eager and passionate about the job position you are seeking.
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    Don’t crumble
    If you cannot make it through a sentence without crumbling, the interviewer will see you as incapable of handling the rigors of the job. Freezing up because of fear of the unknown is normal but you can always fix the situation by practicing your self-talk before the actual interview.
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    Curb your strong personality
    People with strong personalities always dominate their conversations with other people. Doing this is in an interview could be catastrophic. If you know that you tend to talk a lot, keep in mind that you have to listen to the interviewer whenever he/she has something to say. 

How to interview well, steps for job interview preparation

The following are the steps you should follow when preparing for an interview:

  • Do good research about the organization that you are targeting
    Make sure you understand what exactly the organization does, their mission, products, and the client-base targeted. After understanding these, try to come up with a question list of what you should ask the interviewer after the interview. 
  • Skills comparison
    Compare the skills you possess with those that are outlined in the job description. 
  • Prepare your responses
    Prepare your responses to common interview questions (discussed below) beforehand.
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    Prepare your outfit
    You should decide what to wear a day before the interview. 
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    Prepare your documents
    Interviewers might sometimes need to confirm whether the copies you attached in your job application are legit. It’s, therefore, important to bring original copies of all your documents to the interview. Prepare your outfit
    You should decide what to wear a day before the interview.
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    Get there before time
    It would be terrible if you arrived for an interview while you are still trying to catch your breath. Always get there on time so that you can get settled long before the interview.  

How to do interview questions

There are those common interview questions which you should always be ready to answer. The following is a list of the questions and how you should answer each of them:

  • Tell us about yourself?
    You should always expect this question during the early stages of the interview. Tell them about your education, how your career began, and what you are looking forward to career-
  • How did you hear of the position?
    This is one of the easiest questions to answer. Just be upfront, clear, and straight to the point. When answering the question, you must also explain the reasons that motivated you to apply for the position.  
  • Tell us what you know about our company?
    This question is aimed at evaluating whether you took time to research about the company before applying for the job. If you fail on this question, you will come out as a person who is desperately looking for any job regardless of the position or pay. To impress the interviewers with your answer to this question, make sure you do adequate research about the company before the interview.
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    Do you have a job currently?
    If you answer is yes, you must come up with a reasonable and positive reason as to why you want to leave your current company. The goal should be to sound like you are looking forward to the next challenge in your career. 
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    How do you handle challenges?
    The best way to answer this question is with a real-life example. Share the situation, what method you used to overcome the challenge, the outcome, and what you learned from the whole experience. Do you have a job currently?
    If you answer is yes, you must come up with a reasonable and positive reason as to why you want to leave your current company. The goal should be to sound like you are looking forward to the next challenge in your career.
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    The salary you expect?
    This question is often left out in virtually all guides on how to interview well. Worry not because we did not leave it out! Do not settle for a figure. The best way to answer is to let them know that although you do not have an exact figure at the moment, you will let them decide the pay and you will, in turn, let them know if that will work for you.
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    Why should we hire you?
    You will rarely miss this question during an interview. The goal should be to show the interviewer that you possess the skills needed to tackle the activities of the job and that you will be an awesome addition to their team.
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    Tell us about your weakness?
    When talking about your weaknesses, you should not mention something directly related to your personality. Talk of something to do with a skill and what exactly you do to overcome the weakness. Why should we hire you?
    You will rarely miss this question during an interview. The goal should be to show the interviewer that you possess the skills needed to tackle the activities of the job and that you will be an awesome addition to their team.
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    Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
    If you are unprepared, this question can be really hard to answer. The interviewer wants to know whether you have thought of this question before. Remember to show the interviewer that the job you are seeking has something to do with your future goals.
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    Do you have any questions for us?
    As discussed earlier, you should always have a list of questions for the interviewers.

Now that you have gone through our guide on how to interview well, you will have an excellent shot at getting that dream job.