Job Interviews 101: How to Make Companies Fight to Hire You

Just graduated? Only few years ago, with the world booming and most of the countries growing, it was easy to find your first job. One could find one real quick, even a good position, as companies were fighting each other to hire the new talents. But, to our great disgrace, those days are now long gone. Job openings are just a fraction of what they were before and, thus, we have to be really trained and prepared for once we have the opportunity to get one – that is, the interviews.

The fundamental thing here is to put yourself inside the mind of the interviewer. What is that they want for this job? You got to have that very clear, as not all positions will look for the same attributes, skills or personalities. You’ll have to adapt your best self for what they are looking for.

With that said, here are some points you should take much attention to:

Before the Interview

  • Prepare yourself and investigate about the company thoroughly. Search which are the firm’s activities, main markets, products and so on. Mind, a five to ten minute Internet research won’t do – If you want the job you have to be serious about it, go beyond that!
  • If you know the name of the person that will be interviewing you investigate about him or her too. Check if they have a LinkedIn Profile, make a Google Search and get to know, if it’s possible, what they like, their views, family, etc. The more you know about them, the better.
  • Look your best for the interview. If you are a man, wear a suit (and a tie!), even if they don’t ask you to. It can make the difference and shows commitment and seriousness. If you are a woman, dress as professional as possible.
  • If you are  feeling nervous before the interview, do the following (it’s better than doing nothing):

A)     Shout and clap with your hands to release tension.
B)      Call one or two friends, family or anyone who can cheer you up, give you good vive and help to take the tension away.

  • Get there on time. Being late may kill of your chances from the very beginning. If you feel you might get there late because of one reason or the other, call the company in advance and let them know. The perfect timing to get there is 5 minutes before hand. Getting there before is not worth it and may even hinder your chances.
  • Practice, practice, practice! Your CV pitch should be brilliant, well thought and you should practice it beforehand in front of a mirror or friends.
  • Always take a couple of extra copies of your CV, cover letter, grades and references to the interviews in case they ask for them.

During the Interview

  • Speak slow, loud and clear. Keep eye contact und use your body language to emphasize the main points.
  • Answer what they ask and be concise! Talking more than you should may be even worse than talking little.
  • Don’t talk about anything personal unless they directly ask you.
  • Focus on your strengths and on what you can offer that other people can’t. That is, speak about the advantages of hiring you.
  • Don’t sell yourself cheap. If you want your earnings to be a certain amount, say it. But always tell them that for that specific job you are willing to negotiate.
  • Two great qualities you have (always) are that you adapt to changing environments, even if the changes are sudden, and that you excel in team work.
  • Ask questions, always. Have them prepared beforehand and, when you ask, though, look as if you thought about them on the moment.

Group Interviews

  • Always look open and as if you really cared about the other people’s stories and opinions.
  • Don’t try to take the center of the attention all the time. Play cool. Stand out with one smart question or as the one promoting the unity of the group.
  • Practice a 2-3 minutes CV pitch. You’ll have less time to speak about yourself than on an individual interview, so make sure you use it wisely!
  • If you are applying for a job in administration, economics or into some big multinational company, practice GMAT-kind of exercises.