As I am writing this post, I have come a long way… from job hunting to preparing myself for job interviews to negotiating and eventually clinching the job. Maybe it is an “Asian” thing, I realise we tend to be overly humble and undersell our abilities during interviews. This may lead to missed opportunities even if know we are fully aware that we are qualified for the role. When it comes to job interviews, from my past experiences I can say that over preparation is underrated. I went in the interviews over prepared, from researching the background of the company and common questions to reading reviews on Glassdoor to see what feedback I could gather before meeting the interviewers in person. You can read about my Checklist for Starting a New Job for readers who have gone through this stage.
I have come up with a Checklist for you readers sharing How I prepare for my Job Interviews
1. Research the Company Background
– About Page
– what the company actually does. you will be surprised by their number of business units. Don’t assume you know everything
– Key persons
– Impress the interviewers with names of key persons in global office and also local office
– Office locations
– Press Release
– be familiar with what’s going on with the company. Any major news, new product release. Use that to impress.
2. Visit GlassDoor
Allegedly contributed by people who have worked for the company in question. Gives an insight on the daily activities. From there, you are able to deduce the culture of the firm and if it is suitable for you. What you hear during interviews is most likely an up-sell of the company culture and people.
3. Prepare Answers for Commonly Asked Questions
I will not provide a list of questions here as you readers will have a list of questions prepared by now.
Always prepare an Elevator Speech – this is most likely the first question posed to you.
Things to note include preparing for scenario based questions – recommended to use the STAR method.
Prepare enough examples/ stories to showcase your abilities with sufficient details so that the interviewers are clear in understanding what you are explaining.
This is not the time to be humble so do promote yourself but don’t be too arrogant. There is a thin line between being confident and arrogant.
Edit: As of 07 June 2022, the new trending question might be “What have you been working on?”. The “tell me about yourself” used to be a common question and candidates are now well-rehearsed to answer the question perfectly.
Hiring managers are looking for clues that tell them how the words on your resume translate into the needs of the current world.
4. Prepare Questions to Ask
Interviews should be a two way street. As much as they are evaluating you, you are also evaluating to see if they are a good fit for you as well. Don’t be afraid to ask as many questions as you deem fit to find out more about the team, their motives for hiring, their future plans for the team. From there, you will be able to judge if they are the type of people you want to work with.
5. Mind your Body Language and Presentation
Firm handshake. Be polite to everyone you are meeting. Smile, look friendly. Sit up straight. Place your hands on the table.
This is the point which I have to be mindful of, especially I have a resting bitch face and I look super unfriendly when I am not smiling. First impressions count, the interviewers don’t have much time to decide if that is your natural face or not. You want to look as friendly and approachable as possible.
6. Personal Grooming
Prepare the clothes, hair and makeup that you are wearing on that day. Always dress formal.
Plan in advance the travel route and duration. Plan to reach at least 30 mins prior to touch up on makeup and calm yourself down.