How to get ready for a job interview and make a good impression? You got invited to a job interview? Congratulations! This means that your resume and cover letter have appealed to your potential future employer and now it all depends on how the job interview goes. That’s a key element of the entire recruitment process. So, try to get the best out of this meeting, because it’s up to the outcome of the interview whether you manage to convince the recruiter that you’re the right person for the job and whether you will be given a chance to get the job you’re applying for. A job interview usually puts you under a lot of stress – especially if you're at the outset of your career or if it’s your first job interview in a long time. That's why we have decided to draw up this brief guide. It contains a handful of useful information that will help you prepare for an interview and make a good impression on your future employer. So, read it and find out: what a job interview looks like; what questions employers tend to ask during a job interview; how to prepare for a job interview; what mistakes to avoid during a job interview; how to prepare for a call centre job interview. What does a job interview look like? A job interview is the most important tool in the recruitment process and it’s held to establish direct contact with the candidate for a job. Its aim is to gather information about the candidate, verify their professional experience, character traits and motivation. For a candidate, a job interview is a great opportunity to get to better know the company and their potential superiors, as well as to find out more about the position they are applying for. A great benefit for you as a candidate is that employers don’t have time to prepare unique question sets for each single candidate. So, they usually go for ready-to-use scenarios adjusted to specific positions. That’s why there is a set of specific questions that definitely always arise in the recruitment process when employers want to learn more about their potential future employee. Read them beforehand and see that getting ready for a job interview doesn't need to be as stressful as you might expect. Job interview – frequently asked questions and sample answers How to answer questions asked during a job interview? First and foremost (even though, unfortunately, this may not be obvious to everyone), tell the truth! Lies quickly come to light and effectively destroy your chances of getting your dream job. Body language is also crucial and reflects your real self. So, try to be as relaxed as possible, but don’t gesticulate excessively, as it will betray that you feel stressed and have lost control. Also, pay attention to eye contact with the interviewer. You may not be aware of this, but it’s very important. If you want to present yourself well, avoid staring at the wall or the floor – instead keep eye contact with the interviewer. Get to know the questions employers ask during virtually every job interview and learn how to answer them to outdistance other candidates for the job. Why do you want to change jobs? When answering this question, focus rather on a desire for professional development and say you would like to show more initiative or try your hand at working in a new industry rather than, for instance, mentioning an argument with your colleagues. Be tactful and professional – avoid criticizing the company you used to work for, your previous boss or colleagues. Why do you want to work for us? This question often comes up during job interviews. How to prepare an answer? Before the interview, read about the company and familiarize yourself with a detailed description of the position you are applying for. It’s best if you identify the elements that are related to your passions, skills or competences and present them as your assets. A simple example – if you're applying for a position of a consultant at a car sales company and you're a fan of the automotive industry – stress it by saying that the automotive industry is your greatest passion and that's why you're a great fit for the job. What makes you stand out from other candidates? When answering this question, show that you know your value as a future employee. Before the interview make sure to check exactly what the specific nature of the job is, and, when talking to your interviewer, mention your qualities, skills and professional achievements that best fit the requirements listed in the job advertisement. Describe the successes you have achieved in your previous company: how many new customers you have gained, how much profit you have generated, what campaigns you have carried out, how much savings you have achieved for your company or what improvements you have made in the work-flow. What motivates you? What is your dream job? To put it bluntly: hiring a new employee must be economically viable for the company. This is why it’s so important for recruiters that the future employee is highly motivated in terms of professional development. Make sure to stress at a job interview that this is what you want to focus on. Say that you’re always enthusiastic when performing tasks and you’re not afraid of taking up ambitious challenges – just the opposite – they motivate you to improve your professional competence. How to prepare for a job interview? Once you have prepared your answers to typical questions asked during a job interview, check out how to prepare for it in three crucial steps listed below. Check your overall online image. Recently, recruiters have been checking profiles of potential employees on various portals. So, consider changing your account settings on Facebook, Instagram (and other sites). Change access settings to the news on your profile from public to private. Why is that? A photo from a crazy party on a hot Saturday night published on a social networking site, or following a website that discredits you is unlikely to get you a job offer! You better take care of your privacy. Prepare your own questions! A job interview is also a time for you to ask questions. By asking properly prepared questions, you will make a good impression as a candidate for a job. In this way, you'll show that you're committed and take your future job seriously. What can you ask about? For example: about a specific job description, how many people work in the department, how the performance is measured and who your supervisor will be. You can also ask about the next stages of the recruitment process and when you can expect a final decision. Write down your questions on a piece of paper and take it with you in case you happen to forget about an issue. Prepare the answer to a question about the salary. Usually people feel really uncomfortable when talking about money, but during a job interview it’s impossible to avoid negotiating the salary rate. How to approach this? Check out the current salary reports online and determine how much you can earn while working in the given position. Take into account your competences. If you feel you can learn a lot while working for a given company, it is worthwhile agreeing to a lower rate, and if you turn out to be good in that position, then you will certainly get a pay raise. Job interview – don’t make these four mistakes! Don’t be late. If you want to be taken in by the company, make sure you arrive there on time. If you are late and do not inform your interviewer about it beforehand, failing to excuse yourself – then there is little chance that the employer will look favourably on you as a candidate and this will be the end of the recruitment process for you. Don't show up for the job interview dressed in casual clothes. More than half of the bosses admit that what you wear is a crucial part of the meeting. You should therefore give up your party or sporting style and dress appropriately. Go for smart casual style. Don't cheat. Recruiters know perfectly well how to ask questions during a conversation to determine whether the information they get is true. So, remember not to lie during a job interview. Flaws in your application won't disqualify you right away, but lying will. Don't ask inappropriate questions. Remember not to ask questions that put you in the position of a fully-fledged employee during a recruitment interview – after all, you have not been hired yet. According to this principle, leave topics such as pay rises, a 2-week leave or leaving work early for later. Call centre job interview – how to get ready? If you are applying for a job at a call centre and have been invited to an interview – prepare yourself! Think about what working at a call centre looks like and what a telemarketing company expects from its employees. How do you prepare if you are applying for a job at a call centre? Determine your availability. A considerable advantage of working at a call centre is that the schedule is usually flexible. You'll definitely make a good impression at a job interview if you know in advance exactly what working hours you accept and how much time you can (or want to) spend at work. Think about the nature of the work you like. Think what type of calls you would prefer to handle – outgoing or incoming? Do you prefer to help callers solve their problems, or maybe work in sales? By knowing right away what you want, you can additionally make a good impression on the recruiter. Practice speaking and diction. It’s common knowledge that when working at a call centre, you spend most of the time talking to other people. A telephone consultant should not have any audible speech defects. They should have good diction and a nice voice. You can practice that! Show the qualities of the best telephone consultant: communicativeness, creativity, commitment. A consultant must be able to listen carefully to the caller and have an individual approach to each single customer, to help them choose a product or service that meets their needs. As part of the training, imagine a very tedious customer (or ask a friend to take up such a role) and try to persuade them to buy a service or product. It's quite possible that you'll have to act out a scene like this at a meeting with a recruiter. Then, you’d best give a demonstration of your negotiating skills, show speed of reaction and, most of all, exhibit your extraordinary ingenuity! You already know how to prepare for a job interview and what to avoid to increase your chances of getting a job offer. So... Good luck with your job interview!