The dreaded interview is the unavoidable stage in any job seeking process, and you will most likely have to partake in many of them in the climb to your ideal job. Every interview is an opportunity to reach a new milestone in your career, and we think it should be embraced rather than feared. Elites CV want to prepare you to the point where nothing can go wrong, providing you with tips and assisting you in building a set of answers to general interview questions that you are sure to be faced with.
Mindset and Body Language
When self-reflecting and considering how to best present yourself, the mind is always a good place to start working from. Mindset is a huge factor when it comes to job interviews, as what you think of yourself comes across in your exterior. If you believe that you are the best person for the job, you will naturally carry yourself as a winning candidate. The main thing that holds people back in their career is issues with self-confidence, so even if it’s just for the duration of the interview, know that you deserve and will excel in this job.
This leads on to the significance of body language and appearance, as there are many articles and discussions detailing the importance of non-verbal communication during interviews. Everyone, including employers, subconsciously observe others and have a perception of others depending on how they visually present themselves; studies even show that first impressions are developed only seven seconds after meeting someone. A staggering 33% of employers have admitted to knowing whether to hire someone in the first 90 seconds of the interview, and 50% confess that they will disregard a candidate if they are displeased with the way they dress, act or walk through the door.
In an interview, you predominantly want to appear genuinely enthusiastic about the opportunity you are being given, and confident in your ability to attain this opportunity. A few ways you can represent these characteristics through body language is delivering a firm handshake, sitting straight and centred while remaining still and focused, and ensuring that you maintain eye contact while you are speaking and being spoken to. 40% of employers also believe a person’s voice to be a key contributor in the selection process, with what the candidate actually says only impacting their decision by around 7%. By speaking calmly and at a reasonable volume and pace, you are less likely to stumble over your words and consequently appear flustered and anxious. Practice speaking with purpose and enunciation, and without using insignificant filler words while you think of the next thing to say.
Do the Research
Another key step in preparing for a job interview is researching the company you are applying for, as 42% of employers have admitted to not offering the job to a candidate with little knowledge of the company. Employers know that each candidate has applied for multiple jobs across different companies, but appreciate knowing that theirs stands out to you in terms of their company values, the diversity of the job and their superior status and reputation compared to other businesses. While you shouldn’t overly flatter them, you can present a genuine admiration by showing that you are more than familiar with the general and unique aspects of the company, and that you have even developed your own opinion of them, which you can show by briefly commenting on their progress and explaining your thoughts on their ethos and company standards. This will help the employer envisage you within their company, and make them aware that your work ethic will reflect your respect for them.
Displayed below are some of the most commonly asked interview questions according to GulfTalent, one of the leading job search websites for the Middle East:
How would you describe yourself?
This is an opportunity to really sell yourself and reveal the unique attributes that make you a candidate they can’t afford to turn away and won’t find anywhere else. Make sure to mention characteristics that were detailed in the job advertisement, but also ones that will make them remember you and introduce them to traits that they didn’t even know the candidate needed until you brought them to their attention. In saying this, it is crucial to prioritise the key points and keep your answer short and within approximately 200 words.
Why did you apply for this job?
This is the main opportunity to utilise and present the research that you have previously carried out on the company. As aforementioned, it is important to show your interest in the company, how their values align with your own, and also how working for this specific company will help you achieve your long-term career goals.
What are your weaknesses?
This appears to be a trick question, which is probably why so many employers are partial to asking it. While interviews are supposed to be challenging, this isn’t as challenging a question as you may think. All you have to do is describe a feature of yourself that you wish to improve upon, instead of confessing something that you are hopeless at or boastfully proclaiming that you, in fact, don’t have any weaknesses. Make your answer come across as humble and endearing, showing that you are self-aware and ready for this job to teach you how to be a better employee.
We hope that we supplied a glimmer of hope and given you the confidence to really sell yourself and showcase your talents to future employers. They won’t know that you’re perfect for the job unless you tell them why; all you’re doing is enlightening them, so don’t get intimidated by their probing questions or judgments. So go forth, learn who your best self is, and take that version of yourself into that interview with pride.