10 steps to prepare for your job interview

“Dear candidate, thank you for your interest in our company. The manager has reviewed your CV and she would like to invite you for an interview in these upcoming days.” Such a great news, they noticed your CV and now is your opportunity to get this position. Congratulations!!! But what you should do, how to prepare for it, what to read and how to impress them?

First of all take a breath and calm down, there are 10 simple tips that can be implemented in every interview and can help you to prepare better for your job interview.

1. Go deeply to the role and responsibilities

This is the first and most important step. For sure since you apply it means that you now very well the position, or not? So go deeply to the position, what are the main responsibilities, what are the characteristics that the person should have, what are the measurable of the role. Go through all of the job details and consider your wider research to identify the key things they will be looking for at interview. Moreover, think about why do you like it, what do you want to gain through this experience (except of salary and other benefits that position offers). Those information will help you to adjust your profile based on role and make you a suitable candidate

2. Research for company vision and purpose

If you want to be a serious candidate you should be well-informed about the company that you are applying. Why to do it? It is crucial to know what this company represents, if you fit in their environment and how you can grow within it. Moreover, this research can help you to have stronger arguments during interview. One of the most important think that an interviewer seeks is if the candidate fit to the organizational culture. What to search for? You can learn about mission of company, values and code of ethics, products and services that offers, long-term goals, target group  and market, who are their main competitors, statistics and some indicators regarding to organization’s performance. Where to find them? The website of company, annual reports and sales sheets can be useful resources. Also by searching outside of company such us articles on online journal or people who may work for it can provide you with more clear picture.

3. Find out about your interviewers’ profile

Find out their names and job title. Search on LinkedIn where you may be able to read their business profile and see their photo. Moreover, search if they have publications or other resources in which you can identify information about their beliefs and their personality. Research shows that people like those who are similar to them. In case there is an interview panel, then each member is likely to bring a slightly different perspective. Think about what this is likely to be and how you can address these in your answers e.g. an Operational Manager may have a different perspective from a Financial Manager

4. Prepare some questions 

In order to give more constructive answers during your interview it is necessary to practice. Prepare some questions and write down the answers. Rehearse it and even ask from someone who you trust to give you feedback on how you look and sounds (content, body language, confidence). There are lots of online materials with some frequent questions (the next article will present you some of them). Russell Tuckerton’s book “7 Interview Questions You Must Get Right” is also a useful recourse. in order your answers to be concrete and to the point, you can implement STAR technique (Situation, Tasks, Activity, Results) that Michael Higgins suggests in his article in The Guardians. Additionally, in case the role request to have some specific linguistic skills, then be prepared during interview to switch from one language to another effectively. Lastly, base your answers on real examples and facts that happened in the past instead of giving theoretical and sophisticated replies.

5. Be aware of your CV and cover letter content

CV and cover letter are the mirrors of your personality, so for sure you should know very well everything that are mentioned there. Moreover, people have the tendency to favor information that confirm their beliefs and hypothesis (in Social Psychology is called Confirmation Bias). This means that the interviewer will try to confirm the information that got from your CV during interview. He or she is expecting to see all those things that are written there, your skills, your attitude and beliefs. So create materials that represent you and show them during interview

6. Exercise with some psychometric tests

Employers use psychometric testing to assess potential employees and learn more about their personality and ability to fit into the role they are offering. It will be better to exercise and feel confident with those kind of tests. You can find online different kind of tests, the most usual are verbal, logical reasoning, numerical, or in case of an IT role there are more specific tests. A glimpse of those test you can have on SHL website. Most of them are time limited and may identify if you lay or not. So be yourself, be effective, keep in mind that are designed in order not to finish them on time and ask for the results even if you are not selected.

7. Prepare questions that you want to ask your interviewers

Usually, at the end of interview, interviewer give you the opportunity to ask questions that you may have. You can ise it to ask more questions regarding to role that you will have, measurable of role, the selection process, career opportunities within organization or any other that appeared to you during interview. This is an important moment that you can show your interesting for this position. Here are some questions from Joel Spolsky related to IT field that you may ask

8. Choose the right outfit

According to a recent survey by career websites The Ladders, 37% of bosses say they have decided against hiring an applicant because of the way they dressed. You don’t want this to happen to you. So make sure that your dressing is aligned with code of ethics of company and the role that you are applying. CareerBuilder surveyed more than 2,000 hiring managers, asking them which colors interviewees should wear if they want to look professional. Blue came out as the No. 1 answer with 23%, followed by black at 15%. One-quarter of respondents named orange as the worst color to wear, one “associated with someone who is unprofessional.”

9. Bring with you all the appropriate documents

Keep in mind to take with you a hand-print CV and cover letter. Moreover, you may bring some sample of your job that prove your skills that this role required. When you enter the interview, you can mention that you brought samples to show if they are interested in seeing your work. This will typically be received quite positively and could lead to a deep dive into familiar territory

10. Plan your trip to the company

DSP-SEO-job-interview-goes-wrong

It is astounding how many people turn up late for an interview, because they got lost. Know the address, print out a map so you know how to reach the place. Always take the main reception telephone number with you, in case of an emergency, and give yourself plenty of time.

Finally, you should aim for a conversation, directed along the lines you prefer – whereby you can play to your strengths. This requires to be well prepared and be confident about the role. An interview is as much about first impressions as it is about your skills and experiences. Be enthusiastic, positive and professional, give a firm handshake, look the interviewer in the eye and smile!

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IT Leaders’ Survey

Recently we run 2 surveys to identify what means IT Leaders, how to develop and what IT students think about this issue. To be more specific, we ask HR managers and IT Project managers to share with us what are the characteristics that an IT leader should have, how we can develop this kind of profile. Moreover, we asked them to evaluate based on this profile the recent graduated students that apply for different job opportunities. Then, based on those input, we created a second survey in which we asked from IT students to mention what skills and competencies an IT Leader should have. After that we asked them to evaluate their selves based on those characteristics and to prioritize which skills they want to develop.

Below you can find results of our surveys.

IT Leaders Surveys

Please share with us your thoughts, do you agree with those results?