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How to Prepare for an Interview?

When two unprepared people meet up, the outcome can not be predicted but could be rather disastrous.

With over a decade of experience in the recruitment process and have observed thousands of interviews; I thought of sharing this article for the benefit of Interviewers and candidates.

For Candidates:

It all starts with understanding your potential employer’s organization, their business, market landscape, competitors, customers etc. The idea is to holistically understand the organization and where it is headed. This will give you a sense of how your CareerBuilding can take place with this organization. This can be done by going through their website, Linkedin company page, profiles of their leaders, news articles, blogs etc.

Once you understand the organization well, it’s time to understand the job, not just through the job description but through a discussion with the respective recruiter, hiring manager or through a friend/associate who is already working with the organization. You need to understand the intricacies of what you are getting into and what will be expected from the role. It’s not just the job, it’s also the people/teams you will be working with, it could be market/customers or locations from where you will be expected to work from. You don’t want any last minute surprises after you have joined the organization.

Before you go for the interview, it is important to know who is the interviewer and what’s his/her background. How long the person has been working with the organization, what level/position he or she is holding. What other organizations he/she has worked in the past? All of this will give you a sense of what kind of person you are going to meet up and it could potentially give you some questions/discussion points to make the conversation of interview interesting.

Needless to say, you need to wear formals, well groomed and looking fresh & energetic for your important interview discussion. Do a little work out on where the interview venue is, how will you get there and ensure you reach there at least 20-25 minutes earlier as there could be time loss in signing in at security, walking down to the interview venue building (within a business or IT Park), You should also prepare a few questions about the job, about the organization, about the interviewer and how this job can provide career progression for you as an individual. You should also find out answers to why you would be interested in this job or organization so that the interviewer gets the sense of how keen you are about the job and organization. When most candidates are given the opportunity to ask questions, they respond saying they have no questions. This works against the candidates as it is not giving a reflection of your keenness about the job/organization and is not reflecting that you have curiosity or smartness to get some answers that are not usually available publicly.

For Interviewers

Well, most interviewers also don’t prepare for conducting an interview. What’s the big deal? It’s just a candidate. I have done this thousand times. Did you interview this unique candidate thousand times? Every candidate is unique, their background, experience, kind of organizations, environments they have worked in are unique. Interviewers should give importance in going through candidate’s resume/profile and understand their background experience and the kind of environment they have worked in. It would be advised that interviewer also prepares a list of questions that they would like to ask the candidates based on their experience/background.

Just interviewing and asking the questions is also not enough. One needs to use this opportunity to sell the job to the candidates. Make them excited about the opportunity and the organization. After all, we are in the candidate market and there is a war of talent going on. If we come across a good candidate, we don’t want to lose them to our competitor or another employer.

Concluding the interview in a manner that candidate understands what to expect in terms of next steps can make the candidate satisfied and the candidate will not feel that they are in dark in terms of what’s going to happen next. I generally, give my decision to the candidates at the end of the discussion so that there is no ambiguity in terms of what they can or can not expect.

Interviewers know that they need to interview multiple candidates to find that one candidate that they believe is the right fit and candidates should also know that they are going to compete with multiple other candidates for the same job. Hence, it is important for the candidates and the interviewers to follow some of the inputs captured in this article.

Best of luck to all the interviewers for finding the right candidate and best of luck to all the candidates in their endeavour to find the right job.

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