f a company you applied for a job at likes your CV and cover letter, you may be called for a job interview. The job interview is an opportunity for both the employer and the jobseeker to meet in person and ask each other questions. The employer may have follow-up questions on what is stated in the application documents, or other questions that are intended to clarify how you are as a person and whether you would be suitable for the advertised position. You, on the other hand, may have further thoughts about the job, the employer, or the workplace.
A job interview can be carried through in many ways. When you are called for an interview, you can always ask the employer what their process looks like, as not all companies have the same approach. For example, companies may differ in who you meet at the interview; you may only meet the recruitment manager, someone else in HR, the area manager, or someone else. You may also be called for a group interview with several other candidates. Companies sometimes do this to see how you work in a larger group, or also because they simply do not have time to sit with everyone one by one.
It is important to check how the employer you are meeting for an interview prefer doing things, so that you can come well prepared and avoid surprises. It is also good to keep check of where and when the interview will take place, and how much time is set aside for it.
Learn more about the employer
Once you know the details of the interview, it's time to prepare. A good first step is to get to know the company better. Start by taking another look at where you found the advertised vacancy and see if you can find any useful information there. Maybe they clarify what kind of person they are looking for? You can also easily find information about the company through their website or social media.
Paint yourself a picture of the company - how are the people who work there? What is important for the company? Who is their target audience? What traits do they seem to value in their employees?
By gaining a deeper understanding of the company, you can now relate to this in the presentation of yourself. Think, for example, about the strengths you have that can be used within the company. Maybe you have a sense of order that is valuable to them? Or are good at teamwork? Or maybe you are sympathetic and know how to comfort people in difficult situations?
You want to show that you will fit them like a glove!
When you have a good grip on the employer and what they are looking for, you can also practice some questions and answers at home. Think about what questions could be asked during the interview and prepare some answers. It is good to know before the interview approximately what you would like to answer to which questions, so that you do not sit there not knowing what to say once you are there.
A tip is to write down questions you think may come up and write down some keywords to get a feel for what you would like to say. The employer may ask many different questions, but it can be good to have prepared answers to, for example, what role you take in a group, how you handle conflicts or stressful situations, and of course why you think the employer should hire you.
Take how you handle stressful situations as an example. Write down the question on a piece of paper:
"How do you handle stressful situations?"
Then write down an answer, for example:
“I am a team player, and when I find myself in stressful situations, I prefer to ask for help from my colleagues. I think things work out best when you work together as a team.”
You will most likely also be asked to describe your background and your experiences. Make sure that what you share is relevant to the job and the company. You can be personal to some extent, but not too private. It may be a good idea to prepare for this carefully, otherwise it is easy to get caught up in irrelevant experiences or to share too many private details that do not relate to the job at hand.
Tell them about your previous experiences, what lessons you took with you, your current situation, and briefly about where you want to go in the future. Avoid telling details about your upbringing, where you live, if you have a pet, or other unnecessary information, other than if it helps to paint a picture of why you are suitable for the job.
For example, in some cases it may be reasonable to mention that you live close to work and can easily get in when there is an urgent need, while having two dogs that are incredibly cute when they play together may not be as interesting for the employer.
Simulate a job interview
You can also "simulate" a job interview by asking a friend or family member to pretend to be the interviewer. You can give your assistant some questions to ask, but feel free to also let him or her improvise a bit so that you can practice answering questions you are not prepared for. Odds are that the employer will ask something you have not prepared an answer to, so it is good to practice thinking on your toes.
What is important to show in a job interview?
In addition to describing your experiences and explaining why you would fit into the workplace, a job interview is basically a way for the employer to get an impression of you. It is therefore just as important that you are pleasant and polite, dress professionally, and generally give off a positive energy.
You do not have to fake a personality you do not have as it can easily appear artificial, and establish a standard that you will probably not be able to maintain in the future. Just be your nice self and give the employer an honest chance to get to know you! Diversity within the workforce is often only positive for the employer, as different personalities can complement each other in a good way. Focus on highlighting your good sides and let the employer decide if you are a good fit for them.
Remember that at the end of the day you do not want a job that does not fit with who you are as a person!
After the job interview
Once you have completed the interview, the employer will often return shortly with a decision. Some companies have a longer process where you may have to go to an additional interview after moving on from a first selection. If that’s the case, just prepare yourself in the same way again.
If you are denied, just jump on the horse again! Being denied by an employer is something most of us experience at some point, often many times. There is no reason to slam yourself, although it’s of course okay to be disappointed.
Try to take the chance to ask the employer what made them choose someone else instead of you. Maybe they have valuable feedback that you can use in your continued job search!
How does Curonova help me?
As a participant in Prepare and Match at Curonova you will have the support of your personal Matchmaker, who will prepare you for your job interview and give you the confidence you need. You will get professional advice on how you can go about making a good impression on an employer, and together with your Matchmaker you will do simulated interviews before it is time for you to take the step for real. We also have seminars and workshops on the theme of how to conduct a really good job interview.
If you are interested in taking advantage of Curonova’s help and boost your opportunities, do not hesitate to contact us!