Job interview. How can I prepare for it?

Job interviews can be a real challenge, especially for those who rarely go to them or are going there after a long break. After all, you want to leave a positive impression and get a job offer. So, what are some of the challenges you might face and how can you prepare properly for a job interview?

Your CV is your business card. Prepare it in responsibly.

A CV visual will help you stand out from the crowd. Especially if you’re applying for a creative position, marketing or design. Don’t be clichéd but unique, though don’t go overboard with colours. You can use the templates available in Word and Canva, or just look online for inspiration.

A photo is not required on the CV but if you have already decided to include one, please select the best one. The photo must be only of you in appropriate clothing, such as a shirt and jacket. Avoid extraneous objects, preferably take your photo against a wall with nothing in the background.

Check your CV for mistakes, be concise and specific. Include dates for the past jobs and be noticed by potential employers for highlighting your achievements at each job – it really helps to get a picture of you.

Don’t lie because information is very easy to check nowadays and you want a job where you feel good, comfortable and valued for who you are.

What questions should I be prepared for?

You can find the basic interview questions on the Internet but we would like to highlight the most common interview mistakes, where applicants, even though they know they will be asked these questions, do not prepare for them properly.

  1. A question about the salary. Have your competences, knowledge and skills monetised. When an employer asks you about your salary expectations, know what to say. Avoid being vague, don’t say that you would agree to work for less at the beginning and more later because it is not clear what is more and what is less.
  2. Also be prepared for the question about why you left your former jobs. Of course, sometimes the reasons for leaving are not the best but your future employer will appreciate your sincerity. Just don’t blame or slander your former employers or don’t let your emotions take over you. If you left your job because you had disagreements with your manager, you should say that you had a difference of opinion, expectations and therefore you had to leave (whether of your own free will or not).
  3. Have a list of your personal qualities, both positive and negative. If you hear a question about what former employers would say about you, don’t say: Ask them. All people who have an adequate self-esteem are really good at identifying both their strengths and their weaknesses.

What else can you expect?

Testing approach is now also quite widely used in selection processes. Applicants can usually receive the tests they need to complete by email. These may include personality tests, math tests, language tests, logic tests, etc. Practical tasks may also be given during the interviews. There is no need to fear or worry about it all. Testing is not the end-all be-all. We always look at the overall context and how the applicant performed in the interview.

Key tips to follow

Don’t lie not only on your CV but also during the interview. You will have to interview for the same position at least twice, and it can be very easy to get lost in the lies when recruiters start asking you questions. There is also a lot of information available on the Internet, and employers certainly use Google. In addition, if you lie about your competences, you could end up in trouble on the first test or assignment. Don’t be afraid to say you don’t know something because it’s not as important as a person’s ability to learn something new. Can you share your experience of what you didn’t know in your previous job and how you were able to get ahead of others by putting in more effort and time? This will actually give you a bigger advantage than trying to be an all-knowing applicant.

Remember that your employer has the right to ask you about your references. If you lied, you could put yourself in a very awkward situation.

Coincidence of auras and other inexplicable things

If we have two applicants with the same competences and experience, you should know that the one with the more positive attitude and the bigger smile will be chosen.

In many cases, the way people’s auras are matched can also determine the selection process. Imagine what it would be like if you had to work every day with someone you felt awkward, embarrassed and uncomfortable to be with? The way auras of two people come together is also very important and it is up to both sides to decide. Applicants can call to say that everything is good to them, that they would enjoy the job but they hadn’t felt the connection they wanted with the manager. And this is not magic but life.

And finally, People can sense if you are sincere, people can see if your eyes light up and, in many cases, apart from the aspect of professionalism and competence, this plays a very important role. So be open and ready for the challenges ahead, and the anxiety you feel during the interview is charming and human because it shows you care deeply.

Have an easy journey to the challenges of your career and feel confident. And remember, when one door closes, another opens.

Giedrė Stepučinskienė

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