Interview preparation: Tips for before, during, and after an interview
While the thought of an interview might appear daunting for most of us, interview preparation is not as hard as it seems. All that one needs to do is stay organized and be proactive.
let’s look at the interview preparation process step by step: Things to do before, during, and after an interview
Before the interview
1. Company information
The most important step is to read and research the company you are interviewing for. Go through the company website, blog, and social media pages to assess its products, services, and client-base. Also, read recent press releases for insight on projected growth and stability.
Review the organization’s background and mission statement and take down some numbers like revenue, strength, offices, etc. These details can most likely be found on the website of the company in ‘About us’ or ‘Who we are’ section.
2. About the interviewer
If you know the interviewer’s name already, research about him/her. Visit his/her profile on Naukri or LinkedIn and find out whether the person is an HR professional or a Technical Manager. Prepare for the interview accordingly.
3. Evaluate job description
The recruiter puts the effort in mentioning detailed job description for a reason. They are looking for someone who perfectly complements the job profile and role. So, make a good effort to go through the job description so that you are aware of the expectations the company has for the position.
4. Fit in skills and qualities
While you analyze the job description, outline the knowledge, skills, and abilities required. Examine the hierarchy and determine where the position fits within the organization. Analyze what the employer is seeking with reference to your qualifications. Tweak your resume accordingly.
5. Make a list of questions
As per the company background and job role, make a list of questions you can expect to be thrown at you. Research answers to these questions via the company website, social media pages, company news, etc.
6. Mock interview
Find a friend or a family member and hand them down the list of questions you prepared. Ask them to play the role of an interviewer. Practice answering all the questions on the list. You can also record your answers to analyze them further.
7. Organise documents
Keep two copies of all the important documents such as your resume, cover letter, degrees, mark sheets, identity proofs, photographs, etc. ready. Also, check if the recruiter has asked you to bring any other thing like a laptop, notebook, etc. to the interview. Organise all the documents neatly in a folder.
8. Check your social presence
Your social media profiles are capable of providing a glimpse of your personality. A recruiter would generally check your social media presence before or after interviewing you. Thus, it is a wise idea to improve your public profiles. Also, type your name on Google and see how you appear on the search engine.
9. Interview dress
Choose a formal outfit for the interview. If you are not sure about the color, wear black formal trousers and a crisp shirt, preferably in white, blue, pastel, or nude shades. Both men and women can go for this combination.
Pair your attire with a mild deodorant or perfume, a pair of black formal shoes, clean socks, and a black belt.
Plug in that iron. Make sure your clothes are neat and wrinkle-free.
Make sure that your overall appearance is neat and clean.
Most importantly, beam with confidence all along and wear a smile. 🙂
10. Check directions
Check the distance of the venue a day before. Decide beforehand how you would you like to commute and plan your timing accordingly.
11. Sleep and eat well
A night before the interview, sleep well for at least 6 to 7 hours. Eat something an hour before the interview so that you have the energy and patience to sit through it. Carry a bottle of water or juice along to keep yourself hydrated.
During the interview
It is best to arrive 20-25 minutes prior to the interview time. It will give you time to relax. You can also use the time to check yourself in the mirror and freshen up before the process starts.
2. Interview body language
While waiting for your turn, sit properly and maintain a good body posture. Be polite to the guards, receptionist, and other candidates. Keep a smile on your face.
In the interview room, sit and answer questions confidently. Be firm, yet polite. In case you do not know an answer, be honest about it and pass on to the question. Keep your statements crisp, short and precise.
3. Questions for interviewer
It is most likely that the interviewer will end the interview with the question – ‘Do you have any questions for me?’. Use this opportunity to ask smart questions about the company, position, and culture.
4. Ending the interview
At the end of the interview, shake the interviewer’s hand and thank for his/her time and consideration.
After the interview
1. Analyze the interview
It is one of the most important exercises to do post an interview. Sit down for a few minutes and write down the questions that you were asked during the interview. Furthermore, assess your responses to these questions and make points of things that you forgot to mention or would have said in a better way. This will help you prepare better for the future interviews.
2. Inform your references
Inform your references beforehand that they might receive a call from the company you interviewed for. Speak to them about the position and emphasize the points that you would like to be recommended for.
3. Follow up
If you do not hear from the interviewer within the expected number of days, do not hesitate to drop an email and ask for an update. In the email, mention the following details:
- Begin the email by thanking the interviewer for considering your candidature.
- Remind him of the meeting and mention how pleased you were to get in touch with him/her.
- If the interviewer showed interest in your past projects, attach some samples of your previous work, projects, etc. and any other relevant additional information.
- Finally, mention your motivation, qualities, and reiterate your interest in the organization. Politely ask for an update on the interview process.
Some don'ts of interview preparation
- Do not arrive late for the interview.
- Do not arrive for the interview without a copy of the resume.
- Do not speak loudly on the phone while waiting for your turn.
- Do not laze around or hunch while sitting in the waiting area.
- Do not ask the interviewer any personal questions.
- Do not use bad words about your previous or current company/employer in your social media posts.