Job interview – what you should know?

First job interview is one of the breaking point in your professional life. For many of us it’s a very stressful moment. You know that feeling, when after the interview all the perfect answers you missed earlier just fall on you? My first job interview was pretty surprising and right after it I’ve had this annoying feeling that I forgot to say half the things.

Of course, there’s no perfect guideline which will tell you how and what to say. It won’t give you the perfect answers for all of the recruiters questions. It won’t choose a perfect outfit. Noone will go through all this for you. It all depends on the kind of company you want to start in – the interview will proceed differently in big corporation and in small, creative studio. There are different requirements for business manager and for a designer. You can see that it would be hard to create an universal set of advices for your first, perfect job interview.

As time passed, I started hiring people on my own. It’s incredible how many things change. And watching people coming and saying all the same worn out formulas – it’s something you can simply sick of. I was under an impression that most of them have read the same articles and just memorised them.

To make the task easier for you and show what counts, at least minimally, I’ve wrote down some observations I’ve made only when I was on the employers side of the table.

First of all – what you should know before the actual job interview? This might sound cliche, but it’s very important to ask yourselves a few questions to save yours and recruiters time. Sometimes we apply for positions that we aren’t interested in at all, which don’t suit us – and we just know they won’t make us happy. Just why?
Ask yourself if the work you’re gonna apply will make you happy?
Why do you actually want to apply there?
Are you ready for this position?
Is it a step forward?
What would be your contribution to the company? How will you help? What are your ideas?
What does the company expect from you?
Is the companies area of expertise interesting for you?
Is that position you’re applying for really for you? Are you suitable for it? Will you be able to fill the gap?

If after asking yourself and thinking about those you still want to apply – then do it. Just remember about a few cliches that you should really avoid during the interview. Unfortunately you’re not the only candidate most of the times, mostly there’s at least a few of them, and the meetings are set during one day, one after another. So just try not to use these:

“I am a workaholic”
“I am a hard worker”
“I am open to any role”
“I am the ideal employee”
“I am great with people”

Ok, the part where you talk about yourself is past. Now it’s time for a question you’ll  most likely hear on your job interview – “Do you have any questions for us?”.

Most of the people become silent at this point, even though they might have a ton of questions. You can prepare for that before the interview – think about what you want to know, what you’re interested in and what you’d like to have figured out after the conversation. It’s a very important part of the interview – it lets the potential employer get to know many things about the candidate. However, when you go silent, it’s hard for the recruiter to figure out if the person is really interested in the position. Most of the companies don’t want to hire people who won’t be committed, or would be just passive, without any initiative. Also, companies are afraid of investing in people who aren’t really interested in working for them.

Remember that you also have to be satisfied with working conditions. It’s worth to know how your work will actually look like, and if the conditions suit you.

What can you ask during the interview?

#1 – Can you tell me about the team I will be working with?
#2 – What’s a typical working day on the job like?
#3 – What skills and experience  would you like to see in the candidate for this role?
#4 – How would you describe the company’s environment?
#5 – What reservations do you have about me in relation to this position?
#6 – What types of training and study opportunities do you offer?
#7 – What do you enjoy most about working here?
#8 – How does this company evaluate success?
#9 – What is the next step in this process?

I hope that these observations will be helpful for you : )

And good luck on your meetings!