An interview can be an intimidating and nerve-wracking process as its outcome can have a significant impact on your professional journey. Additionally, there’s nervousness about being judged and rejected. In order to combat this anxiety one must be thorough in their interview preparation. After all, confidence is the key to success, right? And confidence comes from preparation.
Success at the interview depends on how well you train for it. In order to succeed in any interview, you should focus on the 3 Ps essential to an interview- preparation, practice, and positivity. Preparing extensively around the 3 Ps will help you give an edge over other candidates and increase your chances of getting hired.
Always follow a comprehensive approach while preparing and consider all aspects like company profile, communication skills, and body language along with aptitude questions. To be self-assured and composed during the interview, you must prepare well and cover all your bases.
Depending on the job role there might be different interview procedures though the basics stay the same. The interviewer will check your confidence level, knowledge of the subject, and your ability to articulate answers.
What are the 3 Ps of interviews?
Preparation is the most crucial part of any interview. If you are well-groomed and confident but don’t have the aptitude, then your chances of getting through the interview are slim. It's not just the technical know-how and knowledge about the job role but rather an all-inclusive approach.
Let’s understand the aspects you should focus on in your preparation process.
Along with the job description, find out about the company culture, vision, challenges, and purpose. Follow the company’s social media accounts and visit its website to read the about us page. Familiarize yourself with the products and services the company offers. Find out any latest news about the company. You should also be aware of the CEO and founder's names.
Research if the company is associated with any social causes. You might get asked, ‘why do you want to work for this company’ and if you are aware of the company profile, it will be relatively easy for you to answer this question. You can also establish how your personal values align with the company's values.
Familiarize yourself with the job requirements, duties, and expectations too.
- Carry all the necessary documents
Make sure that you have all the required documents. Have multiple copies of your resume and IDs. Also, carry adequate supplies like pens, notepads, glue, etc. You might not require them, but always be ready to write down any important points made by the hiring manager.
- Be prepared for general questions
A common mistake that some candidates make is that they only prepare for technical job-related questions and get stumped by straightforward questions like ‘Tell us about yourself,’ ‘What’s your expected career trajectory,’ or ‘Describe your strengths and weaknesses.’ These questions test your self-awareness. Be prepared to elaborate on your previous experience and what you expect from this job role. You should also prepare some questions to ask the interviewer such as what are their expectations from you or what are training and development opportunities in this role etc.
For some job roles, you might have to give a presentation. Get accustomed to the equipment, whether it's a board presentation or a PPT presentation, and be thoroughly prepared by practicing several times on it.
After gathering all the information about the job role, and company profile, and comprehending your answers, it's time to practice. Being aware of the responses and communicating them out loud are two different things. Practice speaking in front of the mirror or record a video if you are preparing for a virtual interview as it's equally critical to take care of the body language during video interviews. It will help you in structuring the answers effectively and improve your tone and pace.
However, I recommend giving a mock interview to a friend, a family member, or a mentor who can give you constructive feedback and valuable suggestions. A question-and-answer session would also make you comfortable with the dynamics of an interview.
The more times you go over your answers and speak them out loud, the more self-assured you become, and your responses get refined as you keep practicing. For technical roles, practice with relevant tools and technology to be used during the interview.
Positivity is mirrored in the way you carry yourself. Your body language, tone of voice, demeanor, and appearance. All these factors contribute to the success of your interview.
Practice positive self-talk and remind yourself of all the qualities and strengths you have.
Arrive early for your interview to take advantage of the additional time to relax and calm your nerves.
Make eye contact and smile gently.
Ask relevant questions and nod when necessary to demonstrate your interest and engagement.
Do not slouch or lean. Sit comfortably with your feet firmly on the ground and hands on the lap, and do not fidget.
Choose appropriate formal attire in subtle colors.
If you still find yourself in an uncomfortable situation, for example, you might not know an answer, or you drop off something, don’t lose your composure. Take a deep breath and think of the best solution at the time. Remember, everyone loves authenticity, after you’ve prepared and practiced, there’s nothing more you can do. So relax and be yourself.
Focus on your strong points, research the company, and practice general interview questions.
Now you are aware of the 3 Ps of interviews - preparation, practice, and positivity. Let us add perseverance to the list because no matter how well-prepared you are, you might not get your dream job in the very first interview. The key is to keep going after what you want until you achieve it. The process gets easier after one or two interviews, as experience is the best teacher.
Make sure you are well prepared, research thoroughly, practice frequently, work on your communication skills, and take care of your body language and appearance. I wish you all the best for your next interview.
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Shellye Archambeau is determined to help you with all possible strategies to climb the ladder of success. She values your feedback. Do mention them in the comment section below.