How to prepare for a job interview (live) in 10 steps

1. Research and learn about the company

The first and most important step in preparing for an interview is researching the company. You need to find out what the company does and how it operates, in which sector they work, familiarize yourself with their products and business model, and determine whether that particular company and their values suit you.

The best way to research a company is to visit its official website and look for any news articles or blog posts about it. You can find out more on LinkedIn (there you can also find out if any of your contacts works and was working for the company). Additionally, try using the company's product or service to better understand it. All this information can help you answer why you want to join a certain company.


2.  View the job description

You should check the details of the job description to get a clear idea of what kind of work it is and what skills are required for the position you have applied for. Make sure you have most of the skills in your CV that are listed in the job description. This will help you prepare specific questions to ask and discuss skills in a way that is most relevant to what the company is looking for. It will also help you discuss points that will show the recruiter that you are interested in the job.


3. Try to prepare using mock interviews

As we all know practice makes us more confident, so it is important to practice for an interview. Many people are afraid to face the interview and give appropriate answers. To overcome this fear, make several fake interviews with a friend or family member. A mock interview not only helps you practice answering basic interview questions, but also makes you feel confident and relaxed while speaking.


4. Prepare to answer the most frequently asked questions

Some of the most common questions asked by recruiters:

Tell me something about yourself? (They want you to relax. Talk about yourself for a max of 2 minutes and be interesting!)

What are your strengths? (Do you understand what are the most important qualities for the position you are applying for?)

What are your weaknesses? (How capable are you of realistically looking at your limitations? We all have weaknesses :) )

Where do you see yourself in 5 years? (How many things do you leave to chance and how many do you create as your own destiny.)

Why should we hire you? (Assessment of motivation.)

Why are you looking for a new job? (If you already have a job - they want to find out if they can count on you in the long run. It's important to show that the change of job is deliberate and not capricious.)

Why do you want to work for us? (Recruiter wants to see how seriously you thought about the workplace.)

What is your biggest success so far? (How did you get involved in solving problems and do you have the ability to take the initiative in implementing projects.)

What is the reason for the gap in your CV? (Be careful when explaining reasons, e.g. investing in education, getting to know the state of the market you are interested in, etc.)

What are your salary expectations? (Find out what is the realistic range you can ask for, as well as the lower limit. Do not give fixed values.)


5. Prepare the questions you will ask the recruiter

At the end of most interviews, you will be asked if you have any questions, and it is important to ask questions, as this will show that you are interested in the position and the company.

Here are some questions you can ask the recruiter:

What is your favourite part of working here?

Could you please tell me about some projects I would have the opportunity to work on?

What are the biggest difficulties someone in this position would face?

Who will I be directly responsible to?

When can I expect your answer or information about the further course of the competition?


6.  Dress appropriately

There is one rule of fashion and that is to dress a step up. So, if everyone else is wearing jeans and T-shirt, go for pants and a shirt, and if everyone else is wearing pants and a shirt, go for business casual, but avoid wearing anything too revealing, controversial, or distracting. The recruiter will be more concerned about your qualifications than your clothes.

Don't forget to iron your clothes and avoid too much perfume. Don't come with muddy shoes. Trim your nails and you're ready to go. :)


7. Be ready to negotiate the salary

Do not discuss salary before the very end of the interview! You must be prepared to answer the salary question so that you are not caught off guard and agree to a low amount. Argumentatively (what is offered for your profession, what are your skills and background, what do you offer) aim for the upper limit of the range.

So do some salary research and always check the structure based on market experience and try to avoid giving a specific number, you can say something like "I'm open to salary negotiations" or "I'm open to discussion". :)


8. Come on time

Try to arrive 10 minutes early, as this will make a positive first impression on the recruiter, but don't arrive too early! This can make the recruiter feel uncomfortable. Arriving early can give you plenty of time to settle in, and it will also give you time to do the paperwork (prepare ID card to enter the building etc.).

So plan your journey accordingly keeping in mind the traffic, parking etc. and if there are any unknown external circumstances on the day of the interview, try to inform the recruiter so that he can make appropriate arrangements.


9. Smile and don't forget to make eye contact

Try to smile and make eye contact during the interview as this connects you with the recruiter(s) and will also make you appear more confident, engaged and interested in the position. Do not look around while the recruiter is speaking, as this will show that you are nervous.

The survey shows that 60% of recruiters said they would reject candidates who didn't make eye contact, while 40% said a lack of a smile was a good enough reason not to hire someone. Therefore, you only need one thing - a smile! :)


10. Don't lie

Honesty is the best policy, so you should be honest while answering any question asked during the interview. If you are caught in a lie about something, it can ruin even the best first impression, because employers often check you after the interview by checking your biography. It is possible that they will contact your previous employer and references, and you definitely do not want to be caught lying about your skills and previous work experience.

So, be honest!