Interview Tips

Excruciating isn’t it?

It is supposed to be a moment of excitement. You finally got the call to meet face to face. To make a convincing case about why you should be hired. But as the actual day inches closer by the minute, the butterflies in your stomach grows louder.

This is not going according to plan.

It Is Normal To Be Nervous

I always associate interviewing with dating. Both parties are talking about themselves, albeit in different settings. And for the most part, both sides are trying to convince the other that they are THE one.

It will always be nerve wrecking but there are ways to make that less apparent.

Importantly the same set of tips would make you much more prepared for the interview that your chances of getting hired would be so much higher.

Here are 5 things you would want to do before heading into any job interviews:

1) Learn About The Company

A really “duh” answer I know; but you’d be amazed at the number of job seekers I’ve set up interviews for that just didn’t do that. I don’t know why. Maybe they are lazy, they are over-confident or they simply think they know everything.

The truth is you don’t.

You might know about them a year ago but not necessarily about what has gone on the month before. All this information may impact on how you position yourself in an interview.

If you know the company is shutting down a department, any mention of your potential contribution to that area is not going to make you look smart in any way.

2) Know What The Market Is Saying About Them

The Internet is a gold mine of information and you have dedicated company review sites such as Glassdoor. Make good use of them by getting any much information as you can from that site.

One good area to focus on is the ‘cons’ about the company.

Most of your competition who are savvy enough would be looking at Glassdoor too. And chances are they will focus on the Pros and try to emphasize how they are aligned to that.

If you go in that direction, you are just one among the many.

Instead, focus on the Cons and relate how you would won’t be affected.

No work-life balance? I love working. Crazy bosses? I live life on the edge.

You get the idea.

3) Find Out More About Your Interviewer

Believe it or not, more than 80% of interviewers are not professional trained to conduct an objective and structured interview. For the less than 20% that are, more than half choose not to practice it, because they think their gut instinct is much more accurate and their gut is always right.

Which is fine, because that means you can game it! And the easiest way is to identify commonalities that you have with the interviewer.

A really quick way of doing that is to run a tool like Rapportive for Gmail.

It shows you everything about your contacts right inside your inbox. You can see all their social media handles, if they have their own website and even shared connections that might know them.

Creepy but effective.

4) Speak With Connections Associated With The Company

It’s never wise to trust everything you read on the internet. That includes this article and the 3 tips I mentioned so far. But one thing you could be certain of would be feedback from current and former employees of the company you are interviewing with, which you can find out with a quick search on LinkedIn.

Now don’t connect and ask them what they think of their company straight away. It feels too Undercover Boss and you won’t get authentic feedback.

Instead, approach from the angle that you are in deep admiration of their background and career trajectory. Given so, you like to meet up and get their advice on you making a career in similar fashion. Offer to buy them coffee.

Nobody would turn down coffee. Nobody.

5) Script Down A Convincing Elevator Pitch

Write it down. Read it out loud. Does it sound funny? Make your wife chuckle? Redo it.

Many candidates simply don’t put any effort into this and miss out a huge opportunity to articulate a convincing story of how you knew this job is the one for you since passing through the birth canal.

None of us would have a life story that flows from one phase to another. But we could weave dotted lines across them and make them seemed like all these are somehow together.

Like what Steve Jobs said, you could only do your best and connect the dots backward.

So start connecting those dots to give yourself the elevator pitch that you deserve.

[Image Credit: Shutterstock]

About Adrian Tan

Adrian Tan is CEO of The Resource Group, a boutique HR Consultancy that focuses on helping SMEs. Before this, he was the MD of RecruitPlus which he co-founded in 2004 and led to two HR Vendor of the Year award. He was named the HR Entrepreneur of the Year by SHRI in 2013. He blogs regularly on #Entrepreneurship and #HRTech on

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