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How to prepare for an in-person and online interview – and tips on how to ace them!

So you’ve earned yourself an interview with a company you’ve been eyeing – congratulations! Now it’s time to prepare yourself to make a lasting impression and get that job position. In this blog, we will talk about some tips for preparing for interviews, be it in-person or online.

Job interviews are an important stage in a hiring process. This is where you’re going to be assessed based on your skills, and if you’re a good fit with what the company is looking for.

Prior to the interview, make sure to set aside time to research the company and the people who will conduct your interview. Knowledge about the company and the job position will help you present yourself with confidence. Research common interview questions and practice answering them. The key is to properly communicate your elevator pitch – this is who you are and what value you can bring to the position you’re applying for, and the company itself. Have a friend help you with a mock interview. It helps to say your answers out loud, as you become more confident the more you get used to saying the words.

Moreover, make sure to reread the job description so you can highlight the specific skills you have that’s aligned with what the company is looking for. Try recalling some experiences you’ve had that can be related to the position you’re applying for. You will probably get questions about particular work you’ve accomplished that’s relevant to the position. Make sure to emphasize your experience and success with past jobs, volunteer work or organizations that are in line with the position. In addition, have a list of references in hand as this may be required by the interviewers.

Remember also that interviews are give-and-take. Interviewers also expect you to ask them questions, as they would like to know your sincerity and enthusiasm in wanting to work with their company.

The following are some tips on how to make an impression during an in-person interview:

Establish a connection. Apart from your skills and qualifications, interviewers would want to know your personality. Consider the interview to be a conversation – remember to make small talk with your interviewer. By relating through shared experiences, you can stand out from the crowd and become memorable.

Be professional. Even though you want to network, don’t be too casual. Refrain from criticizing previous employers. Instead, concentrate on the lessons you learned from your past experiences and talk about how it helped you grow in your career.

Be mindful of nonverbal cues. Take advantage of the fact that you are in-person and can see your interviewer’s body language. You can feel the interviewer's level of interest by watching how they respond to your answers.

Be enthusiastic. Showing your sincerity in your desire for the position is one purpose of face-to-face interviews. Utilize both verbal and nonverbal communication in expressing your enthusiasm with the position and the company. Inquire about the interview process and what’s the next step.

Now on to online interviews. Many things have changed as a result of COVID-19, including how we limit in-person interactions. Particularly in the beginning stages of the recruitment, many interviews are now being conducted online. Online job interviews have grown in popularity in recent years among many businesses. Job interviews for practically every stage of the recruiting process became the standard during the pandemic.

Online interviews have some significant distinctions from traditional, face-to-face sessions that applicants should be aware of. Here are a few tips on how to ace a virtual interview:

Dress appropriately. It is always important to dress professionally even if you won't be meeting the interviewer in person, because how you present yourself to the interviewer will indicate your degree of professionalism.

Be mindful of your body language. Be particularly conscious of your nonverbal cues as it is more difficult to understand body language during a virtual interview. Still behave like you would at a face-to-face interview by sitting up straight and maintaining attentiveness. Since you can't shake hands when you leave, you'll need to find other ways to demonstrate your politeness.

Relax. Before the call, take a deep breath, and compose yourself. You are much more likely to leave a good impression if you speak with confidence.

Create a backup plan. It's common for technology to break down inconveniently. Technical problems may be resolved by switching to a phone call or rescheduling for a later time. If there is a problem with your technology, the interviewer will understand if the issue is beyond your control.

Follow up after. After a couple of days, check in with the interviewer if they have not reached out to you. Find out if the hiring process is still active and whether they require any additional information from you. Always express thanks to the interviewer for their time.

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