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September 9, 2022 9:00

How should you prepare for your first round of interviews with potential employer?

Frewain John

Preparing for an interview may be daunting, but there are numerous steps you can take to ensure a good interview. The first few moments of your interview can make or break how well the rest of it goes. As a result, your job hunt must be done with care, precision, and subtlety. Ideally, a typical recruiter would approach you discreetly and confidentially to explore the ideal role. In other words, you have a huge chance of getting recruited. So, what can you do to increase your odds of making this happening?

Analysing The Job Description

The goal is to make the best use of your time by focusing on opportunities that are worth pursuing and avoiding those that are unlikely to result in attractive offers and meaningful jobs.

This agility is especially significant if you are trying to find employment while being employed at your current job. Let’s admit this, if you are randomly searching for fresh opportunities elsewhere and you send in your CVs, it means that you already had the thought of resignation from your current employment in mind.

Even if you have the time to spare and a focused job-search objective, pursuing dead-end job vacancies might be harmful to your motivation and resilience.

To see past a fancy job title, you must be develop research skills and be focused. A job role that states a executive-level title but does not have the necessary range of responsibilities OR giving you additional job scope that is usually not align with your job role can be misleading. You must ensure that the actual duties are relevant and appropriate for the employment level and title.

If your preliminary analysis found any gaps (for example Glassdoor reviews or Peer Reviews), this is not necessary cause to abandon the possibility. Make sure the gap isn't too huge (for example, you might have a year of manager-level experience instead of the minimum three or you are not getting the desired salary that you are looking for), and think about how you might bridge it in an interview.

Performing Research On The Company And Role

To begin, you should understand what the employer looks for in a suitable candidate. This allows you to portray yourself as the most qualified candidate for the job. You can also find information on the company’s LinkedIn page to get a sense of the types of individuals they are looking for. If possible, feel free to contact current employees and inquire about what their employer values most in the workplace.

You have a LinkedIn account; all you need to do is connect with someone and start asking questions, but don't forget to introduce yourself first in a pleasant manner.

You will need to know what kind of work you'll be doing if you get employed by the company. Knowing who the company's clients are and what types of products and services are available will help you mentally prepare to ace that interview.

According to a research by Millennial Branding Study, 43% of Human Resource Managers and Recruiters believe that cultural fit is the most significant attribute jobseekers may possess during the hiring process.

Typically, cultural fit is evaluated during the interview stage of the employment process. Many of us here have been to a lot of job interviews where the interviewers would ask open-ended questions like "What's your favourite working environment?" or "Describe your dream day in a nutshell?"

If let’s say, you are being interviewed by a HR or Recruiter with a martial arts experience, and you have a martial arts background as well, you two will immediately connect with one another via your passion of martial arts OR if, for example, your prospective employer's department plays Dungeons & Dragons (D&D) every Thursday night, and you happen to be a major D&D fan, your prospective employer may marginally increase your chances of joining their department.

Cultural fit is so crucial in some organizations that a human resource management representative may advocate employing a candidate who is a good cultural match but lacks some of the requisite practical skills for a specific role. While training might fill a candidate's skill gap, a lack of cultural fit can soon lead to job discontent, poor productivity, excessive absences, and turnover.

Defining Your Personal Brand

People have always forgotten that first impressions are important and that it only takes recruiters 3 seconds to decide whether or not to hire you on the spot. Before they even contact you and ask for a background check on what's going on in your current scenario and whether you're looking for a new opportunity elsewhere, There is an exceptionally good chance that they have looked up your name on Google and have seen your personal social media profiles.

What you post in your social media profiles is like many forms of identity of you. Branding Is not just limited to social media influencers, celebrities or top business magnates.

Your personal brand can be utilized to attract hiring managers, forge commercial relationships, market your products or services, and, most significantly, to expand your audience. But most importantly, your personal brand will dictate your opportunities. Always market your best attributes and maintain a positive online reputation.

Spend the time and effort necessary to clean up your social media presence and personal website such as Wordpress or Wix. Avoid using profanity in your material and do not document any alcohol consumptions on social networking websites like LinkedIn, as we all know LinkedIn is a place where you only share professional work and contents linked to your industry.

Once you have cleaned up any form of ‘negative’ contents on your personal platforms, it’s time to think deeper and visualize your personal brand. Ask yourself these sets of questions like:

1) What is my vision for my personal brand?

2) What can I offer to my target audience?

3) What am I hoping to achieve in my long term goals?

4) How can my personal brand brings me closer to my goals?

Maintain consistency in your content postings and build your contacts at all times. This will assist you in charting a course for your improvement. I am a recruiter, thus I will tend to publish articles from my industry and re-post updates from my company, Base Camp Recruitment, in order to increase my company's and my own brand recognition and engage potential job seekers who have applied for job positions in my database.

There's no reason to disregard your personal branding. You can't only concentrate on your job and duties in 2022. You will also need to take care of your personal brand. Creating your personal brand will open doors to opportunities in business, social, and personal development.

Show Off Your Strengths

If you have attended many job interviews like I did, one of the most famous questions that HRs and Recruiters would always ask, “Tell us your strengths and weaknesses?”

It may sound annoying to some because it seems such a generic question but this kind of question can utilise for candidates to speak about their strengths, skills and qualities and relate it to the job description in which the HRs and Recruiters are reviewing.

Pick personal stories you can share to demonstrate previous experiences and back up with your personal strengths.

Example: “I enjoy client-facing roles and thrilled to be meeting new individuals on a regular basis. Meeting all types of people has allowed me to broaden my network and learn a variety of new things. One of my personal goals is to link job searchers with appropriate work opportunities so that they can advance in their careers. It always makes me happy when a client stays at a position for a long time and I am fortunate enough to help them find their way.”

When a prospective employer inquiries about your strengths, they want to hear how your abilities will help them succeed in the long run. Some of the most popular attributes that recruiters always have heard are ‘strong work ethics,' 'pleasant and outgoing person who can get along with anyone,' and so on. All of this is wonderful, but it would be even better if you could back it up with facts. If you are someone who has a strong work ethic, can you prove to the interviewers that you hit above your sales target?

Prove Your Value

One of the most common causes applicants are rejected following a job interview is because they do not present enough relevant, concrete examples of what they have done in their current/previous employment that is relevant to the position they are pursuing.

However, most HRs and Recruiters agree that the candidate may be good at what they do in current job scope, but one of the reasons candidates avoid discussing their accomplishments is because they are nervous during their job interviews, they may feel timid, and they don't want to mess up their interviews.

I am telling you right now that it is okay to “brag” about your personal accomplishments and you will need to remember that any prospective employer wants you to do well in an interview and they have many roles to fill. Be presentable when you speak about your personal accomplishments in a clear and concise manner.

Talking about sales targets is appealing because your prospective employee now has a rough concept that you can accomplish a target goal, but how about demonstrating how you overcame obstacles to meet your sales targets at your previous job?

A great way to answer questions while highlighting your skills and accomplishments is by using the "Experience + Learn = Grow" model and/or the STAR technique (situation, task, action, result).

Don’t forget to say Thank you

We have always thanked our parents for providing us food, shelter and toys, and we have always thanked our friends and colleagues for helping us with a task. But sometimes, since we are too preoccupied with our tasks, we forget to say "Thank You."

We prioritize being the best qualified candidate over being the easiest to work with. However, we know that recruiting managers are also individuals. And their decisions are frequently based on little details, such as first impressions.

During the end of the interview, you thank the hiring manager for their time and giving you the chance to attend the interview. Don’t simply just say “Bye for now and have a good day ahead.”

Did you know that your chances of getting hired will go up higher if you send a Thank You email? Most employment decisions are decided within 48 hours after the interview, so if you miss the opportunity to send a Thank You email, your Thank You note will be pointless.

In the email, you thank them once more for their time, show how much you connected with them, tell them what you liked about the job position and corporate culture, and perhaps include a highlight from the conversation. One highlight you may discuss is the common interests you two share, such as volunteering or a love of attending live events. It can literally be anything in general.

Be sure to check the name at the top and spell them correctly. Many applicants have always spelled my name wrong and it can be offending to others.

With that, I hope you enjoyed reading this article. Please connect with me on LinkedIn and follow my company's page, Base Camp Recruitment. I look forward to chatting with you in person if you ever apply for job roles in Base Camp's Database. If you are about to attend your first round of interviews, I wish you all the very best and good luck!

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