How to prepare for interviews

Preparing for interviews is easy – just do your homework.

How to prepare for interviews

South Africa’s most comprehensive guide on how to prepare for interviews. Updated constantly from new information or comments received. Includes advice from readers (both job seekers and interviewers) in real interview experiences.

Rock your interviews!

An interview is a process that we all have to go through at some point in our lives. Being able to ace your interview with your potential employer is key to securing a better career and future. You need to know how to prepare for interviews. Companies may follow a set interview format throughout and utilise some forms of psychology to help analyse the interviewee in the room.

You will usually be interviewed after a company has received an application from you in some form or another. Occasionally, a progressive company will interview someone based on a recommendation or due to their prowess in their industry. Often a pre-screening call is done to see if someone is worth interviewing, and this is in fact part of the interview process and must be seen as such.

Interview structure

Interviews could be duration of fifteen minutes to over two hours long and some common questions in an interview will include:
• Tell me about yourself?
• What are your strengths and weaknesses?
• How would you handle a difficult situation in the workplace and how will you interact with other colleagues?
• Why should we hire you?
• What are your salary expectations?

How to prepare for interviews

There are some factors to bear in mind long before going to your interview appointment. So the next time you’re being faced with interviewing in South Africa, make sure to carry these pointers along with you:
• Familiarise yourself with the company you plan to be a part of – Do some research about the actual company, their type of business, products, services and objectives.
• Do some prep work – Go over some key questions that could be asked in the interview and practice how you would answer them.
• Be punctual – First impressions last and being on time will show that you’re dedicated and serious about the job as opposed to showing up late.
• Dress appropriately – Nothing quickly spells professionalism the way your clothes do, if you dress to impress this will create a good first impression. In the days of old, interview attire was limited to black only, but these days as long as it’s smart and neat this will do well despite not being all black. Another thing to go with your smart attire is being well groomed and smelling fresh.
• Be able to sell your skills – Think of how you can sell your skills in the interview by effectively summing up who you are and how you can benefit the business.

Don’t fake it

Body language also plays a major role and the interviewer can usually read something into from what is exuded via your facial expressions or your body gestures. Furthermore, it is important to relax, be yourself and stay confident and focused on your goal of obtaining the job and doing well in the interview.

Final words

If you want to really mark your mark, you need to effectively find out what to expect. Be more prepared than other candidates for the job, and this will show. You will be able to open up discussions that other applicants will not, even before the interview has started. You will also feel far more confident going into the interview itself, as well as speaking to the interviewers.