Interview Preparation agenda | Part 1

We have already discussed how to create a CV that stands out and a strong LinkedIn profile in our previous articles. If you have taken good care of those two (CV and LinkedIn profile), chances are high that you will receive that long-awaited call from a recruiter soon. In the meantime, don’t panic, keep calm and just continue reading this one. :)

While preparing our Magnus Careers’ clients for an interview, we usually start with stressing the importance of the recruiter’s role and of building relationships with him/her. It’s essential since the recruiter is the connecting point between the company and the candidate, so do not avoid sharing your enthusiasm and interest with them, and be persistent, open and honest in your communication.

Let’s divide the interview process and our steps into three pieces:
Pre-interview period
Interview process
Post-interview period

Steps before the interview

The more time you spend on this step, the more confident and smooth your self-presentation during the interview will be. The following steps will help you here:

1. Read the job announcement carefully

Did you read the job post carefully? Read it again.

Whenever you apply for any job, save the job announcement so that you can take a second look at it before you apply for the position. The job announcement is your best guide since it contains the qualifications and preferences that the employer is looking for in an ideal candidate.

Pay attention to the requirements and responsibilities in particular. Take notes with plus and minus signs. The plus sign means “I have [this] skill and have done similar tasks in my previous role.” The minus sign obviously means that you are lacking the skills mentioned in the job description and you will have to work on them throughout your career. Compare the number of your plus and minus signs before you apply for the job. Make sure to take note of the skills that you lack and work on improving them later on.

2. Google the company and go beyond googling

Knowing about the company’s mission, goals and values, services, products and competitors is good, but may not be enough. What about going a bit further in your research? For example, try to find the profile of the recruiter you are going to be interviewed by. You could also find current employees of that company and reach out to them to ask questions and receive feedback. This will give you a chance to learn more about the company culture and the internal environment.

Another trick here — try to actually use the company’s product or services before you get on an interview with them. For example, if you are going to have an interview with PicsArt, download the PicsArt app, try a few features, learn more about the product by using it. Usually, tech companies that build products, ask their interviewees what they like or dislike about their product and what they would change there. So, it would be great if you could talk to them from the position of knowledge and personal experience.

3. Write down the questions you would like to ask the recruiter

As a candidate, you may not always be able to find answers to the questions you are looking for, no matter how much research you have done. You might be interested in knowing the following:

  • What kind of opportunities for advancement are there in the company?
  • What are my immediate responsibilities going to be?
  • Does the organization have educational programs (training, seminar, etc.)?
  • How many employees does the department/team have?
  • Who is going to be my immediate supervisor?
  • Are there any opportunities for business trips or not?

During any good interview, the applicants are given the chance to ask their questions. So, use this opportunity wisely. Ask what really matters to you instead of skipping this part of the conversation.

4. Look through your CV

Sometimes the experience is too diverse and long to remember in a categorized and detailed way, especially in the case of senior professionals.

That’s why you should look through your CV one more time before the interview. This way you will be able to answer any question more comprehensively.

5. Try to understand the interview format

As you know, there are several types of interviews: general, professional, team, cultural, as well as online and offline. And online interviews can be: phone, video, etc.

Knowing the format of the interview that awaits you will help you to be more prepared. By the way, do not feel embarrassed about asking questions when you get a phone call for an interview invitation. The caller may not specify the format, so asking about the format is completely normal.

6. An online interview is an interview anyway

In the current pandemic situation, online interviews are very common. Remember, this is a formal meeting and is not inferior to other similar meetings, so look presentable, ensure silence, quality internet connection and (we have to mention this based on our experience) do not smoke during the interview ;)

And if something goes wrong, for example, during the interview process your child or pet breaks into the room, do not stress :) We all realize that we work mainly from home and such situations are our #newnormal.

If you found these tips helpful, make sure to follow us on Medium. In our next article, we are going to tell you about how to introduce yourself during the interview and what to do after the interview. At Magnus Careers we provide a service — Support in the recruitment process, within the frames of which we help professionals like you to get an even better understanding of the interview process, we organize proxy interviews and give detailed feedback on your interview performance. Drop us a line at careers@magnus-hr.com if you would like us to organize something like this for you too.