Nail your interview

The one thing most people dread is attending an interview. There is just something terrifying about meeting your potential boss for the first time without knowing what exactly they are looking to get from the interview session with you. Because, let’s be frank, we all want to nail that interview!

Deloitte Malaysia Human Resources Senior Manager Sunita Kaur provided some useful tips on how to prepare and present your best self at an interview.

1. Plan

Whatever you embark on, planning is key in ensuring it goes smoothly. It is the same for interviews. Equip yourself with sufficient information and general knowledge about the organisation you are interviewing for.

a. Interview details/location - When? Where? Who?
b. Research the organisation - What do they do? How long have they been around.
c. Organise the documents needed in order of importance.

2. Presentation

While brains and attitude are important attributes of successful employees, a professional and well-groomed look can also take you a long way. So dress your best, as first impressions count!

a. Get professional grooming and attire.
b. Plan what you are going to wear the night before.
c. Practice how you are going to greet your interviewer.

3. Prepare

This point should go without saying but at times, we may take it for granted since we were the ones who wrote our own CV and cover letter. But at crucial moments, our memory can fail us. Go through what you have written and analyse them as though you are the interviewer.

Also, remember, an interview is never one-sided. It is not just for them to get to know you, but it is also an opportunity for you to find out and clarify all you need to before deciding whether you really want the job.

There are several questions you can prepare for:

a. Position-specific questions - about the job you are applying for.
b. Motivation questions - What are your motivations, where will you be in five years, etc
c. Situational questions
d. Self-awareness questions - Strengths and weaknesses.

4. Positive body language

...and natural personality. Don’t be someone else the moment you walk into the room, wave your natural flag high.

a. Be punctual.
b. Be sure to maintain a cool and calm eye contact with your interviewer, and maintain a good posture throughout the interview.
c. How do you plan to greet him or her, or them?
d. Don’t have any distractions going on as the interview is ongoing such as fidgeting, having your sunglasses, iPod or mobile phone on.
e. Most importantly, smile. They say your smile is your logo, your very own trademark, so do it well.

5. Practise

After all these preparations, there is still the area of nerves that is bound to hinder your interview. If you don’t nail your interview the first time, fret not. You will gain the necessary confidence and courage as you attend more. Practise makes perfect.