The job market is on a rebound, with job vacancies at an all-time high due to circumstances created by the pandemic. According to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), “the number of job vacancies increased from 92,100 in June 2021 to 98,700 in September 2021.” One of the attributions was a demand for talent in high-performing growth sectors such as Professional Services, Financial Services, Information & Communications, and Health & Social Services. For those on the lookout for jobs or preparing for interviews, this is good news.
How can you set yourself up for success at an interview?
Knowing companies are eager to fill vacant roles is reassuring. Also, doing your part to adequately prepare for interviews can ensure you land the job you’re after. Anticipating job interview questions and being sufficiently equipped to answer them, can significantly increase your chances of performing well at the interviews. You have successfully written a good resume that has attracted recruiters – and you’ve landed an interview. Now, it’s about acing that interview. How do you go about it?
1. Do adequate research
Probably the most important thing you have to do before an interview is, reading up as much as you can about the company. Some essential questions to which you should find as much information to, include:
- What types of products and services does the business offer?
- What is the company’s mission, vision, and values?
- Who are their prominent leaders?
- Who are their competitors?
It is also vital that you read through the job description thoroughly and understand what the role demands, and the skills required. By equipping yourself with this knowledge, you can decide prior to the interview whether this organisation is one that aligns with your values and if you can see yourself working there. It also helps you match the skills you have with the role you are applying for, allowing you to highlight them during the interview. In this way, you position yourself as the best candidate for the job.
2. Think about the questions you want to ask
You might also be wondering, “what questions do I ask in an interview?”. And that’s a great line of thought. While focusing on the questions you will be asked is necessary, it is also important that you take a step back and realise that you are evaluating the company as well.
You need to ascertain if the company has a positive culture, is keen on developing its employees and treats them with respect and empathy. Reflect first on the type of organisation you want to work for and what you will not compromise on. Some potential questions you can ask to determine fit, culture and dynamics include:
- What is the team culture like?
- What do you like about your job?
- How many people are there in the team?
This will then provide you with a better understanding of the environment you will be working in.
3. Practise what you want to say
It’s completely normal to experience jitters leading up to the interview. You might fear not knowing what to say or saying the wrong thing or tripping up while speaking. The key to overcoming this is to practise. By rehearsing the answers to commonly asked interview questions, you will feel better prepared for the interview.
Hiring managers might also ask situational (or scenario) questions to force their candidates to go off-script and think out of the box about situations they will encounter. This gives them insight into how candidates will handle the specifics of the role. It’s important to prepare for such questions, especially team-based ones, so that you will not feel out of depth and can confidently field these questions by providing effective solutions quickly. On a deeper level, they get insight into what the company values or the things they overlook.
An introduction is almost always asked for during interviews and sets the tone and course of the rest of the session. Have a few pointers ahead of time ready to answer this question, so you can start off strong and confidently.
4. Ensure you have the appropriate formal attire
Decide well ahead of the interview what you will be wearing. You can then know if there might be something you don’t have, and you would need to buy. Dressing in business formal attire is always the safest bet. For gentlemen, a shirt and tie over a blazer with dress pants and for ladies, it’s a proper blouse over a blazer.
What you wear and how you present yourself can hint at aspects of your personality. By being neat, tidy, and presentable, you give off the impression that you are conscientious, instead of sloppy, and detail-oriented, instead of careless. You also show that you consider this interview important, and you respect the interviewer and so, have put in the effort to look presentable.
Kickstart a fulfilling career with an education at PSB Academy
An interview can possibly mark the beginning of an exciting career. As a student at PSB Academy, our various courses – whether a Bachelor’s Degree, Master’s Degree, diploma or short course, we prepare students to be valuable additions to the workforce by moulding them into innovative, capable and resourceful professionals. Find out how our career services can aid you in applying for internships and jobs.