How to prepare for a job interview: A Comprehensive Guide

You may have acquired a mountain of knowledge and skills required for a job. However, it may be hard to express yourself during a job interview. Your performance in an interview is mainly dependent on how well-prepared you are. This article will explain every point in detail to help you prepare yourself for a job interview.

Do some research on the company

During an interview, the interviewer can ask questions about the company and the role that you have been shortlisted for. You can follow the following steps:

  • First, you can visit the company’s official website. Try and read about the company’s history, what industry they belong to, what its products and services are, find out the name of the founder/founders, take a look at the company’s performance over the last few years, and also check all the locations that they are present in.
  • Next, do a Google search for the company name to see if they have been in the news recently or if they are launching any new products.
  • You can go through their social media handling sites. Check their recent post and the interaction of the viewers.

how to be prepared for an interview

These details will help you to understand the work culture of the company, and you can get an idea of whether you can fit in with it or not.

Also, when the interviewer asks a question, you can smartly add this information whenever necessary. This will demonstrate how thoroughly you researched and prepared.

Review your job description

As a candidate, you should carefully read and comprehend the job description thoroughly. It will give you a clear understanding of the responsibilities and the required skillset. This will help you prepare accordingly. You may also get a sense of the types of questions the interviewer may ask.

I would recommend you check the eligibility criteria properly. Sometimes a company is specific about the year of passing, mode of degree, year of experience, CGPA, or aggregate marks, and also about the backlogs in a degree. If you have any confusion or questions, you can contact the respective HR. The HR contact information is usually included in the job advertisement.

Be ready with a professional resume

After going through the company details and other related information, now you have to prepare a professional resume. Put all the relevant skills, certifications, and work experience together.

Before your interview, go through your resume properly and make sure that you know everything that is written on it. For example, your work experience, projects you have done, skills that you have mentioned, etc. The interviewer can ask any question that is related to your resume, so be prepared for that.

Prepare for some common interview questions

Now, make a list of probable questions that could be asked in the interview. For reference, check out websites like Quora, Glassdoor, etc. There you can find interview experiences from various candidates, rounds along with the questions that are generally asked in such interviews. Although you may not get the same questions in your interview, you still get an idea about what and how to prepare.

Here are some common interview questions and answers to help you make a good impression on the recruiter.

Tell me about yourself

This is by far the most common question that is asked by a job recruiter to ascertain your presentation style. To answer that, give a short description of yourself, including your family background, native place, academic details, and an overview of your previous job with duration. You can add your hobbies too, but make sure that you have good knowledge of that field. You don’t have to be nervous. Always be calm and confident while talking about yourself.

Based on your description, you may expect questions. For example, if your hobby is listening to music, the interviewer can ask about your favorite song or favorite singer and the reason for that.

What are your strengths and weaknesses?

Now, it is obvious that you would like to use all the fancy words to express your strengths, and you might want to say that you don’t have any weaknesses. To be honest, recruiters don’t like giving such fun answers. Here, you have to understand one thing: recruiters ask such questions to get an idea of how much you know about yourself.

Hence, you should frame your answer in a way that you can convince them about your strengths by mentioning your past contributions, experiences, and how they helped different businesses or people. In addition to that, mention some of your weaknesses that have affected your personal or professional life in any way and how you are trying to improve yourself.

Why do you want this job?

Do a little research on the company as described earlier in the first point of this article. You can use this information in your answer to explain why you are a perfect match for the job role.

What are your salary expectations?

This is a tricky question, and the recruiter often asks this question in an interview, so you have to answer it carefully. You can’t tell them a lower amount, as it will show that you don’t value yourself, or a higher amount, which may result in you losing the job. If you have any professional experience, you may be asked for your previous annual salary, depending on the company. Maintain a cordial tone in your interactions and be open to negotiation.

Additionally, you can explain your skills and ability to fulfill any responsibilities under any circumstances according to your job role.

If you are a fresher, then you might not have an idea of the average salary and current market trends for the skill. To get an idea, you can refer to websites like Glassdoor, Indeed, Payscale, etc. That will allow you to have a more meaningful negotiation.

What is the reason for leaving your current job?

The answer depends on your profile and the circumstances surrounding leaving your previous job. The reason for leaving a job could be different for every individual. For example,

  • Your previous company is shutting down.
  • You want to upgrade your work profile.
  • Lack of a sound working environment, etc.

Always be honest with your words. If the recruiter still has any doubts, they can ask you again, so explain with your facts and make sure they are convinced by your explanation.

Can you please explain the reason behind your academic or career gap (if any)?

You must have a valid reason for any academic or career gaps that you may have. There could be a variety of reasons for this, such as entrance exam preparations through coaching or self-study, serious health issues, family affairs, and so on. Explain the reason to the recruiter politely.

Do you have any questions?

If you don’t know much about your domain and you can’t find much about it on their official website, you can ask questions for more information. It will demonstrate your enthusiasm and interest in the position.

Important: You should not simply copy and paste answers from other sources. Try to add your own words and ideas so that it appears unique and impressive to the interviewer.

Also Read: 7 Best Job Portals in India in 2022 for New Job Applications 

Some common interview rounds

Depending on the company and its policies, you may face different rounds of questions. Here are some common rounds:

Telephonic/Video round

In this round, you need to be careful about some important things. For example,

  • Make sure that you sit in a quiet room according to your convenience.
  • For video interviews, check your device properly, whether the webcam, mic, etc. are working properly, and also the stability of your internet connection.
  • Always stay calm and pay close attention to the question.

Aptitude test

This round primarily assesses your grammatical, mathematical, and logical skills. Here, the key factor would be how you manage your time properly and finish the given task within the limited time frame. The structure of your test will be different from company to company.

To prepare for the grammatical section, you can study topics like synonyms, tenses, determiners, prepositions, correct sentences, etc.

For the mathematical test, you can go through topics like algebra, probability, trigonometry, statistics, permutations, combinations, etc.

In the logical section, you can refer to diagrammatic puzzles, coding-decoding, blood relations, analogy, etc.

Face-To-Face interview

A face-to-face interview is conducted between a recruiter and the candidate through a conversation. You need to be confident while answering questions, and your body language should be positive while communicating with the recruiter. You can refer to some mock interviews available on Youtube to get an idea of the process.

You might face questions during the interview that you probably don’t have much knowledge about. In such cases, try to think of a topic related to the question which you know something about and make the answer. This will tell the recruiter that you have some sort of idea about it.

Group discussion

In this round, candidates must interact on a topic provided by the recruiter. As there is only a limited time period, you need to improve your communication, logical thinking, general knowledge, time management, presentation, and creative skills.

The topic could be related to current affairs, general social issues, the economy, technology, sports, etc. The subject and difficulty depend on the organization and your field, for example, private jobs, government jobs, cabin crew interviews, hotel management, civil services, campus interviews, etc.

Make it a habit to read the news every day. Nowadays, you can get updates on every piece of news on apps like Inshorts, Dailyhunt, The Economic Times, Reddit, etc. This will help you stay up to date with national as well as international affairs.

Technical assessment

The technical assessment is conducted mainly to evaluate your technical skills and is mainly for IT jobs. The topics could be Data Structures and Algorithms, DBMS, Programming Languages, Web Development, Object-Oriented concepts, Operating Systems, Networking, etc.

For practice and learning, you can refer to websites like GeeksforGeeks, HackerRank, CodeChef, LeetCode, w3schools, etc.

Note: It is always good to have a connection with your alumni or seniors who have been placed in good companies so that you can gather knowledge about the interview process.
Also, you can grow your network through different social media platforms, such as LinkedIn, Facebook, etc., to track companies and employees.

Job interview checklist
Job interview checklist

Conclusion

I hope you liked this article and found some valuable information. Since the content of this article is crafted from practical experience, it will be helpful for you to prepare for your next job interview. If you found this post useful, kindly share it with others to help more people.

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