5 Most Important Things to Think of Before/While Having a Personal Job Interview

Hello dearest friends,

why not trying to be more serious and talk about a topic that many of us have already thought of after graduation from school, college and what so ever.

Your first 30 applications for the first real job are already out of your email “box” either on their way to their recipient, on hold, already read and rejected or maybe (now this is the situation we all wish to be in) read and your invitation for a telephone or personal job interview is on its way.

Everybody then starts to question first themselves and later on friends and relatives, even professors or former supervisors from previous interships, on how to prepare best for the a personal face to face interview. Even though nowadays specific software and technical devices permit ourselves to perform a personal job interview without physically standing in front of the interviewer, I would still say it is simply not the same. It might feel more comfortable for the applicant since he/she/it is in a comfortable and familiar surrounding… However one can leave more memorable impression when acutally standing in front of your maybe future supervisor.

Now let me stop rambling on about stuff I wasn’t going to blog about and let me start on those 5 most important things. Bare in mind, this is my personal opinion, I am by any means no expert at all when it comes to human resources stuff and what exact features are successful and less successful, but I have had some face to face interviews with major companies and I did my homework. Sure there might be other ideas out there maybe more or less successful, but here are mine:

(1) Dress in a way which suits the companie’s culture best – you want to not only be adequate dressed but also indirectly show that you have understood what the company stands for and what they want to represent towards their customers. Don’t dress like you would attend the Oscars when you apply for a medium sized logistics company just around the corner, that is well know for a flat hierarchy within the company. Choose a rather business casual outfit (however no blue jeans and a t-shirt) for the interview. If you are not sure about the dress code, kindly ask them if they prefer business or rather business casual.

(2) Make a POSITIVE impression by being YOURSELF – don’t try to be someone else, don’t try to only get that job by playing a role. Believe me, neither you, nor your future supervisor would want to wake up one day and figure out that the person who applied for the job is a complet stranger compared to the one that appeared at the interview and got hired. You want a job that not only fits your knowledge and experience but most likely your personality. If you dislike being surrounded by people all the time don’t apply for a sales position/marketing and play the role of month’s best employee just because it is a good payed job.

(3) Listen to what the interviewers are telling you and asking you to answer/do – This might sound really of and some of you might think that I am nuts to think that people don’t do this automatically. Well guess what, you don’t. I can tell you of one particular case where a person was kindly asked to describe himself/herself and why he is the right person for that job with THREE words and some short additional examples. That person started to person a quite long monologue on what makes him/her special, which led the interviewers to interrupt him and ask him/her again what those 3 words are. Unfortunately the monologue more or less went on. I would say that did not went good.

(4) Be present and take mentally notes of what happens – especially during an assessment center or a personal interview where more applicants share the interview at the same time, even though the question wasn’t addressed to you personally in the first place it might happen that a interview suddenly faces you and asks you about your opinion on what the other applicant just said. Worst situation ever, you have no idea of what he said because you didn’t pay attention.

(5) Don’t be afraid of being different and honest – you don’t have to stand in line with all of the others and approve to everything what the other applicants or the interviewers say. There are plenty of occasions where they want to test you. Your future supervisor wants to see how you react to stressful situations. Feel free to take a more outstanding and unusual approach, but be prepared to get your plan been shredded apart. Stick with your plan and try to convince them on how this crazy approach might work by using your knowledge and examples from your everyday life or previous experiences.

I hope I was able to provide some new ideas when it comes to getting prepared for the personal interview. I am sure there are plenty other things to keep in mind.

Feel free to share your experiences and to let me know what you think of these 5 points.

Take care,
Oana Danciu :-)!