Introduction: How to Prepare for a Job Interview - the Ultimate Cheat Sheet

Did you just get a call for a job interview? That’s great! Congratulations as well as wish you all the luck for the next step ahead. And if you’re still naive and don’t know how to make a move yet, then, hold on here. I’m here to share my experience as well as some of the great tips to get a call for a job interview and then, how to make it kickass!

Nowadays, life has become too faster hence the “we”. People enroll themselves in the courses that give them easy to get a job in campus recruitment. Well, that’s actually great! But that doesn’t mean, the companies will come and spoon feed you. There are a lot of homework to do. So, are you guys ready to flee with me for some minutes being relaxed?

Getting jobs were synonymous to getting a call from the company directly for a walk-in interview having a load of experiences or after cracking common entrance exams. But, as times have flung, things have changed. The Companies do come to the universities/colleges to recruit freshers for the mutual development.

1.Let’s talk about the type, GENERIC, we are just calling by this name here. People with a lot of experiences want to switch over or freshers who want to join a company send the mail to the respective recruiting team about the interest and vacancy or just identified in social networks like Linkedin or cracking a common entrance test. If the profile matches and you’re lucky enough to know a single person who can refer your application, you get an interview call.

2. Modern ways include campus recruitment and off campusing drive. The companies do visit the campus and recruit people according to the needs. In the later, the companies call for drives whenever there are many vacancies together.


Step 1: Pre-Preparation Mode

Why would you get the call? Have you thought about it? Most of the companies having common eligibility test which eliminates many students and take a few gems from the lot. And they call them for the interview. You may not do well at one test, don’t get disheartened, that doesn’t define you. You will get a lot of opportunities ahead in your life. But, if you see you’re continuously doing as not expected, then, you have to find your flaws and fulfill them. For instance, if you’re a computer undergraduate, you have to know at least the basics of coding to get a job in the aforementioned genre. Try out all the possible question sets of aptitude, verbal ability, technical, logical reasoning as much as you can. All the companies have the same questions pattern in general. Give mock tests for improving accuracy and speed. Just remember, hard work always pays off.

Step 2: Once You Have Got a Call

Woah! Congratulations, buddy! You have done it. The interview isn’t a matter of a day that you go there and give an impromptu speech, it’s much more than it. You have prepared yourself from tip to toe before the D-Day. And most importantly, you have the lot to do even after the interview day. Keeping it simple and understandable, let me make give a better clarity.

Step 3: Before the Interview

  1. You have to be Company Specific Learner now. Yes, you read it right. You have to learn about the company profile, taglines, history, employees, projects, clients and every small detail if needed. Try to know about the position and the role they are interviewing you for. Learn about the statistics and the figures related to the company. I was fortunate enough to do a quick look at the company’s turnover before my interview! Gosh, that was the final question in the HR round! And guess what, I got selected there.
  2. Prepare Notes. Human brains are not always hard disk, we tend to forget things. So, try to make notes of every possible thing related to the interview coming to your mind. Make a list of questions that you can ask the interviewer if you get a chance. Asking a wise question at the end leaves a good impression certainly. Ask questions which bond the interviewer and the project they’re interested in. I even ended up asking the interviewer to explain the answer to the question that I couldn’t answer in the interview. So, just be relaxed and be confident.
  3. Again and again, I will warn you to practice even if you’re the best orator or communicator in your college. Try to get a trustworthy friend with whom you are free to discuss the issues that are coming in your mind. Practice a mock interview with him giving him the privilege of being the interviewer. Don’t laugh in between, be serious, life will certainly turn light for you.
  4. Try to anticipate the questions that might be thrown at you on the D-day. Because, anyhow, an interview for a sales person won’t be asked about how to fix bugs in a code. About technical part, that depends on the job profile. I can’t start saying cases for each profile. Jokes apart, the internet is always there to help you and try finding experiences from the discussion portals. A list of the frequently-asked questions enlisted by me which might be of some help:
  • What can you tell me about yourself?
  • Can you list your strengths?
  • What weaknesses do you have?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What is your salary expectation?
  • What motivates you?
  • What makes a good team player?
  • Is there anything that you would like to ask me?

5. Just be confident and cool. Don’t overthink. Eat healthy. Sleep well. These things will certainly matter at the end.

Step 4: The D-Day

Before going through some must-do bulletins, let me rephrase everything with a single quote.

Got it, right? Here are some do’s and don’t(s) to be kept in mind on the day of the interview.

  1. Dress to Impress. But not for the date, but for the work! Make your wardrobe speak for your professionalism. It matters how you carry yourself. Keeping that in mind, choose a good set of business casuals for you and don’t forget to wear a smile.
  2. You might be lazy, but not today! Yes, being punctual is the best way impress your interviewer. You might think they won’t even see you before you reach to the panel but it’s a wrong conception. Their eyes are on you.
  3. Sweet but simple. Yes, bear an evergreen smile on your face. Don’t let me feel you’re not interested in the offer and you’ve just come for a casual meeting. What happened with me, if you want to know, as soon as I entered the room, my interviewer uttered out, “You’re such a cheerful happy face.”! It actually gave me the confidence to let the interview go further with a positive hope.
  4. Courtesy is the oldest thing to taste. This means from the gatekeeper to the interviewer himself. Show courtesy to everyone. You might not know how the people in the office gel up with each other. So, just be generous and good to all. Don’t even try to use your phone without any real emergencies.
  5. Importantly, be honest. There’s always background check done once you’re selected for the company. Don’t put yourself in your trap. Don’t drag your answers, keep it with 30-90 seconds. The interviewer would be bored of you after that. Rest, you’re smart enough to understand what I mean.
  6. One thing to be kept in mind if you’re switching from a different company, don’t bitch about your former employer even if they insist you and take you in confidence. And don’t sound cocky and pompous, they might get offended which lessens the chance of your recruitment. That’s the worst trait anybody can have.
  7. Last but not the least, the interviewers don’t want you to be the jack of everything but a person they like most just as himself. So, be yourself, be genuine, let them like you as you are.

Step 5: After the Interview

This is again important and turn out to be a deciding factor for your candidacy.

  1. Ask questions if you get a chance and then come out of the room with a pleasant smile after taking leave from all. You can shake hands and exchange some pleasantries even. One might even ask the interviewer, “When I can expect a call from you?” even you’ve doomed in the interview. It will matter at the last for sure!
  2. It’s now the right time to send a thank-you letter to the interviewer or the liaison. Don’t be too clingy again. Be formal and sweet. You can add up few points if want to mention to identify your candidacy.
  3. Follow up is a must. Don’t get disheartened if you don’t get a call with a week or two. Sometimes, the process might take some more time. If it’s so, try to send a follow-up mail asking about the position vacancy and your willingness to join the firm. I got a nice sentence to sum this up, “Don't be needy, and don't be greedy, but be persistent and courteous.”
  4. Hey, folks! I hope you’re not bored. And if you’ve come up to this, then you must have liked what we wanted to preach. And importantly, some hundreds of words are never enough for something big like getting a job in your life. So, ultimately, hard work with experience and pinch of luck will help you to make through it. And remember luck meets where there is preparation.