I-Day: How the Interview Becomes a Career Opener

Everyone knows it - the day of the job interview. A pivotal day that can also go awry. Suit or business casual, formal, professional, or with a touch of humor, and what were my weaknesses again? Many of these questions swirl in the minds of job applicants. Adding an extra dose of nervousness to an already stressful situation. To help you approach your next interview with ease, this article provides you with a guide on preparing for the job interview.

One week before the interview, even if it's still a week away, you might start feeling the first beads of sweat on your forehead: "How can I best prepare for the interview?"

Two crucial questions to ponder: "What kind of company is it?" and "What profile are they looking for?" It's advisable to delve into the company's values, history, industry trends, and current leadership online. Additionally, acquaint yourself with the latest trends in your chosen industry, as such insights always make a positive impression during a job interview.

Moreover, it would be helpful to thoroughly reread the job posting.

With this foundation, you can then contemplate your personal attributes:

- What added value do you bring to the company?

- What distinguishes your working style?

- Do your qualifications align with the job posting?

By reflecting on these aspects in advance, you can ensure restful nights in the days leading up to your interview.

One day before the interview 

One day before the interview, tomorrow it's time, one more sleep, and the big job interview is on the horizon. Right now, the thought carousel starts spinning: "What should I wear?" "Is it better to go to bed early or spend the whole night reading the company's history?"

As for the dress code, there are no hard and fast rules, but it should be generally formal, so it's advisable to leave the ripped jeans and printed T-shirt at home. However, whether a shirt with dark jeans or a suit with a tie is more appropriate depends on the company culture. Through your research, you've probably gained a rough idea of the company, and now you can leverage that.

A more precise answer can be given to the question of sleep: being well-rested will make your interview even more successful. Therefore, it's better to go to bed early. Set your alarm clock in a way that gives you enough time before the interview. Because even if a delayed train or a flat tire is not your fault, being late for a job interview is a genuine no-go.

The big day: 

Thanks to your good preparation, you've arrived punctually and appropriately dressed for the interview. As your name is called, and you slowly approach the door, your heart starts to beat faster, and you feel the cold sweat on your hands: "What will the atmosphere be like during the interview?" "Will your counterpart come across as strict, authoritative, or rather friendly and approachable?"

Deciding that is, of course, not in your power. But always keep in mind: HR professionals are also just humans, and while you hope to get the job, they hope to have found the right person in you. So, stay relaxed, take a few seconds before answering a question, and don't be afraid to ask your counterpart to repeat something if you didn't understand. After a few minutes, you'll manage to assess the person and try to find a "common ground." With more casual recruiters, humor can be a successful approach, for example. Often, you'll have the opportunity to ask your own questions. This can leave a good impression but should arise from genuine interest and not just for the sake of asking questions. Refer to something mentioned during the conversation that sparked your interest in your question.

To ensure a polite and professional demeanor throughout the entire interview process, here are the biggest no-goes:

1. Avoid tardiness and rudeness, traits that should be avoided both in the workplace and during an interview.

2. Also, refrain from speaking ill of your previous supervisors.

3. Even if the conversation atmosphere should be relaxed and informal, never lose your professionalism and avoid resorting to black humor or sarcastic comments about people present.

Phew, now your interview is finally done. Although most people would prefer to skip it, unfortunately, the interview is part of professional life. But don't worry; now you know everything you need for your next job interview to become a career-opener.

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