How to succeed in a job interview
1. Be prepared
Make sure you read up about what the company does before you step into the room. Check their website and social media pages to see what their business is all about. If you know the name of your interviewer(s), visit their LinkedIn and social media profiles to see who they are, what their position in the company is, and what they do. Think about how you can add value to the company and be prepared to mention this in your interview.
2. Dress professionally
A good rule of thumb is to dress for the position above the one you are applying for. If you are unsure of what to wear, a button down shirt and dress pants, with or without a tie, is a safe choice. Women can opt for a nice blouse and dress pants or a skirt, remembering to keep make-up natural and avoid heavy perfumes.
Remember to wear something you will be comfortable in, so you will not be distracted at all during the interview. The more comfortable and relaxed you are, the better you will perform.
3. Make a good first impression
Plan to arrive early, but not too early. Aim for being 10-15 minutes before your interview time to settle and review any notes you may have.
When greeting your interviewer, stand to shake their hand. Use a firm handshake, but don’t try to crush their hand. In the interview room, place your belongings on the floor next to you.
4. Answering questions
Don’t give canned, vague answers to questions. This is your time to showcase your unique skills and abilities that would make you the best person for this job. This can be language abilities, software skills, and anything else that would allow you do to this job well.
If you noticed things the company could improve in when doing your research and know that you would be able to and would like to help them to improve these areas, make a mention of them as well. Avoid being critical or condescending, instead say something like, “I noticed that your company doesn’t have a strong presence in Latin America but has done well in Europe. I’d love to help you reach the Latin American market, especially with my experience working in Brazil and knowledge of Portuguese and Spanish”.
If asked about your weaknesses, mention an area you would like to improve in and how this job will allow you to sharpen your skills in this area. For example, you could say, “I don’t have much experience in an international environment, but I think with my language skills and cultural knowledge that this company would be the perfect place to learn”.
5. Ask questions
Remember that a job interview goes two ways, you should have questions prepared that will help you to decide if this is somewhere you would like to work. Good general questions include:
“What does a typical work day look like?” or “What is the office culture like?” – Both questions give you an idea of the kind of environment you will be working in.
“What does success look like in this role?” – This will give you a good idea of what exactly they are looking for someone to do, and shows them that you want to be successful if you were to get the role.
“Is there anything on my CV that you would like me to tell you more about?” – This reminds them of why they wanted to speak to you in the first place, and gives you yet another opportunity to explain more about your competencies.
Don’t forget, in order to enter the world of international business, you’ll certainly need a good level of English. Check out the Verbalists Language Network’s English courses for business if you’d like to improve before diving into this exciting field and pass the following interview tests 🙂
Prepared by: EC, Verbalisti