Crack a job interview

Job hunting is one of the most difficult and time-consuming tasks. You need to be patient, hopeful, positive, mentally stable, confident, and hard-working. In simple words, when you are looking for a job you need to be the BEST VERSION OF YOURSELF. Many job interviews follow a defined method hence once you understand what the recruiter is expecting from you then it is very easy to pass the tests. These 20 simple tips help you to crack any kind of job interview because this list has been created from expert recruiters and people’s experiences.

1) Create a Perfect Resume

The beginning of every job search starts with the resume. Your resume is the first step to apply for any job. Having a perfect resume is like having 80% assurance to clear the interview. These days there are many creative ways available online to build your resume. You also get resume templates that can be edited easily. Few templates ask you to spend a few dollars but they are really worth every penny!

Since your resume speaks on your behalf, you need to make sure to include your education, experience, certifications, and achievements. Don’t expand your resume for the sake of making it into 2-3 pages. Short and crisp resumes are picked up fast compared to lengthy, meaningless resumes. Your 2-year experience should be summed up in 2 lines with powerful words. There are many formats to resume and Reverse-chronological¬†is very is the most-used format.

How to write a successful Resume;

  • Don’t lie! Lying in the resume is not only bad for your portfolio also it can get you caught at any time. Since most MNC companies use bots to scan resumes, people stuff unnecessary keywords in the resume to be picked. But this can harm your interview process at later stages.
  • Make sure your resume is grammatically accurate. There are many online websites that give scores on your resume. Using them would be a wise decision before uploading a resume to company websites.
  • Don’t write a story! Keep your lines sharp and clear.
  • One Page resumes are the winners. Even though you have 3-page content, fit it into one single page.

2) Attractive Linked-In Profile

Just like how you are searching for a job, recruiters are searching for the best candidates. And where do they look for them? Linked-in! Yes, never underestimate the power of LinkedIn. Recruiters look into your profile, if it suits their requirements they approach you directly. This reduces the effort of applying resume on the company website and waiting blindly to hear from them.

Having connections on LinkedIn helps you to gain recommendations easily. On Linkedin, you can easily search for the job openings, apply, and approach thus the whole process gets easier as long as your profile is strong.

How to make your Linkedin profile profitable while searching for a job;

  • Be active on LinkedIn. Creating a profile, adding experiences, and certifications are helpful but being active on the platform by posting regularly, commenting, and responding is the best way to make good connections.
  • Keep watching your timeline. Someone might have posted about the job openings or their experience in successfully getting a job. Keep scrolling to make the best use of the platform.
  • Respond Immediately. Whenever a recruiter approaches make sure you respond to them without any delay. They might have contacted many profiles and you may lose the opportunity in case of a few postings.

3) Experience Attracts Employers

Having previous professional experience helps the recruiter to evaluate your skills. This also helps them to understand the candidate’s dedication, expertise, go-getter mindset hence can be a ladder to easily crack a job interview. They may ask questions based on your previous experience hence you should be ready to answer. Remember, you can speak about your mistakes in your previous job without giving up on yourself. Everyone can make mistakes but how they correct mistakes to keep the SHOW GOING ON is what recruiters look for.

4) Get Referrals From Friends

Having friends working in your dream companies is another easy way to get attention. Resumes move faster when you have referrals. Also, you can score the interview in one single step whereas without any referral you have to keep trying to get an interview invite. If you don’t have any friends to get referrals then no need to worry! There is an easy way. Check Linkedin profile for mutual connections working in the same company. If you see anybody from your network, you can approach them asking for a referral. This might not work all the time but there is nothing wrong with trying. Who knows, you may score a good referral.

5) Ask for Promotion

After working for a few years in a company people look for a change of job. This usually happens with everyone. Change of work or hike in salary or bored with work culture may be the reason for this. If you really do not like the work culture or any other personal reasons then you can go ahead and search outside. But if you are looking only for a change of work or a hike in salary then before thinking of changing, try to speak with your manager. You may be eligible for a promotion. Make sure you are polite while speaking to your higher authority. If the response is negative then start a job search without giving them any clue.

6) Start Job Hunting

Many people don’t have any idea about where to BEGIN when it comes to job search. Searching for jobs is like throwing stones at a wall in a dark room and waiting for the sound of stone to hit the wall. You cannot lose hope if your applications are failed to get a response. You will never know why your resume was rejected. Hence searching for jobs needs lots of energy and patience.

Easy ways to search for a job;

  • Check for opening directly on the company websites and apply.
  • Check LinkedIn for any job openings.
  • Nowadays Facebook is also helping people to find the job of their dream.
  • Create an account on job sites (Beware, you may end up with a ton of useless emails!).
  • Search the internet for any job availability.
  • Enquire with friends about any hiring in their team.

7) Detailed Study Of Company

Okay, your resume got selected and you got an invitation for the interview. What’s next? This is where people get clueless about the whole process. The first thing you need to do is a detailed study of the company. Each company has its own interview process. Some may have a telephonic interview, and some may have a group interview, and in the case of MNC companies, there will be multiple rounds. Hence you need to know what type of maze you are getting into. If you can check directly with the contact person then well and good. If not, check online to know the detailed process. People share their experiences on Reddit or Quora or LinkedIn so getting information is not tough.

Along with the company, get to know about your role. Each role will be having different responsibilities hence the interview questions/process also will be different.

8) Start Preparation

Whether the job is for a data engineer or Manager at Walmart, every job interview needs preparation. No job is inferior or superior to the other. Hence preparation makes the process easier by helping you to get strong mentally and physically. Even if you have an ample amount of time until the day of your interview, start immediately. The more you know the better you can perform in the interview.

Reading technical books needs lots of time but why not glance at them just to brush up on your memory? You can get as many books from your local library as the first step of your preparation. There are many online courses on Udemy or other learning platforms. You can learn the overall interview aspects with the help of an instructor by spending a few bucks. Work on your body language if you are attending an in-person interview. Be updated with the company’s latest news so that you can impress the recruiter by showcasing how much you love to work for the company.

9) Check for Common Interview Questions and Answers

The Internet is a sea of information. You can make the best use of it by getting the right information from it. Here people actually share questions that were asked to them in an interview. There are threads where multiple people try to solve the question with different approaches. Analyzing them helps you to attend a question in a variety of ways. Apart from most common interview questions such as

  • Why do you want this job?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Share your professional mistake
  • How will you manage a failure?
  • What can you bring to the company?
  • What did you like most about your previous job?

…..

You will also see questions related to brainteaser, behavioral, scenario-based, problem-solving skills etc.

10) Search the Internet For People’s Experience

Not only job-seekers, but recruiters also share their experiences of their previous interviews. Understanding what they are looking for is one of the proven ways to crack a job interview. Because when you get to know what they are looking for, you can easily prepare yourself without wasting time on unnecessary stuff. For example, Dave Anderson who has conducted many interviews on Amazon shared his experience and tips on how to prepare for the Amazon interview or any FANG interview. Thus reading about people’s experiences and reading about the process helps a lot to crack a job interview.

11) S.T.A.R Method

Do you know there is a proven method called S.T.A.R which helps you to crack the behavioral round in the interview? STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, Result. The Star method is the way of answering any interview question by describing the situation, task, action, and result in a structured manner. You can pick any situation that you faced in your previous work, explain the responsibilities assigned to you for that particular situation, the actions or decisions made by you, and the result of the whole situation. Instead of just reciting your responsibilities and achievements if you explain to the interviewer by picking a certain situation in the STAR method that would be more effective.

Before the interview try to collect 3-4 topics that you can explain in the STAR method. If you are not confident enough, practice in front of a mirror.

12) Tell Me About Yourself

Every interview starts with the question “Tell Me About Yourself”. Though this is the most common question, many people get stuck while answering it. Describing ourselves in a few lines is definitely not an easy task. Answering this question successfully gives a boost to your interview. Your recruiter may get impressed by your answer and have good faith until the end of the interview.

Few easy ways to answer “Tell Me About Yourself”

  • Explain why you are the right fit for the job.
  • Highlight your strengths, areas of expertise, and languages.
  • Be quick and keep your answer short. Explain in detail only when the recruiter asks you to elaborate.
  • Don’t get personal. Avoid explaining your life story. They are not interested in that!
  • Cribbing about a previous job is definitely not the way to answer this question. Don’t bring your previous boss or bitter work-life experiences.
  • Repeating the resume is a big NO NO. They have already read your resume!

13) Know your Interviewer

Knowing your interviewer is very important in the process of cracking a job interview. Remember, they are not your competition or enemies! They want to help you. They want to hire you. They are spending time on you means they are hopeful to have you on board. Hence building a good rapport with them is very necessary. Most of the time, the interviewer will be from the team where you will be hired. Hence he/she knows the requirement in detail and what kind of candidate they want to have in their team.

Before the interview, check their linked-in profile to get to know about them. Mentioning details such as “Oh, you did your masters from Harvard. That’s great” lets them know that you have spent your time knowing about them. This way it can create a great relationship till the end of the interview. If you have any questions or doubts don’t hesitate to clarify with them.

14) Coding Interview preparation

This step is for people seeking jobs in the IT industry. After getting through a resume, their next step will be an online assessment test or coding interview. Since this is a time-based test people get nervous about it. There is no shortcut to clear this step. All you have to do is start preparing without wasting any time. There are online platforms such as Stratascratch, HackerRank, DataCamp etc. which help you to prepare for the coding interview by providing real-time coding questions. From Easy to Very Hard questions, you can analyze, study and try to solve these questions. Since they are very similar (not exactly the same!) to the questions asked in the interview, this process will help you solve questions against time.

15) Behaviours Round Is Very Important

One of the most important steps in cracking a job interview is to pass the behavioral round. This can be tricky. There is no defined rule here. It completely depends on the recruiter to decide.

Tips to tackle the behavior round;

  • Be honest. It is okay to say no but it is not okay to LIE!
  • Don’t be dramatic. Sound as naturally as possible.
  • Make a note of your answers to expected questions but do not memorize them. Just keep the notes in sight so that you can glance through them.
  • Dress up well. If it is a one-on-one interview then dress well to impress. If it is telephonic, dress well to feel confident. No matter what type of interview is, just dress well!
  • Sell yourself. This is your time. You have to play well when it is home ground. Keeping that in mind, don’t hesitate to exhibit yourself.
  • Know your strength and weaknesses. A perfect personality is not the one who has no weakness. A perfect personality is, one who knows their weakness and how to face it.
  • Take charge of the interview. Don’t wait for the recruiter. Take charge and show how interested you are to get the job.
  • Behave Well. Remember to greet, thank and politely ask the questions.

16) Elaborate Your Answers

If the question is “What else?” don’t respond with just “Nope. That’s all”. If the interviewer is asking this question then that means he is expecting more details from you. Try to avoid “yes”, “no” answers. Always attend a question with an explanation of a scenario in mind. Just don’t blabber about your skills and achievements. Talk in terms of numbers and results. Explain how your code improved the performance, how your effective way of communication changed a negative review to a positive, how your dedication helped to fast-forward the production deployment etc.

Again, you should keep in mind that, elaborating doesn’t mean getting personal. They don’t want to listen to your life story. You should know where to pause and when to stop.

17) Power Day Interview Can Be Exhausting

A power day interview consists of a series of interviews in one single day by one single company where they will analyze your skills using multiple rounds. Since there will be at least 3-4 interviews in one single day, it can be definitely exhausting. But having the right mindset can help you finish the power day interview successfully and finally crack the job interview.

Here are a few suggestions;

  • Eat well. Take breaks in between to reset.
  • Be fresh and prepare well.
  • They don’t want you to trip off. So keep asking questions and clarify any issues.
  • Have a project ready. It may be a slide presentation or just a walk-through of your accomplishment.

18) Have A Set Of Questions To Ask

It is always good to be a curious cat. Have a set of questions to ask the interviewer. You can ask about the company’s growth and values, your roles and responsibilities, salary, stock options etc. Use your-questions-time to know more about company culture. Since you need to spend most of your day on the job, knowing the company culture helps you to decide whether you will be comfortable in such an environment. Nowadays asking about the flexibility of work from home option has become an important thing.

19) Be Ready With Your Salary Expectations

This is the most important step. This question may arise at any point in your interview. Hence before getting into the interview always look for the average salary for the kind of role you are getting into. This gives you a brief idea so that you can say out loud the numbers of your expected salary. Some companies, especially startup companies offer lesser salaries compared to similar roles in other companies but provide many stock options. Knowing about your health insurance, coverages, and paid leaves is important too.

20) Don’t Lose Hope

At last, DON’T LOSE HOPE! If you are not getting calls for interviews or not getting any referrals/recommendations from friends or not able to crack a job interview just remember that you are not alone. Job interviews are not that easy to crack. They are set to be difficult! You may succeed on your 10th try but remember, YOU WILL DEFINITELY SUCCEED. It may take time. So keep hustling, keep applying for as many jobs as possible and keep preparing yourself for the best job out there.