It was quite the journey to find jobs in Malaysia, but now, you finally got an offer to do an interview for the job you applied for, good job! It means that you have managed to stand out among others when the employer was sorting out applications. Now it is time to really shine, to really show them what you are made of!
But to do that, there are some tips you need to remember, so here we will be helping you to get the best out of your interview and hopefully by the time you have considered the important facts, you will have landed that sweet position!
#1. Know what the job is.
The most important thing to note when going for the interview is understanding what the job is in the first place! That should be obvious. You should also make sure you know the details of the company you are applying for and what services or products they offer so that you can present yourself in a way that can fit their requirements based on what they do. Understand the size of the company and its position in its respective industry, so that way you can let the interviewer know that you have done some research on the company and you could even tell them how you can potentially help the company.
#2. Get Yourself looking Good!
Don’t get us wrong, we’re not saying you look good already! We just want to make sure you look appropriate for that interview! They say the first impressions last a long time, and that is very much the truth. Not only in how you conduct yourself, but how you look too. The type of clothes you wear can really depend on what company you are going for, younger or more “hip” companies won’t mind the t-shirt and jeans look, but in general, you should try to be as formal as you can.
For men, this means iron pressed, long-sleeved button shirts, a pair of khakis and closed-toe formal shoes which are polished, don’t come into your interview in shorts and slippers. A suit and tie are not necessary for the most part unless it is specifically asked for. Again, it all really depends on the company, but having one doesn’t hurt. Make sure your clothing has a solid colour scheme, try to avoid vibrant patterns and outlandish colours like orange or neon green. For grooming and cosmetics, deodorant is essential and if you are wearing cologne, try not to wear one with a strong scent. Trim your beard if you have one and sort out your hair, you don’t want to show up to an interview looking like you just got back from being deserted on an island.
For women, try to go for business style attire, this can be either pantsuit, a skirt suit or a chic dress. For footwear, wear shoes that look good but don’t leave you wincing with each step Again, try to avoid odd colours and patterns when choosing your attire and make sure they have been ironed. In terms of cosmetics, try to also keep makeup at a moderate amount, don’t go in all dolled up. Just like in the case of the men, use deodorant to stay fresh and dry, but avoid strong perfumes that might be overpowering. If you have long hair, tie it up in a ponytail or at least make sure it’s neat and not all over the place, if you wear a headscarf, try to pick one that looks formal.
Both need to ensure that their breath is all good, if you are a smoker, avoid smoking 30 minutes before your interview and carry some mints with you.
As said before, the type of attire you wear to interviews can really vary on the type of company, so the tips above are just what you should try to go for in general.
#3. Watch the timing
There is a saying that goes, “It is better to be an hour early, than a minute late.” Well, this is very much the case for when you go for your interview. Okay, so you don’t really have to be there an hour early, but it is better to be there at the location before your set time of interview. It is recommended that you plan your journey when heading to where your interview is taking place. You want to try your best to avoid the nasty traffic which can clog up Malaysia’s highways. So, taking into account your time of interview is important, if you could, try to go for a time that is not in peak hours, that way there won’t be too much hassle on traffic. If your place of the interview is near a public transport station, then do take note of the timings there as well.
#4. Be prepared
This may also coincide with the first point listed. Of course, preparation is important, you would really need to have nerves of steel and amazing improvisation skills if you were to go into an interview without preparation.
First thing you should consider is the typical job interview questions employers would ask and then practice your answers. Strong answers are those that are specific but to the point, they must draw on evidence which can highlight your skills and back up your resume. Your answers should also emphasize the skills that employer the employer sees as important and relevant to the position you are applying for.
But remember, even the most well-prepared response will fall into trouble if it does not answer the exact question you are being asked. Even if forming solid responses to questions is essential, it is just as essential to listen carefully during your interview in order to ensure your responses give the interviewer the information they are looking for.
Also, have a list of your own questions to ask the employer ready. In almost every interview, you’ll be asked if you have any questions for the interviewer. It is important to have at least one or two questions prepared in order to demonstrate your interest in the organization. Otherwise, you might come across as uninterested, which is a major turnoff for hiring managers.
#5. Staying calm.
There are many factors in an interview which can contribute to you losing your flow. There is the nerve-wracking period of waiting before an interview, there is the fact that the interview your going for is very important in your career life. Some people may also suffer from anxiety, which will make it difficult for them when they go for interviews.
So during the job interview, what you can do is try to relax and stay as calm as possible. I know that sounds easier said than done for some people, so here are just some important things to note.
Remember that your body language says as much about you like the answers you give to the questions given. With adequate preparation, you will be able to display confidence.
As you answer questions, maintain eye contact with the interviewer. But don’t get lost in their eyes, so be sure to pay attention as well, to the questions so that you don’t forget them and listen to the entire question before you answer, so you know exactly what the interviewer is asking. Avoid cutting off the interviewer at all costs, that is a big no-no, especially when he or she is asking questions. If you need to take a moment to think about your answer, then do so, don’t immediately respond to a question that needs some time to think about, otherwise, the first few words that will come of your answer would just be a bunch of “umm” or “uhs”.
Try to avoid negative thoughts during the interview, this can add on to the stress of being in the interview. Countering these thoughts to ensure that they are put down is one way to do it. You can select a variety of breathing exercises to help you cope before the interview, always strive for success.
#6. Connect with the Interviewer
In addition to showing what you know about the company, you should also try to develop a connection with your interviewer. Try to get the interviewer’s name and use it during the job interview. If you are not good at remembering names, writing it down somewhere could help, sometimes we get so nervous that we forget their names the moment they tell us.
Ultimately, creating an understanding of each other and making a personal connection with your interviewer can up the chances of you getting hired. People tend to hire candidates they like and who seems to be a good fit for the company’s culture.
So there you have it! Hopefully, you will keep these tips in mind the next time you go for an interview. It is important to note, however, that one must not let one failed interview determine who they are, the important thing s is that we must keep trying and keep on improving ourselves.
Written by Ammar Danish