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Five Last-Minute Interview Tips

So you have a job interview coming up. Congratulations! You’re well on your way to snag that job because the employer thinks he needs to see you. Here are some important things you should do beforehand.


1. Company Research

Make sure you do this because this sends a powerful signal to the employer that you:

  1. 1. Took the initiative to find out about them. Shows your keen interest.
  1. 2. Are serious about joining them as opposed to some candidates who are just looking for a job.
  1. 3.  Will be able to answer questions like “Why do you want to work for us” more intelligently and effectively because now, you have something to talk about.

Remember, although you are there for yourself, but in actual fact, you are there for the company. You are there to talk about the company and how you, as a “consultant can do your part” to overcome some challenges. These challenges are detailed in your job description.

2. The Job Description

The job description is the list of “Pain Points” and “Challenges” that you need to be well versed in. 

Align yourself to the requirements in that list. Do homework style notes with pen and paper and craft out your responses accordingly. Look for what they are most focused on by scanning for repeating language because that will signal to you what they really want. Prove your worth.

Prepare actual stories from your previous jobs where you were able to perform the same. Anyone can say they can do this and that, but employers want actual events that prove you are the right person for the job.

3. Research Interview Questions

You can do research online about interview questions that are being asked currently regarding the position you’re applying for. A good place to do this type of research is to refer to our previous articles Common Interview Questions Part 1, 2 & 3.

4. Here are some more dimensions to the same kind of questions.;

a. Tell us about yourself.

b. What can you do for us in this role?

c. Tell us briefly about your resume.

a. Tell me about yourself.

This is your introduction. You can ace this very well if you prepare as well as show sincerity in your answers.

Don’t give them answers like this one:

“My name is Kamal and I’m from Johor. I’m 32 years old and I’m seeking this administration position in your esteemed organisation. I’m a fast learner and I believe in teamwork to get the job done.”

The above is a cliche answer and not unique nor powerful.

Give them a more detailed and solid answer like this.

“Thank you for considering me for this position. I’ve read the job description and I do meet these criteria. I would describe myself as a reliable person who loves problem-solving and working together as well as being a strong arm in times of crisis. As an example, in my previous job, I consistently came up with solutions in the job process to save time and cost while at the same time providing good service to our customers. This also means that I can quickly adapt to your operations as the fundamental similarities are there”.

So how does that sound?

b. What can you do for us in this role?

This is the magic question to sell yourself. Come up with a few points and elaborate them, such as these basic examples:

  • I can work independently as I already have training in this area.

Much of my past work experiences have put me in situations where I could make decisions, plan and even delegate work. For example, I could decide which vendor we were going to hire based on the Benefits & Concerns report, which we presented to the management in regards to a POSM service.

  • I’m a self-starter as I do not need to be told what to do, and I follow through with the jobs till they are done.

Keeping track of multiple jobs at the same time, following up and completing them is part and parcel of any operational or management position. I’m able to function autonomously and be on top of things.

  • I’m a problem solver, and I know what actions to take to do so.

Again, problem-solving and seeing things through are part and parcel of this position especially. So, no complaints here as this is what I do.

  • I like and relish extra responsibility and accountability.

I like to help the organisation expand and function well. My philosophy is that if the company performs well, that’s good for me because I now have a place to call my own. Any new thing that I can learn and do is to my advantage.

Take note of these short elaborations and come up with your own. These are to qualify you beyond your qualifications because people want to see what you’re like, how you talk and how you present yourself. This is where they listen and you sell yourself. Don’t miss this one out.

c. Tell us briefly about your resume.

It would be good if you can briefly list some points and commit them to memory about your resume as the interviewer may want to either test you or did not have the time to remember it himself. You should also be well versed in the content and flow of your resume.

4. Show them you understand their challenges by asking specifics.

You can do this easily by doing the company research and some market research as well. Then you’ll be able to ask some specific questions like, “What are you currently doing to distribute the weekly promotional newsletter?” or “How would you like to automate the price POSM process as I notice you are currently doing it manually? You might notice that they’ll open their eyes at this point as you seem to understand an obvious problem and are offering a solution. They will remember you for that.

5. You can wear different hats.

Remember your appointment letters? It usually has a final point in the job description that sounds like this,

“Any other duties deemed suitable by the immediate manager”. Has this statement ever put you off in the past? After all, other jobs are not your job, so you say, “That’s not my job”.

Here is why that statement exists in your appointment letter. It’s to tell you that they are open for you to take other responsibilities and grow with the company if you are open as well. You can let them know you’re open to do other things and don’t need to be stuck in your cubicle doing just your tasks. You can do many different jobs that make you that much more valuable.

Being a helper to your colleagues is another major selling point. Your tech expertise which many may find daunting and hard to learn comes easy for you instead. If you can move with respect and courtesy, helping your colleagues as well as being a teacher or mentor to others, they will love you for that.

Now then, head on to these links and download some of these insightful forms to help you get on the right starting point!