Workshop: How can we prepare ourselves for a job interview?


One of the biggest challenges we face when starting our professional careers is performing well in job interviews and demonstrating that we are capable of handling the responsibilities of the position, regardless of whether we have prior experience in it. 

Many of us have experienced a sense of anxiety or nervousness when attending a job interview that will play a significant role in determining our future employment. 

In an effort to address the common challenge of preparing for job interviews, an Inkua's Human Resources team, conformed by Stefan√≠a Ca√Īete and Laura G√≥mez Lisardia, conducted a workshop. During it, they provided tools and tips for overcoming the challenges of job interviews. This article will summarize some of the key points discussed during the workshop.

What do I need to know about job interviews?

Understanding the methods of interviews can help us anticipate and prepare for what we may encounter during an interview. This is why it is useful to familiarize ourselves with the different types of interviews that are commonly used in companies and the types of questions that may be asked. By knowing what to expect, we can feel more confident and better able to present ourselves in a positive way.

Types of interviews

In general, interviews are conducted individually, with only the candidate and the interviewer present. However, organizations may choose to conduct group interviews, in which multiple candidates are interviewed simultaneously, due to practical considerations. It is important to be prepared for both individual and group interviews, as the format can affect the way the interview is conducted and the types of questions that may be asked.

There are several types of individual interviews that you may encounter during the job search process:

  • Structured: This is a type of interview in which in order to know the applicant‚Äôs profile, a set of specific questions are asked. These questions are supposed to be replied to in a concise and clear manner. For instance: Did you know this company?
  • Nonstructured: This type includes some nonspecific¬†questions, which seek broader and more developed answers. This interaction is developed in order to try to get a relaxed and pleasant talk. For instance: instead of asking: ‚ÄúWhat did you study?‚ÄĚ They may ask you to tell them more¬†about yourself.¬†
  • Mixed: These interviews combine elements of both structured and unstructured interviews. It means: after a structured question, more information can be requested to allow you to expand on the answer.
  • Troubleshooting: also known as behavioral or competency-based interviews, are designed to assess the candidate's ability to handle specific situations or challenges that may arise on the job.
  • In order to cause you tension:¬†Some interviews may include questions that are designed to cause tension or discomfort in order to evaluate the candidate's ability to handle difficult or conflicting situations. These types of questions may be used to assess the candidate's interpersonal skills, resilience, and ability to think on their feet.

Types of questions

There are certain types of questions that are commonly asked in job interviews, and it is a good idea to be prepared to answer them. 

Some of those are:

  • Personal: These are questions aimed at getting to know us¬†better. It is also important to keep in mind that they can‚Äôt ask¬†intimate questions about¬†political ideology, sexual orientation, or if we want or not to have children,¬†etc. It is also not appropriate for them to ask¬†for social networks (except LinkedIn).
  • Experience: The aim of these questions is to know about our previous work experience, our achievements, etc.¬†
  • Verification: These questions are made in order to confirm the information that we have written in our resumes.¬†
  • Hypothetical: The interviewer may present a hypothetical problem or scenario in order to evaluate the candidate's problem-solving skills and their ability to respond.¬†
  • Definition: The purpose of these questions is to know about our opinion of certain topics related to the job we want.
  • Pressure: There are questions focused on evaluating our reaction in situations of pressure and stress.¬†
  • Leading: The aim of these questions is to evaluate the way we reply to some matters that may make us feel uncomfortable giving¬†an opinion. For example:¬†‚ÄúWhat do you believe about this job compared to other positions you applied for?‚ÄĚ,¬†‚ÄúHow long do you consider working with us?‚ÄĚ,¬†‚ÄúHow much money do you expect to earn ?‚ÄĚ,‚ÄúHow do you think a boss should be?‚ÄĚ or‚ÄúWhy do you want to work with us?‚ÄĚ

What is evaluated in a job interview?

During a job interview, both verbal and nonverbal communication are taken into account when evaluating a candidate's performance. It is important to prepare yourself to give clear and concise answers, and to take a few seconds to think before responding to each question. 

Being coherent in your responses and managing your tone of voice (speaking slowly and calmly) can also help you come across as confident and professional. Paying attention to your body language and avoiding nervous gestures or movements can also be important.

It is also important to be aware of common mistakes that candidates may make due to nerves or lack of preparation, such as:

  • Trying to avoid our interest in the position, or believing that it is better to show indifference.¬†
  • Over talking about irrelevant topics.
  • Boasting our past achievements.¬†
  • Not listening and not paying attention to the question that the person who is interviewing is asking us.¬†
  • Not being properly prepared for the occasion.

How to prepare for a job interview?

It is important to prepare thoroughly for a job interview in order to increase your chances of success. This includes familiarizing yourself with the different types of interviews and common questions that you may encounter, as well as considering the various aspects that the interviewer will be evaluating. By taking the time to prepare and thinking through your responses in advance, you can feel more confident and relaxed during the interview.

Here are some tips that may help you reduce stress and feel more confident during a job interview:

  • Imagining that interviews are nothing more than a simple meeting.¬†
  • Practicing the speech in front of the mirror, we can even record ourselves in a video.¬†
  • Searching for information about the organization that is going to interview us, what it does, its objectives, how they define its mission and vision, etc.¬†
  • Knowing our resume perfectly.¬†
  • Reflecting on our strengths as professionals.¬†
  • Positively reinforcing our weak points.

On the other hand, beyond having sent all our information by e-mail or digital form. It is always good to have our necessary documentation during the interview, in order to be able to leave it with the company in case it is requested:

  • Resume¬†
  • Cover letter.
  • Recommendation letter (if you have one)
  • Copies of diplomas and training.¬†
  • Portfolio in paper or digital format.

Besides practicing our responses and preparing the necessary documentation. It is convenient to keep in mind other aspects before going to the interview:

  • Clothing:¬†While it may not be necessary to wear formal business attire such as a suit or blazer to every job interview, it is important to present yourself in a neat and polished manner.
  • Appearance: Apart from the clothing, it is good to groom and present ourselves properly.
  • Punctuality: It is important to be at the place about fifteen minutes before the appointment.

During the interview and considering all we have mentioned, it would be a key:

  • Pay attention to verbal and non-verbal communication.¬†
  • Relax and respond slowly and clearly.

After the interview, it is important to check your phone and email regularly for communication from the employer. Respond promptly if you are contacted. If you do not hear back within the timeframe stated during the interview, consider reaching out to the employer to inquire about the status of your application.

We hope that the information provided by Stefan√≠a Ca√Īete and Laura G√≥mez Lisardia will be helpful in preparing you for your job interviews and that it will increase your chances of success.

If you are interested in joining InkuA and participating in internal workshops or developing a workshop of your own interest, you can apply to the organization.

Project¬†members:¬†Stefania Ca√Īete,¬†Laura G√≥mez Lisardia.

Copywriter (ES): Nicolas D√°rchez

Translation to English: Briana Herrera

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