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Job Interview Guide for Freshers

Updated on Dec 05, 2019 281461 views
Job Interview Guide for Freshers

This post is for freshers.

We all need information on how to successfully pass job interviews, we all crave inspiration, tips and well and we're  short on time.

Well, we have done the hard work for you.

With this interview guide, you won't need to ever fear any job interview again.

This is because we answer the most popular questions you might have about passing a job interview and we distilled it into this ultimate guide to job interviews just for you.


Let's dive in by laying the right foundation and answering the question "what exactly is a job interview"?


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What is A Job Interview?

A job interview is a described as a formal discussion between at least two people with an objective of evaluating information. The persons involved in an interview are the candidate seeking a job position and one or more delegates from the company that is offering an employment opportunity.During this interview, the candidate is asked some questions to assert his/her abilities, skills and qualifications to fit into the required position.

The candidate's ability and or inability to perform satisfactorily determines the employer's decision whether or not to hire the applicant's services.

Take this as a clue, but it is highly necessary for every candidate seeking employment to have it at the back of his/her mind that gaining successful employment in the lucrative world comes in three phases.

 The first is the screening stage where a large number of Curriculum Vitae (CV) or resumes submitted by all the interested candidates are evaluated and a small number is chosen to go through the next phase of employment.

This selection brings us to the next stage which is the interview proper where the job-seeker converses and answers some questions.

The capability of the applicant to perform efficiently then determines the hiring decision of the company and this becomes the last stage of the recruitment exercise.

Whether or not this practice is seen as rigorous or archaic, it is the only medium through which companies pick out their employees and so it continues that way.

It is through this procedure that a good working connection is created between staff and employers. Interviews help the applicants to unleash their prowess and demonstrate their ability to fit into a working position.

As a matter of fact, interviews are very essential as they help both employers and employees to start and foster not just a positive working relationship but also, a conducive working environment that benefits everyone in the organization

Interviews are very important, so also is making a good first impression. It requires a lot of energy from candidates so it is not new that most people fail at it.

Yes, people fail! This kind of failure is sometimes birthed when candidates lose their composure and confidence.

And it can only be caused when the applicant ignores some common but prior obligations that can grant him the company's favorable consideration. Thus, maintaining confidence becomes an art that can be mastered when the following are avoided:

  • Lack of Preparation:

Ever heard of the five Ps (Proper preparation prevents poor performance)? This is where it comes to play. You need to heed this principle if you want to do well in your interview. It is quite true that life would be monotonous if everyone lead their lives with checks and routines but on the contrary, without prior planning to prepare a candidate of what he is likely to come across during an interview, his chances of nailing the interview becomes at stake right from the beginning and that's not a good sign. To avoid this, the candidate does not only need to plan but also, to practice what information they have garnered about the company on their own or probably in front of a mock audience.

  • Being Pessimistic:

This is an indirect way of telling your interviewers you're not interested in their offer because you think you're too "perfect" to fit into the vacant position. Showing negativity can be in the form of talking your former employers down with the motif of buying favour in the sight of your interviewers or it can be finding fault with everything and being evasive. You want to give your interviewers a nice first impression and that can only be done when you convince them you're a worthy candidate by not getting vexed or taking things to heart.

  • Lack of Clarity:

As much as you can as an interviewee, try to avoid being vague with your answers. Employers notice and can tell when a candidate is trying to play a fast one on them. You don't want to send dishonesty as a bad signal even before you get the job you're seeking. Stay true to yourself and it will reflect in your answers and action.

  • Being Rude:

Stay polite to everyone you come across once you step feet into the premises of the company you're doing a job hunting on. You may be in luck that the elderly man you greeted with a smile is the CEO of the company and whether or not you're qualified, you don't go home without being employed.

  • Arriving on Time:

This should be on the top of the list after preparation. You don't want to arrive at the interview venue too late or too early. Arriving five minutes early is okay as it will help you catch your breath and relax your nerves for what's ahead. If you're not sure about the location, have someone guide you or better still, try to locate the place sometime before the fixed date for the interview. That way, you leave no chances of being sorry that you arrived at the venue late and missed your interview.

Are you still confused about how to go about doing well in your interview? No worries. Below are some tips that will help you nail it and bring the bag home.


7 Things You Need to Know About Passing A Job Interivew

  • Do your Homework:

Homework here means carrying out research. Find out all you need to know about your employer. It's quite easy these days to know what companies are up to as these details are constantly uploaded online for any interested person to peruse. You don't want to face your interviewers with a shallow knowledge about the company and what services they sell because that in itself will pass you off as not being serious. Always have it at the back of your mind that before you were invited for an interview, the company must have done its homework in trying to know the details about you and on your own part, you don't need to do less.

  • Plan Ahead:

Just as you'd plan ahead for an exam, make sure to leave no loophole with a job interview. You can, for instance, see the interview as a battleground where if you don't fire a shot at your opponent, you get defeated. Plan with what details you've gathered from your research and practice how to answer some easy questions you think they may ask you. That way, you are not totally caught off guard during the interview.

  • Dress Appropriately:

A job interview is a formal discussion on a formal ground so you don't appear before your employers with a shabby look. That's a turn-off! Wear a neatly ironed dress that befits the setting and make sure to smell nice – not too much, of course.

  • Appear Ready:

Leave no stone unturned. Go with extra copies of your CV neatly arranged in an office folder, a pen and book to jot down notes. Try writing in shorthand to meet up the pace of your interviewers and ask sensible questions after the interview.

  • Pay Attention:

Fix your mind at the moment and avoid paying heed to side attractions. It is normal to want to turn around when you hear the sound of footsteps or a door creaking behind you but pay no attention as these would make you lose track of what's going on before you. Listen attentively to whatever is being said by your interviewer and fix your mind on how to answer the questions you're asked.

  • Stay Lively:

While it's good to have an open-mindedness to situations around, it is also good to not bottle it up inside of you. Stay positive and true in not sending a bad vibe across. Show interest all through the conversation. This will pass you off as an enthusiastic person that does not mind learning something new.

  • Ask Questions:

If you've sat on the hot seat from the beginning to the end of an interview session, then it is apparent that you have listened to everything your interviewer has said and clearly, you may not understand up to a 100% of all you've heard. It's okay to ask questions for clarity. That way, it shows you're really interested in the job position. What is not okay is asking irrelevant questions on subjects that do not pertain to the matter at hand. Don't stake it as it will send a bad signal to your employers.


How to Answer Job Interview Questions for Freshers

Job interview questions come in different formats and answering them should not be treated any differently. For instance, there are popular common or easy interview questions and tough or difficult interview questions. Being asked any of this kind of questions depends on what prearrangement your employers had to find employees but whatever you are faced with, it is expedient that you treat and answer these questions with stellar and confidence (as far as you're being honest).

You may be asked such common questions like:

  • What can you tell me about yourself?

This is a very tricky question that most candidates often find themselves stuttering in response to. Off course you'd have so much to say about yourself - ranging from your childhood innocence to your adulthood cognisance but don't you think that would rather be too boring? Remember, you are there to impress and not depress your employers. Provide a concise, yet apt detail about your experiences and how these experiences will profit the organisation you want to work for.  Check out this guide on how to answer the interview question "tell me about yourself".

  • What do you know about the organisation?

This should be easy, provided you did your homework in learning all that the organisation stands for and or against. Employers want to know if you understand what you read about the company's mission and if you're interested in their goals. You can try to personalise what information you have learned of the company and not give it back word for word.

  • How did you learn that the company is hiring?

In a few words, explain how you got the information that the company is recruiting. Whether you learnt about the offer from a friend, a magazine, a radio/television advert, state it. If you learnt about the position from a friend, mention the person's name and how excited you felt and still feel about the offer.

There are other common questions the interviewers may throw at you, so you have to concentrate at the moment and do a quick brainstorming to provide suitable answers that'll convince your employer that you are a worthy candidate for the job offer.

Similarly, there are some other tough questions that require you to provide answers on your feet. These can be;

  • Why do you want to leave your current job?

This is a tough question but try to leave it simple. You can explain that you are highly interested in the present offer and believe that your passion for the job position is a good drive to explore new grounds than your current or past job position (that is if you were fired).

  • Why were you sacked from your previous job?

This question is always a follow-up to the previous question. There's no need getting emotional when this question pops up. Try to avoid badmouthing your last employer, it is never attractive, it is counterproductive because it gives the interviewer the impression that you might do the same to them when you have to leave their employ someday. Instead, focus less on why you left and more on how excited you are about the future. Don’t make the mistake of lying about why you left, interviewers do their findings too and might find out the truth. If the reason was negative, don’t fall into the temptation of going into details. For instance, “unfortunately, I was laid off” will suffice while explaining that you consider it a disguised blessing since it has landed you to being interviewed for your next challenge.

  • Why do you think you'll fit into this position after taking too much time off work?

As difficult and brain racking as this may sound, it is quite easy to proffer an answer to it. It may be that you took time off work because you wanted to learn a skill or you had to take care of a loved one that was hospitalised. Whatever the situation, state that you've learnt a lot during your time away and see the current position as an opportunity to put the knowledge you've earned to practice.


How to Nail Job Interviews Correctly

Do you want to perform excellently at your interview? Then, you need to pay attention to the following tips on how to nail your job interview.

  • Body Language:

Your body language is an important factor you need to watch during an interview. If from all indications, you are answering questions correctly, displaying a lack of enthusiasm may spoil everything for you. Try to keep eye contact (not too much of it) and smile when necessary. Maintain a steady pitch of voice and keep yourself composed from beginning to the end of the exercise.

  • Expression:

Keep a good countenance and be fluent in your articulation as this plays a vital role in your interview ratings and judgment. If you're not clear or don't know the answers to some technical questions, state it with a smile. Even your interviewers are humans who are not perfect so why should you be?

  • Dressing:

It is an official meeting and not a Halloween party. So it is important to put your costumes away and dress in simple and professional attire. If you're a lady, try not to wear heavy make-ups and avoid hairstyles that cover most part of your face. Also, avoid wearing a short and skimpy dress that may be too revealing. For the men, avoid wearing dirty underwear that pops up to your neck each time you bend and don't arrive at the venue wearing smelly shoes. This may bring your interview to an end even before it starts as no sane human would want to be in a room where the air is contaminated.

  • Handshake:

This is likely to be done before an interviewee sits down to face the panel of interviewers and such pleasantries are never left out. Unless your interviewer stretches his/her hand forth for a handshake, don't be too hasty as to want to extend your hand first for the ordeal. You may be seen as rude if you try. Also, in carrying out this ordeal, try to keep your handshake firm. It shouldn't be too weak or too strong. That's not when to practice your strength and handshaking prowess. And don't forget to maintain eye contact while at it.


5 Common Types of Job Interview You Should Know

There are several types of job interviews but the particular type a company chooses to carry out depends on what standards the company has and maintains. Below are some types of job interview you probably should learn about so you know how to successfully tackle the chosen method.

  • The Spontaneous Job Interview:

This type of interview is one that lacks structure and there are no limits to what question an interviewer may ask. A typical example of this interview type is when an interviewer changes the pattern of his questions to fit his decision of what is best. Questions flow freely from different angles of what the interviewer deems accurate and interviewees may be taken unawares as they don't know what they should expect as questions. While this kind of interview may help the interviewer fish out a fake candidate, it is unreliable as the interviewer may not remember all the questions he had asked Mr A. Thus, this breeds a room for partiality.

  • The Systematic Job Interview:

As the name hints, this kind of interview is very well patterned to follow the standards of the organisation. Questions have already been prearranged and this structure remains the same throughout the job recruitment exercise. The questions remain the same through all the candidates. The only change is the way applicants answer these questions.

  • Head to Head Job Interview:

This category is seen as the most traditional way of conducting job interviews. Here, the applicant gets to sit alone with a representative from the area he's applying for and from his expertise and experience as the company's senior employee; he asks questions that are relevant to the field.

  • Panel Job Interview:

During this kind of interview, a job-seeker should have it fixed in his mind that he'll be sitting before some experienced members of the company staff. Delegates may be picked from the marketing, human resources, management and sometimes, even the security section. Each delegate asks questions related to his field and this is done generally to know how well a candidate can handle issues, should any spring up.

  • The Lunch Interview:

Here, the company invites you to lunch with one or two of its delegates to test and see how you fit into a position. Lunch interviews are conducted mostly as a second interview so you may as well want to give it your best, just as you did the first interview. Avoid eating in mouthfuls and keep a neat eating etiquette.


How to Prepare for a Phone or Skype Job Interview

The fact that this interview is phone based does not make it any less official. As a matter of fact, it is okay to create an ambience that looks similarly to any job office you may have carried out the ordeal. Just as you'd carry out research about the company during a one-on-one, do the same with a phone or Skype interview.

Here are some clues to help you prepare for your at-home interview:

  • Dress the Part:

Dressing corporately will help you feel you are having a face to face interview session with your employers. You may have the idea of wearing a pair of informal trousers since that part of your body won't be visible to get noticed but what if you have to stand up? Don't you think you'd be taking a great risk? Avoid being caught in the act.

B. Clean and Create a Suitable Location:

Be sure to keep the room you intend using for the interview clean. At best, the room should be one that has good network coverage so you don't get disconnected halfway through the exercise. If your house is always noisy, have everyone around know you're expecting a phone interview and wouldn't want to suffer any distraction.

  • Listen and Speak Audibly:

Don't chew your words. Try to stay fluent in your articulation and listen attentively when your employer is speaking. Paying rapt attention is a way of showing that you're not just excited but are positive about the position.

  • Smile:

This is especially important if it is a Skype interview. Look into the camera and smile at your interviewers when necessary. This shows you are confident and ready to impress your employers.

  • Don't Leave your Interviewers Hanging:

This is why you need to stay in a quiet atmosphere and not lose your concentration because you heard someone calling out to you and in trying to find out what the problem is, miss what your interviewer has said. When the session is over, be sure you're cleared about the next step and do not allow yourself to be left in the dark.


Common Job Interview Myths to Leave Behind

These are wrong beliefs that do not have any backing and as such, should be debunked. Different candidates have their distinct experiences and it shouldn't be generalized that what happened to Mr A is one and the same with the experience of every other applicant. As a job-seeker, you need to be open-minded and not put yourself in the shoes of another. You can call this experience "different strokes for different folks" and as such should not be viewed from a stereotypical end.

The following are some popular job interview myths that need to be avoided if you believe you're a person who thinks outside the box:

  • There is no need for preparing for a job interview.
  • My CV contains all my credentials and it is needless studying it over and again when everything is clearly written for my employer's perusal.
  • You'll make a good first impression because you are appropriately dressed.
  • The most qualified person gets hired.
  • There's a perfect answer for every interview question.
  • You can find out everything the company stands for during the interview.
  • Keep a serious countenance all through the interview.


How to Follow Up After A Job Interview

  • Make a note of everything you can remember about the interview so as prepare yourself just in case you get called for a second interview.
  • Send a message of gratitude. This can be handwritten or sent through a mail.
  • Wait for the interviewer to get across to you but if you don't get feedback, contact them a day or two after the time they said they'd get in touch.
  • If you're invited the second time, be sure to treat it with the same fervor with which you treated the first interview.
  • Be sure to be clear with every detail concerning your employment should you get picked for a position.


How to Negotiate Salary During A Job Interview

The following are some ways on how to negotiate what salary you'd be entitled to after offering your services to any organisation.

  • Place a value on your services.
  • Familiarize yourself on salary trends as this will help in your decision making.
  • Ask questions when you get confused.
  • Give a specific amount on how much you wish to be paid.
  • Be honest in your request.
  • Don't be selfish in your demands.
  • Don't be pushy or give threats when things don't go your way.
  • Analyze and consider what you stand to benefit.
  • Be sure not to leave without signed documentation of your contract - if it's sealed.
  • Don't be afraid to walk away if none of your demands is met.

Those are just few thing you should put in mind when negotiating your desired salary during a job interview. You can check out this comprehensive guide we put together that goes into the why, what and how to negotiate your salary.


The Right Way to Handle Job Offers

  • Express gratitude to your employers.
  • Be enthusiastic about the offer
  • Don't make assumptions when you are not clear.
  • Avoid being greedy.
  • Consider other opportunities for growth that comes as part of the job package.
  • Explain why you feel you're deserving of the demands you're making.
  • Ask for time to think and make a decision if you're skeptical.



 it is important to have it at the back of your mind that everything you're doing - from submitting your CV to being interviewed - are all part of an exercise you can't fully control.

You can control how you prepare, carry out research and show interest in a job position but try as much you can to keep up the positive air whether or not you get recruited.

Who knows if you will get a recommendation from one of your interviewers when there is a vacancy in a sister company?

Nobody! So treat everyone nicely and hope for the best – no matter what happens – and it may just be your lucky day.

Staff Writer

This article was written and edited by a staff writer.

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