An interview is a great opportunity for a job seeker and an employer to meet and to communicate with each other. Preparing for an interview is one of the main steps to obtaining a successful career, so it’s important to be prepared for any questions and situations that could come up during an interview.
Let's analyze the most common and frequently asked question from a recruiter –
“Tell us about yourself”
Many job seekers fail on this question, although they don’t know about it until the moment they are rejected for a job. Why does this happen?
Often an applicant prepares for an interview in the following way – they look for information about the company, they study up about the position they’re going for, they think through the answers to professional questions, and they completely forget to think about what they’ll tell the recruiter about themselves.
Generally, while the job seeker discusses their life, likes, and dislikes, the interviewer is analyzing everything that is being said very carefully. The interviewer is assessing the job seekers’ competencies, examining how thoughts are expressed by the individual, studying how the candidate speaks, is considering how the job seeker feels about life and their career, is examining how confident the candidate is, and, finally, the interviewer looks at how motivated the individual is.
There are many methods that you can use to prepare yourself for an interview, and most of these can be found on the internet. We will now tell you about one of the most popular and versatile methods: The AST method.
‘AST’ stands for Analysis, Strategy, Tactics – so this method can be divided into three blocks.
The first block. It is vital for you, the job seeker, to understand what the employer needs (what qualities, knowledge, experience are required for the role). Therefore, it is necessary to talk about yourself in the context of the job vacancy for which you are applying. For example, if you're going for a creative position, then it would be good to talk about yourself in a way that puts your creativity and artistry first. On the other hand, if you were going for an interview for the position of a QA engineer, you would need to build a story with an emphasis on your responsibilities and performance in life.
The second block. This is when you, the job seeker, think over your story. Your story should be concise, structured, and to the point. It’s very unlikely that an employer is interested in a 30-minute in-depth story about how you studied at school, what you were interested in at university, and what clubs you participated in from preschool to uni. It’s therefore much more important to attract the attention of your interviewer with a short but succinct description of your strengths. To do this, you can use two strategies that have proven to be effective.
a) 60 seconds
One of them is the “60 seconds” strategy or ‘elevator pitch’. Simply put, your presentation about yourself should be designed in such a way that you would be able to present the story in the time it would take you, to take an elevator from the first floor, to the tenth floor of a building. You should assume that the interviewer will lose his or her attention by the eleventh floor. Thus, you need to think carefully about your story and what exactly you want to say. You can even write your story on a piece of paper to help you remember your story better.
b) 5 points
The second is the “5 points” strategy. In this case you need to compose a story about yourself using five points. The first block, where you analyzed the vacancy will help you to select 5 important points. You will need to identify the qualities that are most suitable for the potential employee, and build on them in your story.
The third block. You, as the job seeker, must think through the structure of your story. No matter how trite it may sound, every story should have a beginning, a middle, and an end. Your story can start by introducing yourself and your strengths that are necessary for the job. In the middle, you can talk about your professional qualities and experience. And finally, you can summarize why the employer should accept you, and what value you can bring to the organization.
We hope that we have helped you to think about yourself in preparation for an interview. The main things to remember are, you must plan ahead, be confident, and be calm and positive when being interviewed.
Success comes to those who deserve it, and you certainly do!