There are different ways you can prepare yourself for an interview: content, knowledge, logistics.
Most initial interviews are interested in understanding your experience and situations you have gone through in the past. So, before the interview, take some time to remember some remarkable work contexts and situations, good and bad moments, easy and difficult scenarios and, most importantly, what you did in these situations.
Also, it is very interesting to research a little bit about the company before entering the interview so that you can evaluate if you are aligned to the company purpose and the offered position, think about your strengths considering what the company values, skills you have that match the vacancy requirements, and personally ask your questions about the job and company during the interview, showing preparation and interest.
Make sure your equipment is working, test your mic and your camera, and assure that you are in a calm/private space.
The interview should only tackle what will really impact on your ability to execute your job well. Random personality traits, personal information or personal situations should not be taken as more important than your previous professional experiences, your skills and your behavioral profile, that should be a fit with what the company needs.
The initial interview exists for the company to get to know you better, understand if your experiences match the requirements of the vacancy, understand how you deal with certain types of situations that may be present on the day by day of the company, etc.
If you get nervous and totally blank during the interview, don’t panic! Not everything is lost. Take a deep breath, politely inform the evaluator you don’t have the answer on the spot and ask if you can skip the question and return to it later so that you have a little more time to think. This might be better than just stalling or answering the first thing that comes to mind, even if it’s random, just to answer something.
The purpose of initial interviews is to get to know you better, understand your professional experience and how you usually work, and recruiters have a script thought-out to enable this. So, if the evaluator can’t have access to the needed information through your answers, the interview doesn’t meet its goal. It is very common for people not to move along on the recruitment process by not answering what the recruiter asked. If you are not sure if what you are saying answers the evaluator’s question, you can always ask the recruiter if you are responding to what is being asked, or if they would like to hear more details or any different point of your experience. This will help you understand what they want to know, and also can come off as a good communication asset during the interview.
It doesn’t matter if you are shy, if you can communicate well and get your message across, it won’t get in your way! Also, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable, it’s ok to tell stories that didn’t get a successful outcome. For us it matters more what you did and how you did it than the end result. The worst scenario is to provide the recruiter with confusing or unassertive answers and not get to the main point of the question, because it impossibilities the recruiter to evaluate certain criteria and prejudice your overall performance.
There is also the possibility of not being approved due to the way you usually deal with day-to-day situations or due to the experience (or lack of experience) you have with a certain vacancy requirement. At this point, other candidates might be more aligned to the vacancy and will move forward in the selection process. This does not mean that you are completely not aligned, and the majority of companies are willing to keep people in their database for future opportunities they would fit better. Even if you see vacancies that you don't fit 100% into, if you're willing, don't stop applying because it could work out for this or a future opportunity.
For your interview, you need to find a balance between going too slow or too fast with what you are saying. You don’t need to share too much detail or rush through your answers but focus on what is essential for the interviewer to understand the context and the main information. If you are not sure how much detail you should share in a question, ask the recruiter how much time you have to complete this part of the interview.
Most companies use the behavioral methodology to elaborate the interviews (which is the same we use here at KIS Solutions). So, to improve your chances of having a good performance on this kind of interview, we suggest the Storytelling technique, to help you tell your experiences valuing everything you’ve done so far. Here are a few tips based on this technique:
Most of all, be responsive and be present. We are very interested in what you have to tell us.