In this series, manpower correspondent Calvin Yang offers practical answers to candid questions on navigating workplace challenges and getting ahead in your career.
Q: What should I prepare ahead of a job interview, whether remote or in-person?
A: Interviews can vary for different companies and job roles.
First, candidates should read up on the job requirements and company culture. If possible, do a quick search of the hiring manager or recruiter so you know who exactly you are meeting.
The next thing to do is to figure out how to tell your story.
To do so, rehearse potential questions. These may be hypothetical based on candidates’ research of the company, or even reaching out to peers who are already familiar with the company or the role, says JobStreet Singapore managing director Chew Siew Mee, adding: “Preparing simple guiding points to these questions will ensure that candidates are equipped with the responses to ace their interview.”
There are online resources that job seekers can use to polish their interview skills. On JobStreet’s career advice page, for instance, candidates can get tips and tricks on doing well at interviews, things to take note of and how they should present themselves as a confident candidate for the role.
Whether it is a remote or in-person interview, be cautious that your answers don’t seem rehearsed when you’re speaking with the hiring manager, says Ms Florence Yip, senior manager of talent acquisition at Indeed.
“Although you may feel nervous during an interview, try to showcase your personality so the employer can learn more about you and can visualise you in the role alongside the current employees.
“Make sure to smile, engage with the interviewer and, if you feel it’s appropriate, share personal information like about your family or hobbies.”
Try to answer the questions you are given with examples.
“Even with yes or no questions, you can still provide an employer with specific situations you were in before that showcase your skills and experience,” adds Ms Yip.
“Let the hiring manager know how your skills or decisions in that situation helped your previous employer.”
It is also probably a good idea to prepare some questions to ask the interviewer, including clarifying certain expectations and finding out what the work culture is like. The trick here is to make the interview seem like a two-way conversation.
Remember to dress the part on the day – and this applies to virtual interviews too. Some firms have more formal dress codes, while others, like start-ups, prefer more casual outfits.