“What can I do to pass a job interview?” This is the question I am often asked when I have a chit-chat with fresh graduates. Looking at their face, I can see that is the challenge they need to face sooner or later because In Cambodia getting employed is not a piece of cake if you don’t have working experience.
I told them that to pass a job interview they need a skill. That is the art of selling yourself to interviewers because good academic performance and having a good resume and a cover letter is not enough to get employed. Within challenging job market, they must stand out among other candidates.
On the web, I found a lot of articles giving advice to job seekers regarding how to get ready for job interview. Personally, I find them broad and some are not applicable to Cambodian labor market, so that might be the reason you should read this article.
If you are seeking a job in Cambodia and you are new to job interview, here are some interview tips which are more practical in Khmer culture.
Before the interview
- Know yourself:getting to know your talents, strength, and weakness gives you a lot of advantages for job interview. You know how to show up and present your matching potentiality with the job effectively. Knowing yourself helps you avoid revealing much of your weak points.
- Research Industry:the next thing is to explore kinds of company that you wish to work for. Learning products and services of the company makes you have things in mind to present what they the business sells during the interview. Knowing nothing about what the company sells in the market upsets the employers badly.
- Research employer:Use your network to learn specifically about the employer’s expectation for successful candidate of the position you are scheduled to get interviewed. Different employers expect differently from candidates to work with them in term of knowledge, skills, languages, ect.
- Read job announcement again:Sometimes you may have applied more than two positions at the same time, which makes you confused. Thus, it is highly recommended you re-read responsibilities, duties, and requirement in the job advertisement carefully until you understand and familiar with what the position is about.
- Practise with a friend:Learn to predict interview questions and ask experienced network about frequently asked questions for the position. Next find a trustworthy friend and have them as your interviewer. After the rehearsal, ask him or her to give constructive feedback about your interview performance. And practise it again.
During the interview
- Dress professionally:The way you dress tells employers who you are when they have a look at you, so wear smart dress. The best choice of clothes for both male and female candidates are those that worn by office staff. It is Ok for you to wear school uniform if you are still a student or fresh graduate, but make sure your clothes are clean and tidy.
- Arrive early:It is recommended that you need to arrive at the interview at least fifteen minutes before it starts. If you arrive earlier than that, it is even great because you have some more time to walk around the company, and get to know their staff if you are good at communication. Coming late for job interview is an unacceptable behavior, so if anything urgent that makes you late, do call to inform the employer to delay or rearrange the interview for you.
- Make positive impression:When you meet the interviewers, make sure that you are friendly, smiling and greeting them because how positive or negative feeling the interviewers have on you depends on this first impression. However, if you make them feel negative on you, it is hard for you recover positive interview environment.
- Use good eye contact:When you answer questions, you need to keep good eye contact. Looking at interviewers properly means that you are confident, attentive, and value them. Avoid losing eye contact too long when you are trying to think of the answers.
- Listen well:It is important that you pay hot attention to interviewers’ questions. Sometimes the interviewers may ask one question that includes two or more main points, so make sure that you understand them correctly before answering them. If you don’t understand a question, you ask them to paraphrase their questions, but not too often. Taking notes during job interview is also allowed if you feel need it.
- Use correct grammar and simple vocabulary:Mostly job interview is conducted in English language. It is important that you speak clear English. Avoid using complicated tenses or passive forms, which sounds unnatural. The common tense recommendation are present simple, past simple, and simple future tenses. Also, word choice should be simple and commonly used in everyday life.
- Feel relaxed:Don’t get nervous or too eager to answer questions. Speak naturally and try to think that it is just an employment discussion, not a serious job interview. Nervousness makes you confused and forget your preparation.
After the interview
- Write a follow-up email:After job interview, it is good idea if you write email to thank you the interviewers for spending their time meeting you. Thank you letter through email shows good communication skills, strong interest in the job, and politeness in Cambodian culture. Plus, your email makes your interviewers remember your application.
- Phone call: Alternatively, if you know someone working at the company, you can give him or her a call to see if he/she has known the progress of your application. If you don’t have a friend there, you can call to the interviewers using their name card given at the end of your interview. But make sure you call them at the right time; otherwise, calling becomes annoying busy business people.
- Always keep your phone on:Charge full battery and keep your phone on! Most of companies give positive feedback on job interview to applicants by their phone number. Usually, it takes one week to get back to applicants with positive interview result. Or you are invited to join the second round interview, so keep searching if you feel positive about your first round interview.
So far so good reading these tips, right?
Job interview is just like a normal conversation to discuss your potentiality, talent, and what can be offered to you. Feel relaxed and go for your dream job. Good luck for your interview!