Apex Blog

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The amount of people changing jobs mid career is among the highest it's been since the global financial crisis in 2008. Because of this, there is a lot of competition for the available jobs in Japan, meaning it is more important than ever to succeed in your interviews. Thankfully, here are some tips to help you find success in your upcoming interviews.

 

Before the interview

 Research, Research, Research!

There is nothing worse than coming to an interview unprepared, and this doesn’t just mean knowing your resume inside and out. Knowing the company’s values, culture, and products can also help you have a successful interview. A good place to start is the company website, but knowing any recent news for the company can also help during the interview. Nothing shows that you are genuinely interested in the position more than asking thoughtful questions about both the organization and what they do.

It is also recommended to look into the interviewer’s background before the interview. If you do this extra research prior to the interview you will have a better idea of what kind of questions they will ask you during the actual interview, and at the end you can ask them insightful questions about their background with the company.

Tip: If you’re working with a recruiter, they will help you with the interview preparation and can usually provide insights on the interview style of the particular company you are applying for.

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Review

Even though it is your own resume that you wrote, make sure to do a final review before your interview. Ensure that you know the top selling points on your CV so you don’t forget to mention them during the interview. This is especially true if you know that you are particularly modest during interviews and might forget to mention an important qualification you might have.

Also, make sure to go through the job description carefully so you can think of how your own experience matches up with what they are looking for. This way you can carefully weave your own experience to perfectly match what they are looking for and to show them that you are the best person for the job.


During the interview


Nonverbal Communication

Have you ever heard that communication is 93% non verbal and 7% verbal? Since non verbal communication has a big impact on how you are perceived, keep in mind how you are presenting yourself. Remind yourself to sit up straight, have a pleasant smile and maintain eye contact throughout your interview. Be aware of slouching, overly expressive facial expressions, and too many hand gestures. Not only can these distract from what you are saying, but it can also make it appear that you are not actually interested in the position.


Be Specific

When talking about your experience and resume, remember to be specific. Don’t be vague, talk about what you did and what steps helped you achieve it. This is where your prior preparation will pay off! Weave what you know about the position, the company and your prior work history into a carefully crafted story that will help successfully sell yourself to the interviewer.

A great technique for answering interview questions in a clear and compelling manner is the STAR method

S – Situation, tell them about the situation and set the scene
T – Task, discuss the specifics of what the task was; when, where, who
A – Action, explain what you did, what skills you used, behaviours, characteristics
R – Result , what was the outcome?

Using this technique will allow you to answer tough interview questions in a way that sells your experience and will set you apart from other candidates.


Be Positive

Showing enthusiasm for the position is crucial. Showing interest will tell the interviewer that you are excited for the opportunity to work for them and that you aren’t just applying for a temporary job, but want to work for them for the long term.


Ask Questions

As mentioned previously, asking intelligent questions is imperative to succeeding in your job interview. Have a list of prepared questions to ask at the end of the interview from topics ranging from their corporate culture, products, people and the position itself. This will again show that you are interested in the position and that you are already spending time investing in the company.


Avoid being negative

Do not say anything negative about your old/current company, no matter what circumstances you are leaving in. Explain your departure in a positive light. A simple example would be to say something along the lines of: “Unfortunately, I couldn’t see a positive career development path with my current company and (company you are applying for) offers the opportunity to grow both professionally and personally.”


Takeaways

  • Make sure to fully research the company you are interviewing for so you can be fully prepared for their questions.
  • Pay attention to your nonverbal communication during the interview.
  • Try the STAR method during your next interview to help you stand out from other candidates.
  • Stay positive! Show enthusiasm for the role and don’t say anything negative about your old company.

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