How to prepare for a job interview

Tips for fresh graduates on how to prepare for an upcoming job interview.
So, you’ve completed your studies, and you’ve secured an interview. Next up, preparation! Read on to learn how you can prepare for a job interview and ensure that you’re armed with the formula for success.

The Kingdom of Saudi Arabia has been funneling increased funds into the education system for over a decade. The annual fiscal budget for higher education has not fallen below 10% since 2012 and in line with that, Saudi universities have improved in global rankings, and higher numbers of Saudi students are enrolling in Saudi universities, according to University World News.

More than 96,000 Saudi graduates entered the job market in 2020, according to data from the Social Insurance Organization and the Ministry of Human Resources. It’s a prosperous market, and knowledge, passion, and a little bit of preparation can ensure that when you enter that interview room, (or log onto that Zoom meeting), you’re well prepped and ready to discuss why you’re the perfect candidate for the role.


Here are some tips to help you prepare for your job interview:


Research your employer and the role

This is the most important way to prepare for your interview. Walking into a job interview can be daunting, but arming yourself with knowledge about your future employer sets you on the right path for a successful interview. Firstly, take the time to research all aspects of the business, which will help direct your considered questions later on. 

  • Which industry are you applying for? 
  • What are its recent achievements? 
  • Can you name their competitors? 


Having genuine knowledge of your employer is the first step forward in the right direction. More specifically, research the business to understand the operation as a whole and research the role to ensure you’re aware of the responsibilities and tasks. Check the job description and understand the qualifications and skills you’ll be required to complete, and don’t fret if you’re not well versed in all skills. You have been chosen for this interview for a reason, and your employer might offer training opportunities.


Have thoughtful questions prepared

Interviews work both ways. Usually, interviewers will ask if you have any questions about the role, and this is where your knowledge of the business can shine. Targeted questions about the roles and responsibilities subtly highlight the research you have done. Consider this as your opportunity to ask whatever questions you might have about the job, the business as a whole, or even the management styles and company culture. 


Believe in yourself

When you’re presented with a new job opportunity, you should also understand the value you can bring to the company and how you can take the role even further. Research career progression opportunities, and be aware of further courses you can take to enhance your current skill set. An employer will recognize an eagerness to learn, which is very valuable.

If there’s a particular space you would like to explore, expressing interest and passion in the industry during the job interview shows that you have a proactive approach and that you think outside of the box.


Practice, practice, practice!

The best advice? Film yourself in a mock interview situation and critique the result. You’ll see clearly how you present yourself, your stature, and your conviction when you speak. Prepare answers to common questions:


  • Tell us about yourself
  • Why do you want to work here?
  • What is your greatest strength?
  • What is your biggest weakness?
  • Would you call yourself a team player?
  • What’s your leadership style?
  • What skills do you have which our company can benefit from?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?


Take note of these things: how is your handshake? How is your eye contact? Do you look the interviewer in the eye when you speak, or did you cast your eyes downward, a sign you might not be 100% sure of what you’re talking about? If you shine with your personable skills in the interview, your employer will know these are transferable skills. 


First impressions are everything, and a couple of small alterations might leave you sitting taller, and presenting yourself as a keen, focused professional.


After the interview

How you behave after the interview is equally as important as the interview itself. Regardless of the outcome, there are learnings to be made. Here are a couple of quick pointers to conclude the interview appointment:

  • Always send a follow-up message to thank the interviewer for their time. 
  • Make notes of the questions asked to help prepare for future interviews.
  • If you’re rejected from the role, always email and ask for feedback, so you can improve your performance the next time.


Quick tips for job interview success:

  • Plan your route in advance
  • Be early
  • Take a formal approach in your dress and how you speak
  • Memorize your interviewer's name, use it
  • Prepare practice answers
  • Prepare your own questions too
  • Be prepared for a casual chat
  • Send a thank-you note soon after


And finally, relax.

Interviews can be daunting, but they can also be exciting as they are a stepping stone down a brand new career part. Arm yourself with knowledge, understand what you hope to gain from the interview, relax and enjoy it.



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