Congratulations, you got the interview! But how do you make it a triumph? It’s crucial that you walk into every interview with a well thought out plan for selling yourself if you want to land the job. Unfortunately, too many well-qualified candidates don’t do the groundwork and lose out on great job offers.
Using a Mind Map to prepare for your interview will help you to explore every topic in detail and create strong answers for anything the interviewer may throw your way. Apply our 8 tips for interview success using the Mind Mapping technique to help you land your dream career.
Mind Mapping software like Ayoa is a great tool to help you quickly and efficiently capture and expand on your thoughts – making it perfect for preparing for an interview. Begin by creating the central idea of your Mind Map (for example, the name of the company), then add radiating main branches out from this to represent the different topics you want to research. These will trigger natural associations in your brain, so you can build on and explore every topic that could arise in your interview, whilst keeping your Mind Map concise and clear.
Be sure to only use single keywords or phrases per branch, as this is proven to boost recall ability. This will help you to avoid any mind-blanks during the interview!
First, you’ll need to research the company that is interviewing you. Create a main branch on your Mind Map for research, then draw radiating child branches out from here to represent the key points. Showing your knowledge of the company and how you would fit into their ethos and philosophy is important not only for the employer, but also for you to determine if you are right for the role.
Explore the company’s website, editorials and annual reports. Read up on their ongoing projects, future plans and goals. When did the company start? Who are their competitors? Has the industry been in the news for any reason recently?
Why do you want this job? This is a common interview question, so it is a good idea to prepare your answer ahead of time. Think about what attracted you to apply for the position in the first place. Was it the growth potential? The varied role? Or was it the opportunity to work for a reputable company? When you’re answering this question, you want to show that you have researched the company, and prove that you are a good fit for the job. Your Mind Map’s top-down view makes it easy to see your research (from tip #1), so use this to feed your answer for this question.
Preparing for the most common interview questions will stand you in good stead to make a good first impression. Use Mind Mapping to plan your answers to questions which could include:
Stick to one keyword per branch and your brain will remember these more easily, enabling you to reel off impressive answers to a huge range of questions during the interview.
This is where you need to sell yourself to the employer, so your qualifications, training and experience should come across simply and clearly. By filling these in on your Mind Map, you will capture what the company is looking for in a candidate. You can then map it back to how your experience and skill set fulfils their requirements. The blanks in your Mind Map will clearly show where your weaknesses lie. Don’t shy away from discussing these and how you will overcome them.
It is very easy to make a mistake in an interview. Some are obvious whereas, unfortunately, others may not be so clear. Common mistakes include being apathetic towards the interviewer, avoiding answering the question, dressing inappropriately, making a bad first impression or simply not researching the company (see tip #2). These are often the biggest mistakes that job seekers encounter and are common reasons why many don’t get the job they desire. Ensure you’re prepared by using your Mind Map to capture how you want to come across and what you will do to make a good impression.
An exercise that would benefit your preparation is to map out your worst fears for the interview on a separate Mind Map. These could include not knowing how to answer a question, arriving late, or your mobile going off during the middle of the interview. This allows you to assess your fears so that you can map out how you would resolve or prevent these from occurring in the first place.
You must be able to differentiate yourself from your competition with what you can offer your potential employer. Employers want someone who is able to contribute to the organization in more ways than one. Furthermore, your interests such as sport, culture and music, can help you to portray your soft skills to the interviewer. For example, if sport is an interest of yours, this can help to show the employer that you are a team player and a clear communicator.
In your Mind Map, add branches to explain your interests and what additional key skills you can contribute to the company. After all, these soft skills may just be the tipping point to you getting the job over someone else.
The interview is as much an opportunity for you to determine whether the job is right for you, as it is for the employer to learn about you. Having nothing to ask may show a lack of interest and could reflect badly on you – so prepare some simple questions to ask the interviewer at the end. For example:
Additionally, make sure you do background research on the company beforehand to avoid asking questions that you can find the answer to on their website (see tip #2).
Useful hint: Don’t ask about the pay or potential benefits at this stage. It shows a focus on material gains as opposed to a passion for the role.
Finally, the big day has arrived! You’re probably nervous, but your Mind Maps will ensure you’re well prepared, so there is no need to panic. However, as a final tip, make sure you turn up at least 15 minutes before the interview. This will calm your nerves and give you an opportunity to think over some of your answers and review your Mind Maps before the meeting. After using the Mind Mapping technique, you will have a clear, structured and memorable resource of everything you need to know for the interview. So, relax – you have given yourself the best possible chance to wow the recruiter and nail the interview!
Secure job success with Ayoa. Our powerful and visually-engaging Mind Mapping features will enable you to clearly map out your goals and research for your interviews – so you’re prepared every time. Discover more about Mind Mapping in Ayoa and sign up for FREE today.
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