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 ideal career.
Begin by creating the central idea on your Mind Map. Use single keywords on the radiant branches to trigger natural associations in the brain and spark further ideas. This will help you to build on and explore every topic that could arise in your interview while keeping your Mind Map concise and clear. Plus, keywords are proven to boost your recall ability, helping you to avoid a mind-blank 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 and draw radiating child branches to show the key points. 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. Go through 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) and use it to feed your answer for this question.
Prepare for the most common interview questions that you will encounter and use Mind Mapping to plan your answers. These could include:
Stick to one keyword per branch and your brain will remember this 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 this in on your Mind Map, you will capture what the company is looking for in a candidate and 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. Show how enthusiastic and keen you are for this position as this will be the key to interview success.
It is very easy to make a mistake at an interview. Some are obvious whereas 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 and 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. Use 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, being late to the interview or your mobile going off in the middle of the interview. This allows you to confront your fears and you can then map out how you would resolve or prevent these fears from occurring.
You must be able to differentiate yourself from your competition with what you can offer them that others cannot. Employers want someone who is able to contribute to the organisation 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 will help to show the employer that you are a team player and a clear communicator. Make sub-branches off of your main branch to explain your interests and what additional key skills you can contribute to the company. After all, these soft skills may be the deciding factor of you getting the job.
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 know what you are about. Having nothing to ask may show a lack of interest and could reflect badly on you. Prepare some simple questions to ask the interviewer. For example:
Additionally, make sure you do background research on the company to avoid asking questions that you can find the answer to on their website (See Tip #2).
Useful hint: Never 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; not to mention a lack of tact!
Finally, the big day has arrived! You are probably nervous, but your Mind Maps will ensure you’re well prepared, so there is no need to panic. 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 Map before the meeting. After using the Mind Mapping technique, you will have a clear, structured and memorable Mind Map 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!
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