11 recommendations to pass a job interview

You have arranged your first job interview with a company's HR manager. Yes, you will probably never forget it. Furthermore, you know that interviews as such come with a "code" that you have to follow in connection with punctuality, clothing and attitude during the interview. There is so much advice given today, all related to the interview you face. However, there is general advice that can help you become the candidate finally selected.

Here are 11 main recommendations for passing a job interview, reviewed with the help of some experts, including Sara Abad, Recruitment & Employer Branding – Talent & Culture at BBVA.

1st recommendation: research the company

Researching the company in advance would seem to be standard advice, but not everyone does it. This is why Sara Abad at BBVA is very categorical on this point: "research before your interview. Not knowing the business of the company you want to become part of can indicate a lack of interest or motivation".

2nd recommendation: consider your appearance

This is one of the best known pieces of advice, however, sometimes we don't succeed with our outfit and the appearance we want to reflect. As they say at Hablemos de Empleo, "the image we give in a job interview is fundamental. This is the first impression they get of us, therefore, it is essential to style ourselves in line with the image required at the company". If you have done your research well, you will probably immediately recognize this phase.

3rd recommendation: be honest

"Sometimes, they overestimate the ability that psychologists have to analyze and discover things at first glance", says Ángela Arenas, expert psychologist in HR. While they do not have a lie detector to identify the interviewee's level of honesty, they do have training and, above all, experience, which gives them certainty in their observations. "Even so, nothing is infallible, and we can make mistakes", asserts the psychologist.

4th recommendation: get to know your interviewer

"There are multiple formulas for getting to know the person who is going to interview you. The first is LinkedIn, which the interviewer is probably on", says Iván Guillén Cano, expert in marketing and social media and a teacher of this field at Isemco. You need to bear in mind that 69% of companies look for candidates on social media", so HR managers have an obligation to stay up to date with them. And have a profile that, little by little, becomes more important", states Guillén.

5th recommendation: review your CV

Reviewing your CV will let you see if there is any incorrect information. As Sara Abad points out, "you will go over your CV in the interview, so it is advisable to correct any information that is not entirely accurate". This will help you guess what they might ask you and prepare what you should answer in any case.

6th recommendation: ask questions

Perhaps due to a lack of practice or to not bother anyone, but a lot of candidates don't ask questions during their job interview and turn into mere passive beings. According to psychologist Ángela Arenas, this attitude indicates a lack of interest and proactivity on the part of the candidate. "It is essential to know the day-to-day responsibilities to be taken on or what the position's projection is". There are a lot of questions that can be asked, depending on the context, which will determine whether they are relevant or not.

7th recommendation: practice at home

There is nothing like arriving with your "homework done" to make sure you are successful. Practice is key to this. As Sara Abad says, "if interviews tend to make you nervous, you can practice some basic questions and answers before going to the interview. This will help you feel more confident". In fact, it is advisable to prepare for all sorts of questions, as some formulations might be very strange, but they are real. Questions such as suicidal, murderous or psychopathic attitudes.

8th recommendation: punctuality

Sara Abad points out that punctuality is very important. "You don't need to go to the interview too early, but it is expected that some factors that are not under your control (traffic jams, incidents on public transport etc.) could make you late and you have to take them into account".

9th recommendation: look motivated

"One of the main reasons for not hiring someone is because the candidate barely smiled in the interview and there was no connection between the interviewer and the interviewee", states Sánchez. In this regard, showing a positive, motivated attitude is key for the recruiter.

10th recommendation: active listening and concise answers

In a stressful situation such as a job interview, it can sometimes be difficult to keep your attention at all times. It is important to be relaxed and focused to stop your mind from starting to wander. Sara Abad sums it up this way: "listen closely to your interviewer and answer questions in a clear, concise manner. Nerves can affect us for the worse and prevent us from answering the questions they ask".

11th recommendation: your body language says a lot about you

Non-verbal language conveys almost as much information as verbal communication. In fact, when we don't speak, we also communicate through our movements and gestures, possibly without even being fully aware of it. In any case, we need to avoid contradictions at all costs: sometimes we state something verbally that does not match what we are conveying with gestures or movements, thus making it clear that we are not being entirely honest. Sara Abad, from BBVA, insists on the following advice: "keep your posture straight, don't cross your arms and gesticulate as necessary to strengthen your arguments".