Candidates are getting better at interviews with international companies in Vietnam. Local schools and universities have been adding important soft skills to their curricula for several years. Topics like business etiquette, dress code and social norms are getting much more attention. These efforts are seeing new job seekers positioned to do very well in large MNCs right through to hyper-growth startups.

With a few tips, you too can improve your interview performance by avoiding some common traps.

Research the company

It’s important that you know some information about the company you’ve applied for. Try to know the basic information about a company. What does the company do? What is the company’s stage of growth and what are the next milestones? How will this role need to add value to the company?

It’s a sure sign that candidates have clearly failed to research the company when they claim that there is no information online. It’s even worse if an applicant forgets the company name that they’re applying for. These candidates look desperate for a job, any job, and they rarely make it through the initial stages of the screening process. Don’t make the same mistake!

Know your interviewer

It’s rare that your first interview will be with the the “big boss”. Perhaps it will be the team leader, or lower level staff you’ll be partnering with. The selection process will often vary between companies, so don’t be afraid to ask who will be conducting the interview and details of their title/role. This will help you to prepare and prevents any surprises when you arrive for the interview.

Don’t be afraid to reschedule

Sometimes your initial interview may be a phone interview. If the interviewer contacts you at a time that isn’t suitable to discuss a new job (for example, if you’re at your current work), kindly tell them that it is not the best time for you to take a call and reschedule with them. It’s much better to reschedule than to attempt to carrying on the conversation by whispering or talking in a very noisy background because they were outside. Make sure you confirm their name, title, company name and interview time.

Have a great introduction

Interviews often start with some soft or easy questions to build rapport. It’s very common that you’ll have to summarize yourself and your work history. The interviewer wants a short summary, rather than a long and rambling history of your career. Try to talk about the important bits.

For example: “I have 6 years of working experience in 3 different companies with 30 projects, 15 clients and 4 different teams. My strength is Mobile IOS development. In my next role, I’m looking for…”

Be positive when talking about previous roles

Conflicts and disappointments happen at work. Don’t dwell on these from previous roles, but briefly acknowledge the issues while focusing on what you are looking for in the new role: exciting products, a great team, a clear career structure, for example.

Respect confidentiality

International companies are very sensitive about confidential information. Candidates who don’t respect confidentiality are not viewed positively by international companies. Respect sensitive information held by your current company, and be careful about asking for the salaries of others.

Respect the notice period

Notice periods are important. It can show a lack of respect if you are prepared to waive the notice period with your current employer (if you are currently in a job). If you’ll leave your current employer at a moment’s notice, will you do the same to this employer?

Be consistent

A selection process will usually require several rounds. In addition to what you discuss in interview, the company will need to check your CV, online profile, portfolio and references. It’s important that these align! There shouldn’t be any inconsistencies.