Visa Interview Preparation

By Tiara

Recent developments in visa processing have shifted from focusing on who you are as a person and what your life is like to how well you present yourself during interviews. As such, these days, more than ever before, it’s important to be prepared for the visa interview process.

As we know, employers use job applications to gather basic information about candidates. For most applicants, this means answering questions about their education, employment history, and personal lives. In some cases, however, an applicant may be asked to discuss their political beliefs or if they agree with certain ideologies. Or perhaps they will be questioned about past criminal activity or discriminatory comments.

In fact, according to one anonymous source, employers actually ask about whether you drank tea before coming into the office. This source claims that many foreigners think this is normal business etiquette, but really it just makes people feel uncomfortable. It can also hurt your chances of getting hired because potential employers might not want to work with you due to nerves or shyness.

Whether or not this happens to you is up to each individual employer, but being aware of common workplace customs can help you prepare for the interview.

Know your company

visa interview preparation

Many companies recruit directly from outside vendors, so it is important to know who supplies their equipment. Companies usually advertise positions for employment with a specific vendor or group of vendors. Finding out what brands they use and how they are sponsored can tell you a lot about the organization.

By looking up interviews that employers have given in past years, you can get some insights into how they like to be interviewed. Looking at each other’s interviews may also give you tips. Some people’s styles seem familiar, even if you never met them before!

Finding out as much information possible about your potential employer will help you determine whether this is the right fit. You want to make sure that you love working there, but more importantly that they will accept you as someone and treat you well.

Knowing the products and services that an organization uses gives you another way to evaluate whether this is the right place for you. For example, does the company emphasize education and career development? Are their products reliable and effective? Can you find good answers online and through conversations with others who work there?

At the very least you should look up reviews of things such as merchandise, courses, and services that they offer.

Prepare your resume

visa interview preparation

After you are all set with your home base, next is to prepare for your visa interview! This will include updating your personal information like addresses, phone numbers, and email on both your visa application as well as your passport.

It’s very important that you know what questions they ask you so you can be prepared for them. Some of the most common ones are about work history, dependents, and if there are any health issues.

For the latter, knowing whether or not you have ever been diagnosed with anything is crucial. They may also ask if you have received treatment or surgeries in the past, which is totally fine!

All of this can make you feel more confident in yourself and your answers.

Practice interviewing

visa interview preparation

It’s very important to be prepared for your interview, but not in the sense of having all the answers ready ahead of time. Being well-prepared means knowing what topics you should be able to talk about, how to prepare yourself for those conversations, and being aware of your interviewer’s personality so you can tailor your responses to them.

Interviews are structured conversations, so using structure as a way to help you feel more at ease is helpful. And the better you understand your audience, the easier it will be to do that!

Knowing who you are talking to and what they like or dislike is a great way to begin this process. With social media, interviews have become even more interactive than before. By listening to their messages and comments, you can get some clues.

And while most employers don’t mind if you bring something into work, making sure your personal life isn’t too messy can help ensure the success of the job hunt.

Be proactive

visa interview preparation

While it is not possible to prepare for every potential interview question, you can be pro-active by researching your interviewer and their background. This includes looking up their professional profile online, reading interviews they have given and/or written materials like speeches they have made.

Interviews are an informal way of gathering information so being familiar with who you’re talking to makes sense. Having a basic understanding of what they do will help you relate to them and ask more relevant questions.

By using these strategies, you'll show initiative, motivation and competence which all make you come off as a trustworthy individual.

Meet your potential sponsor

visa interview preparation

Are you meeting with members of management to discuss the importance of credit cards, how to manage debt, and what kind of credit products they offer? This is an excellent way to get some insights into whether this company will be a good fit for you as a member!

If you are not getting these answers, it may be time to look elsewhere for card rewards. Or maybe you're just not asking the right questions.

It's important to ask about their spending habits and if that changes, you might not like what product line they represent. For example, if someone says they don't have any loans or credit lines, chances are they can't afford them.

And while having a few thousand in revolving credit isn't necessarily a bad thing, people change jobs very frequently so being able to easily access money can also say something about your long-term financial stability.

Tell the truth

visa interview preparation

It is very important that you are honest with this interviewer at all times. If you feel like your answer does not match what was asked, be straightforward and say so!

If you have prepared well for the interview, then chances are you will know most of the answers to some of the questions. But even if you do not, just being able to back yourself and your answers up can get you through!

The interviewer may ask you something along the lines of ‘tell me about a time when you were faced with such-and-such’ or they could simply ask you to describe a situation to them.

By telling the absolute truth, there is no room for deception. Being dishonest will only hurt you in the end!
You want to make sure that you are talking enough but nothing too long as the interviewer has other candidates to talk to afterwards.

Avoid giving short, vague answers – it will not set people or conversations off balance. Give clear and detailed comments where possible.

Don’t lie

visa interview preparation

After meeting for the first time, it is very common to feel nervous or even uncomfortable when you go back for your second interview.

This can be due to a variety of things – maybe you don’t like how the other person reacted in the first interview, or perhaps you got nervous and distracted at the first interview and now you have to make sure you don’t do that again.

Whatever the reason, being pre-prepared will help mitigate these nerves and keep you from making mistakes. And really, what more could you possibly get wrong?

So before your next interview, gather all the information you need and then study this material until you are totally familiar with it. Then, go one step further and practice out loud or video as if you were actually going into the interview.

And once you are completely prepared, stay focused and levelheaded! Avoid any behaviors such as talking too much, fidgeting, etc. because they will only add to your nerves.

Be confident

visa interview preparation

As mentioned before, being able to demonstrate that you are confident is a great way to win over potential employers. But what does it mean to be confident? It means looking like you know what you’re talking about when you do – no matter how much or little time you have for an interview.

It also means knowing your answer well, but not giving too rehearsed of an answer. If you prepare well, then you will be more comfortable with yourself and this will show in the conversation.

And lastly, it means having fun! Having a good time during the interview helps convey confidence. You want to enjoy yourself so that people can tell you're happy and that you're doing your job well.