Do you have a job interview coming up? Taking the time to properly prepare for an interview in advance can help you ace the interview and secure a job offer. There are a number of steps you can take before (and after) the interview to ensure that you make a terrific impression on your potential employer.
Analyse the job
First off, re-read your resume and the job description to help you draw lines between the two. Where do they connect?
As you start to think about things you want to highlight in your interview, don’t forget to include data. This helps your interviewer understand not just your overall achievements, but how big of an impact you made.
Consider rare skills or experiences you have that could be applicable. Think about how these skills or experiences apply to the position, how you would use these in the job, and how you would use them to help the company.
This may be your dream job, but think about whether or not you are missing a skill or two. The person interviewing you has most likely noticed this too. Make sure you know what these skills are and provide examples of how you can overcome the challenge of not having them. Think about ways you can obtain the skills or experience to support the job and grow as a professional.
Research the company
If possible, follow your companies of interest on Facebook or Twitter to stay up to date on their latest happenings and get a sense for how they interact with the public. Be prepared to answer questions like, “What do you know about our company?” and, “What attracted you to our business?” and even, “What did you think about our big news last week?” The more you know about a company, the better prepared you’ll be to demonstrate your sincere interest during the job interview.
The employer is ultimately looking for passionate, creative, and productive employees, and you’ll communicate this to them with your company knowledge. Plus, if you feel confident about the company and wanting to work there, this natural enthusiasm will shine through during the interview.
Prepare your own questions
Come to the interview with your own questions. This not only shows you care about understanding the business and the position you’re applying for, but it’s also a testament to the research you’ve done by looking into the company. Besides, this is your opportunity to interview them as well.
Also ask for clarification about something you read or for more information on an intriguing project. Generating conversation makes the interview flow well, helps you build rapport with your interview, and allows your personality to shine. As the interview takes place, if something intrigues you, try to revisit it during this time.
To help you prepare, we’ve compiled a list of 5 Questions to Ask Your Interviewer
Practice answering questions
Say your responses out loud until they flow naturally. Ask a trusted friend to act as the interviewer and provide feedback. Consider videotaping your practice session to evaluate factors such as posture and eye contact.
It might be helpful to read our blog post dedicated to Common Interview Questions and How to Answer Them.
Pick an interview outfit
For an interview, you want to dress in neat business attire. It’s not a bad idea to even dress more professionally than you would on the job. Slacks and a nice shirt can be appropriate for men or women, and women can also consider a skirt or dress.
You may have a few interview outfits that you rotate through, but don’t leave this part of your preparation for the day of your interview. Pull everything out and ensure clothing fits and isn’t wrinkled. Set out any accessories and shoes. This will allow you to simply grab and go on interview day.
While you’re at it, be sure your keys, phone, portfolio, extra copies of your resume, and any other pertinent material is ready to go. You’ll get a better night’s sleep knowing you’re prepared!
Be on time and know where you are going
Be 100% sure of the time, date and location of the interview and research travel times, public transport or parking well in advance. Always make sure you come to the interview ‘armed’ with all relevant contact details ‘just in case’. This includes who will be there, their positions in the organisation, their phone numbers, etc. Any more than ten minutes early is too early – if you arrive too early, wait in the car or take a short walk to calm yourself. Anything later than the agreed interview time can be an indelible black mark against your chances at the interview.
If you’re doing a virtual interview, take some time to prepare your space. Find a quiet area with good internet connection where you won’t be disturbed. Check your mic, your video, and your Wi-Fi, to make sure that everything is in working order. You might find it helpful to have a notebook and a pen or pencil with you (sometimes it’s easier to jot down notes than type them on a computer).
If you do these things, you’ll almost certainly be prepared to talk about yourself and about the position. Great interview prep will set you up for success by minimising external confusion. It’s best to be clear and calm so you can really explore your experience, your desires, the position, and how you connect to the organisation.
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