How to Prepare For a Job Interview
Ready steady go! Looking for a job is as nerve-wracking and difficult as running a marathon. But once you cross that finishing line, this is the most rewarding feeling. “I have done it!”. The most difficult part of finishing the marathon is the last few miles. That is the moment where all your weeks of hard preparation should help you finally get over the line. If you lose your control and strength on the last 5 miles – the whole experience is screwed up.
The same thing with preparing for a job interview. You have done a great job with vacancy search and resume preparation, and it brought you your last 5 miles – passing a job interview. So you have to prepare yourself for this moment with the same enthusiasm and determination as you would have for preparing for a marathon run.
In this blog, we have created a 10-step preparation plan to help you know how to get ready for a job interview both physically and mentally.
10 Interview Preparation Tips
Step № 1 – Know your audience
As soon as you get an interview invitation, it would be best to start researching the company you got invited by. Be as precise as possible. Analyze their website, social networks, LinkedIn page, and review on Glassdoor or other independent platforms.
Searching the company online will help you get to know what type of people work there, what the company’s work ethic and mission are, and if it suits you. When you are asked “Why you want to join our company?” you have to give a good answer based on your real thoughts and investigation.
You should be confident that you know the company’s mentality, its workflow and its history. An employer likes it when the candidate is interested in getting a new job or raise and joining the company whose values they admire. So do your homework and analyze every company you are going for an interview to.
Step № 2 – Discover yourself more
No one knows you better than yourself, which means that all best-selling points are already in your head. The very important job interview advice you have to take is to remember your career history, goals, and skills perfectly. The number of questions you may ask about yourself is approximately 90% of all questions. That would be a shame to forget to tell something really exciting you have done to the future employer.
Even though you might think that everyone has read your resume and is already perfectly aware of your experience, it never harms to revise what have you stated in your application documents by yourself. This tip should help you know what you have to say and highlight, but also what is not on your resume or cover letter and what info you can add.
Try asking yourself why you want this job and why you are the perfect fit, read your resume and cover letter and remember what type of professional you are and what personality the employer saw when they looked at your profile. Try to keep up with your resume and remember you experienced everything you write about, and there is no point in your resume you can’t address.
Step № 3 Anticipate questions and prepare potential answers
In most interview preparation tips, you will probably find this one. Thinking one step forward and trying to anticipate what you can be asked about at a job interview is a great method to get yourself ready for anything.
You can always google the most frequently asked questions for your position interviews. Look through them and see if you can confidently answer all of the questions. A useful technique is also to analyze the job description and anticipate what kind of knowledge you can be tested for. Do you know all the terms and keywords? Are you familiar with the company’s field specifics?
Write down your possible answers and practice saying them out loud. If the answer sounds too long or complex, try to shorten it and be as direct as possible.
Step № 4 Practice Job Interview with a Professional
When it comes to preparing for a job interview, it might be hard to do it by yourself. Even though there is a lot of useful information about how to prepare for an interview, you never know how the actual process can go and how can you react to different situations. Remembering answers by heart and speaking them to yourself, you cannot be sure how other people perceive you. Moreover, you might not have enough time to do all the research and preparation if your interview is just in a few days.
It is more common now to use Interview Preparation Coaching as a tool to get ready for such events. Having a professional coach can save you time and effort and actually bring more results. Interview Coach will put you in a mock job interview situation and analyze all mistakes you might have. He or she can also help you to build more confidence and give tons of successful interview tips.
It is proven that professionals that used interview preparation coaching were more effective and landed the desired job easily. It is like passing the same exam for the second time, you know what to expect, and all the right answers are already in your head when a coach already fixes all the mistakes.
Step №5 Think through your outfit
Be your true self but keep a professional face. Dressing appropriately is not about frames you are put in, it is about showing your professional face and focusing more on what your skills and knowledge are. Being in vibrant and neon colors might take away the interviewer’s attention from what you say or show them. Having too much jewelry, bright makeup, or crazy patterned clothes might also be a distraction. Go for comfort and easiness in your look. Less is more.
However, do not downplay your personality. You should feel confident and powerful in the way you look. If black is your powerful color – wear black. If it is green – stick with it. Your main focus is to make sure you are feeling yourself, and you are ready for anything in this outfit. But do not try to impress the interviewer too much. It is not about how you look at the end of the day. It is about who you are as a professional.
Step №6 Have everything ready
The day before the interview, you should double-check if you have everything you need prepared. There are a bunch of worst things that can happen to you on such an important day. For example, your shirt isn’t ironed, your resume isn’t printed, poor internet connection or you come to the interview and suddenly remember leaving the keys at home.
In order to prevent stressing too much, you need to make a list of everything you are planning to take, wear and even eat and cross each line until you have it already. Some simple things like putting up your outfit beforehand, packing your bag, and downloading the maps can greatly reduce your panic before the interview. If you are going to have an online interview make sure to test the camera and microphone so you won’t look and sound like a robot in the desert. Test your internet and set a reminder on the phone not to miss the meeting time.
Step № 7 Keep calm
Being emotionally balanced is also important to have a good job interview experience. Fewer nerves, more confidence! A job interview is an important event, but it is not the end of the world, so you should not be too stressed. If you are well prepared and confident in your strengths (what you should be if you followed previous steps), the day interview comes, you should be as cool as a cucumber.
Extra nerves, biting your lips, and shaking your legs won’t boy you the desired position. Being too stressed and nervous might lead you to be lost during the interview. You should set your mind in the right place and tell yourself that you have nothing to be scared of. You came prepared, you are the professional, and it is your place to be, so you are here to take it!
Step №8 Ask Questions and Be interested
When at an interview, is it crucial to show your interest in your interlocutors and the company itself. Being interrogated for 1 hour, you should still find the time to ask some questions. A candidate who is not curious about the job’s specifics and asks zero questions might look strange to the hiring manager.
You can ask basic questions about your income, insurance, benefits, growth opportunities, business traveling, etc. You can also Google the most frequently asked questions for the employer and incorporate them into your experience.
Generally, when you analyze the company, you should pay attention to some small details and try to bring them up during the interview. Tell the employer that you have found the article about them or have been following them for a long time and that it is a pleasure to become a part. Most importantly, listen carefully and react! You should not get lost and ask to repeat the questions. All your attention has to be on the interviewer, otherwise, you will be perceived as impolite.
Step №9 Be grateful and polite
To speak about politeness. You have to remember the basic elements of interview etiquette. Come on time, perhaps even earlier in the order you have to will some NDA document, etc. Being late for the interview is the worse thing you can do. Nothing tells more about the person than their first impression. And being late will probably become the brightness point for some employers. Time is money, so you should be wasting it.
Do not interrupt the interview, even if you have the best answer already ready or you are afraid to forget something to say. Listen till the end, and then start speaking. Nothing is more irritating than interrupting a candidate who wants to show off.
Shake hands, smile, express gratitude, and say goodbye. Generally, do not forget to be polite and act as you would normally do with a business partner or colleague. There is no hugging, dirty jocking or familiarity during the job interview.
Step №10 Remind about yourself
The small but finishing step for your job interviewing process is to send a small follow-up email to express your gratitude for the interviewer and the interview. Thank for their time, tell how much you enjoyed the facility and how interested you are in the position.
It is nice to remind about yourself a few days after the interview, reinforce your skills and knowledge and show your true desire to work for the company. As we know from our recruiter’s professionals, candidates who follow up their interviews tend to score more personality points.
Do not run to write thank you notes 3 hours after the interview. Take 203 days and write the company’s representative a small, up to 150 words letter. Be sincere and polite.
Every job interview is different as every run is. Sometimes you have a good mood, sometimes the weather is horrible, and you have no strength. But the truth is that if you have been preparing enough and with passion, you will be able to succeed. Just follow the plan, stay hydrated and remember why you are doing all of that. You want to become a better version of yourself, and you are the professional that deserves the position you want. Good luck with your interview!