You landed the interview – now what? You may think you can just “wing it,” but that’s not a good idea if you’re really serious about being offered the job.
Prepare before your interview to get into the right mindset. Going through this process can be intimidating – you’re asked direct questions about yourself and being evaluated – which can make anyone nervous. Organize your thoughts to present yourself in the best way possible.
Keep these points in mind when prepping for your next interview.
Do Your Research
Always research the company you want to join. Bring yourself up to speed on industry news regarding the firm. Investigate the company; review their website, read articles, and find out as much as you can to fully understand what they do and what they value. If the company has a “press” section, read their latest press releases and annual reports. Reach out to your connections for any insights they may have – perhaps they know someone who interviewed there previously and can provide advice.
Study what the role entails and its requirements. If you’re working with a recruiter, have them fill you in on all relevant details. Go to the interview with a keen understanding of expectations regarding the position.
Prepare to talk about how your experience and success specifically match the open role and what value you can bring to the company as a future employee. Speak confidently about your accomplishments and potential value. If you don’t tell them about your achievements and sell yourself on why you’re a great fit … then who will? But don’t make false statements about your skill set or experience; showcase yourself in the best way possible to make a good impression.
If you know the name of your interviewer, look into their background on LinkedIn and other online resources – you may find some pertinent information that could help you during the interview. (Worried about looking like a stalker? Click here for our helpful article on browsing LinkedIn using stealth mode!)
Get Ready for Questions
You may not know the exact questions your interviewer will bring up; prepare for what you may potentially be asked. Be ready to talk about yourself, why you want to work at the company, your interest in and understanding of the open position, your past responsibilities, strengths and weaknesses, and major challenges you handled. Show the value you can bring to the department and company overall. Ask a friend to practice with you. Read more here: Job Q&A From the Trenches: “Where Will I Be in 5 Years?” Interview Answers
Make sure you can speak to every detail on your resume; you don’t want to get caught in an awkward situation. For instance, if you’re asked to talk further on a project you spearheaded, and can’t remember specific details, it won’t look good!
Develop questions of your own for your interviewer. This demonstrates your research skills, and how interested you are in the available role. Sell yourself as a good candidate while also interviewing the company to be sure you want to work for them (should you be offered the position). Asking questions will help determine if the company has the goals, vision, and workplace environment you want.
At the Interview
Here are some quick tips to keep in mind when it’s time for your interview:
- Dress appropriately for the industry and role.
- Be confident and prepared.
- Get there on time; review the route you need to take ahead of time and consider traffic or public transportation delays.
- Be professional to everyone you meet along the way, including the receptionist.
- Always have extra copies of your resume.
- Turn your cell phone off.
- Ask everyone you interview with for a business card for follow up and thank you notes.
Preparing for your interview should not be taken lightly. Showcase your value; demonstrate why you’re a good candidate for the position. Do your due diligence – get ready to answer many varied questions. Be yourself, be confident … and good luck!