Do you have an upcoming job interview?
You want to make a great first impression and show the hiring manager or recruiter that you have the experience and skill to do the job.
There are some things you can do to prepare yourself before the interview.
Here are eight ways to ensure you are as ready as you could ever be.
1. Read the job description thoroughly
One of the most important parts of preparing for an interview is reading the job posting thoroughly.
- Think about what the company is looking or and who their ideal candidate would be.
- Take note of all the skills, qualities and requirements for the job.
- Make a list of them.
Knowing what the company wants is beneficial to you because you can determine the skills you have that match up with the requirements in the job description.
Then, you can highlight them during your interview.
2. Match up your skills
Once you have listed the qualifications and requirements necessary in the job description, you can make a list of the qualities that you have that match up with the job.
First of all, you'll want to add them to your resume.
You can also bring up these matching skills when the employer asks, “Why do you think you are a great fit for this role?” Making a list of your matching skills will help you during an interview.
You will know precisely what hard and soft skills you possess that make you the best fit for the position.
3. Research the company
Researching the company and finding out about the job is a critical part of the interview.
One of the most common interview questions is “What do you know about this industry/company?”
Not only will you have an answer to that question, but you will also get to learn more about the company and the culture.
This way, you can determine if you really are going to be a good fit.
- To find out more about the company, you can go to the corporation's “About Us” page on their website.
- You can also use sites like Glassdoor to find employee reviews and comments.
- This way, you get to find out the pros and cons of working there.
You can also tap into your LinkedIn network.
Check and see if any of your connections currently or have previously worked for the company.
If so, great! Reach out to them for interview tips to give you an edge over other candidates.
4. Practice interview questions
Take some time to learn and jot down some of the most common interview questions.
Ask a friend or family member to role-play the interview with you.
Practicing these questions will help you get comfortable answering them during an interview.
After learning more about the company and some typical interview questions, try to think of some questions the interviewer may ask, which are specific to the company.
Jot down 2-3 questions that you would like to ask the interviewer too.
5. Pick out an outfit
Don’t wait until the morning of your interview to get your outfit ready.
Go through your closet and pick out an outfit that will make a great first impression.
Dress for success.
- For a professional position, dress in business attire.
- For a more relaxed role, dress business casual.
Make sure your outfit is cleaned and ironed too.
You don’t want any last-minute mishaps in the morning that could put you off schedule for your interview.
Make sure you wear nice shoes that go with your outfit also.
6. Check the traffic and weather
You want to make sure you check the weather forecast the night before your interview.
The last thing you want is to walk into your interview with your hair ruined and clothes dripping because you didn’t know you’d need an umbrella.
Also, check the traffic and weather forecast in the morning before your interview.
This allows you to plan to leave on time.
If there are any traffic or weather-related delays, you'll need to leave even earlier to get to your interview at a decent time.
7. What to bring with you
There are a few things you should take to every interview.
- Bring a winning mindset, first of all.
- Carry a folder or portfolio with a copy of your resume.
- The portfolio should also have a list of references.
- Bring a notepad where you already have a list of questions to ask the interviewer.
- Make sure you have a pen for taking notes and jotting down questions that arise.
These things are important because it shows you came prepared.
Do not bring your cell phone, or at least turn it off and have it away during your interview.
Some other things you do not want to bring with you are gum, coffee, and water bottles.
8. Get directions in advance
Knowing where you’re going and how long it will take to get there is vital.
You want to know this ahead of time, not on the day of your interview.
- Use an app like Google Maps or Waze.
- If you have a GPS, use that.
- Make sure you have a couple of different routes on hand in case of a traffic jam.
Do a practice run a couple of days before your interview.
That way, you are 100% sure of where you are going and the travel time involved. You can also check on parking, if necessary.
Plan to get there a bit early.
Why is interview prep so important?
Getting ready for an interview can be stressful if you are rushing to do everything on the morning of the interview and are not prepared.
Following these interview preparation guidelines will help you regain your interview mojo because you will be able to keep organized and plan accordingly, ahead of time.
This way you make it to your interview prepared, confident, on time, and ready to answer questions (and ask a few of your own).
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