Before your interview you'll want to do your research, review your resume, practice and prepare. Then, some things you'll want to keep in mind on the day of.
So you landed a job interview... now what? First of all, congratulations! That is a very exciting, but now it is time to prepare!
Job interviews come with their own norms and etiquette, so knowing what is expected of you before the interview is crucial.
Below we'll break down what you need to know to make your interview successful.
In this article we will cover:
Do your research!
It should come to absolutely no surprise that you should do some research before heading to the interview. By this, we mean that you should have a solid understanding of what all the company does, and what they stand for.
Some key things to research:
- The company's mission statement and values
- What the company does
- The size of the company
- Company culture
- Social media presence
- News and recent events
- and obviously, the job description for the role you applied for
Interviewers generally expect you to have knowledge about the company before you go in, but doing your research before hand can push you ahead of the other candidates.
For example, say you took the time to research all of the news and recent happenings at the place you're interviewing at. You can now use that information to demonstrate your knowledge of their current market position, and how you plan to make an impact in that role.
Review your resume
This is one of the more important interview preparation tips, and one of the easiest. Glance over your resume if you haven’t in a while. Be ready to explain past job changes in a positive light. If you left a job because your manager was horrible, say that you went to an organization that had more supportive management. It’s all about how you phrase it.
You can also use your resume to talk about specific accomplishments. However, you want to make sure to differentiate yourself here. Most people go into their interview making general statements. You should consider preparing specific examples and talk about details (facts, numbers, stats).
*PRO TIP: It's also good to add these facts and accomplishments to your resume. Use figures and statistics instead of general statements like "responsible for handling customer requests."
Practice and Prepare
It's one thing to come prepared with a mental answer to a question like, "Why should we hire you?" It's another challenge entirely to say it out loud in a confident and convincing way. The first time you try it, you'll sound garbled and confused, no matter how clear your thoughts are in your own mind! Do it another 10 times, and you'll sound a lot smoother and more articulate.
But you shouldn't do your practicing when you're "on stage" with a recruiter; rehearse before you go to the interview. The best way to rehearse? Get two friends and practice interviewing each other in a "round robin": one person acts as the observer and the "interviewee" gets feedback from both the observer and the "interviewer." Go for four or five rounds, switching roles as you go. Another idea (but definitely second-best) is to tape record your answer and then play it back to see where you need to improve. Whatever you do, make sure your practice consists of speaking aloud. Rehearsing your answer in your mind won't cut it.
*PRO TIP: Observe the way you present yourself. If there is anything you are not fully comfortable with, now is the time to address it. If it is your posture, practice sitting up straight. If you notice a distracting habit, like playing with your hair or fidgeting, be aware of it and try to avoid it. Find an alternative place for your hands, such as on the table.
What to do the day of your interview
When it comes to the day of the interview, you should be feeling pretty prepared. Here's a few things to remember before you go in:
- Dress to impress! Make sure to keep your outfit clean, classic, and comfortable so that the focus remains on what you're saying, not what you're wearing.
- Write down some thoughtful questions, and be prepared to ask them during or at the end of your interview.
- Think positive thoughts! If you go into the interview thinking it will be successful, it can help you combat your nerves.