Job Interview Preparation Tips
From the moment you receive a call to schedule you for a job interview, you should begin preparing yourself to shine in that interview. There is no such thing as being over-prepared. If you’ve done your research and you’ve practiced your responses, you will know what to say when the time comes. Having a good job interview will become second nature as you prepare for and participate in more and more interviews. Interviews can be difficult for the unprepared, yet easy for those who take the time to prepare.
Your job during a job interview is to sell yourself. You should keep this in mind at all times. Make yourself desirable. Show why you should be purchased. Show what you can do for the company. Show what you can do for your interviewer. Be positive and display an attitude that you’re in control and can solve any problems.
Know the Company
You should know who the company is and what the company is about. You should know what challenges the company is facing. You should know what goals the company has. You should know what major issues are facing the industry. If you walk into an interview without knowing anything about the company, you’re not only going to sound uninterested in the company, but you’re not going to know how to sell yourself to meet the needs of the company as well.
The need to know the company isn’t new, but in the information age, the competition does a much better job of knowing the company. In other words, make full use of the Web to find out everything you can about the company, because your competition is doing so. In addition to learning the aforementioned facts, you should dig into details such as the products or services provided by the company. Know all you can about major product lines. Know what consumers think about those products. Know what demographics the company is targeting with their products.
Understand the company culture. Know where the company is located and some of the challenges and features of the location. You may get opportunities to show you know this information during the interview. Look into current and future company product or service promotions. You can even call the company and ask for information about future promotions, without mentioning your name or why you’re calling.
Know the Interviewer’s Position
When you’re invited to the interview, ask who will interview you. You should try to memorize the person’s name and if at all possible figure out the person’s position in the company. This will help you to better sell yourself by presenting yourself in a way that will appeal to the needs of the interviewer. You not only want to sell what you can do for the company, but frame it in a way that the interviewer will gain some personal benefit.
Look up the position you’re interviewing for and see if you can figure out what department it will be in. Find out what you can about the purpose of that department. Find out what you can about the current employees working in that department. If you know something about people in that department, you can show up looking and sounding like someone from that department. Interviewers are usually looking for someone who will fit right in with current employees.
The more you tend to struggle with speaking and interviews, the more time you should spend practicing for your interview. You should always video record your practice sessions. Replay your sessions and make notes of your weaknesses. Then record future practices, working to improve your performance by getting rid of the flaws in your delivery. Work on providing concise, detailed answers to questions with a confident approach.
That last bit of work is the hardest for many. Usually nerves are the culprit behind a particularly bad interview. You need to cut out any signs of nervousness and become so used to giving your answers that they come out naturally. You need to cut out any distracting traits, like waving your hands while you talk, shaking, or tapping your hands or feet.
To work on delivering nerve-free responses, it is best to find someone to ask you the questions. Have that person judge you on how well you confidently answer. This should help simulate the feeling that you’re being judged during your interview so that you can get used to it. This also provides you with a second opinion about how to improve your delivery.
Look Right for the Job
Show up wearing clean clothes that are formal enough for the occasion. It is better to overdress than to under dress, unless you are applying at a company with a reputation for an informal environment. So if you’re applying to work for an environmental charity or as an artist, you may want to dress in a way that is typical for people who work for the organization. However, you should avoid denim. It is also best to go with a conservative outfit. Flashy may make you memorable, but not typically in a good way for anything other than a modeling or television job. Baggy and skimpy outfits should also be avoided in most situations.
For most jobs you don’t have to look like you’re into high fashion, but you also shouldn’t show up in gym clothes either. Don’t wear hats. Don’t overdo your makeup.
Be Prepared for the Moment
Do whatever you have to do to ensure you’ll be on time for your interview. A list of things you need to do leading up to your interview may be helpful. Make sure you have extra resumes with you. Have a device for storing important information you may receive during the interview, and bring along any contact information you’ll need for past employers and references.