Interview Preparation – back to basics. I’ve talked about it before, so why are we here again? Because the interview is your first chance to really show your prospective employer what you have to offer. This might be your only chance to shine, and you don’t want to blow it by not being prepared.
The question is, how do you prepare yourself before the interview to ensure that you put your best foot forward? One of the problems with going to an interview is that we get very nervous. One of the best ways to manage those nerves is to take control of the things that you can. Like interview preparation!
So what are those little things?
- Dress for Success — Arriving at the interview professionally dressed shows the interview board that you understand the importance of being at an interview, and that you want to make a good first impression. Paying attention to detail in your attire suggests that you will pay attention to detail at work. So make sure that you know what you are going to wear before the interview, and have it ready to go before hand. You don’t want to get up the morning of the interview and discover a stain on your favourite shirt or blouse!
- Research the Company – It is important that you learn as much as you can about the company that has invited you to interview. The more you know about them, the more you can demonstrate an interest in their business.
- Anticipate the Questions – What kind of interview will you be having? Knowing the answer to that question will help you to understand what they will be asking, and then you can prepare your answers targeting those questions.
- Prepare to Talk About YOU – Take time before the interview to think about what you want to tell them about yourself. You are in the interview for one reason. To sell yourself. Talk about the attributes that you bring to the table, and how you can be an asset to the company.
- Prepare Questions for the Board – Once the formal portion of the interview is complete, the Board will often ask if you have any questions. Have questions ready to ask. If you have questions for them, it demonstrates that you have taken the time to learn about them, about the position, and that you want to know more. Make sure the questions you ask aren’t about you, though. You don’t want to waste a good opportunity to show your enthusiasm for being part of their team by asking how much vacation you will get. You can worry about those things later.
- Practice Practice Practice – Once you have formulated some responses to your anticipated questions, start practicing them. Record yourself so you can see how you look and sound. Speak clearly and concisely, making sure you deliver your responses in an organized manner.
Showing the hiring board that you have taken the time to thoroughly prepare yourself will go a long way to demonstrating that you take this interview process very seriously, and really want to be considered for the job. And during this interview preparation phase, if you are still not feeling confident, don’t be afraid to reach out to someone who can help you prepare, or engage an experienced Certified Professional Career Coach who has expertise in interviews.
Do you know someone who is faced with this challenge? Feel free to share this post by using the share links at the top of this page. Also, if you’d like more interview tips, feel free to check out the interview resource page.