If you are preparing for a job interview, the suggestions below can help you make it through your interview with ease. Adequately preparing in advance will make the process less stressful while at the same time helping you make a good impression on potential employers.
1. Practice your answers ahead of time
Even though every interview is a little bit different, there are some questions that most companies ask. Find out what the most common questions are. Then, practice giving answers to those questions. When providing answers, don’t veer off target.
Instead, keep your answers specific, communicate your unique value to recruiters. Read through the job posting carefully, writing down all of the specific requirements that they list. Go through your past experience to see how your skills apply to those requirements.
No matter how much time you spend preparing, however, you need to really listen to the questions during the interview to make sure that you know exactly what the interviewer is asking. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you know what they are asking without really analysing the question. Otherwise, you could run the risk of providing an answer that is off-topic or that doesn’t fully address the question.
Always bring along some questions to ask the interviewer, as well. At the end of most interviews, they will ask you if there are any questions that you have. Having a couple of intelligent questions prepared ahead of time can help show that you are really interested in working for the company. If you don’t have any questions, on the other hand, it can give the person in charge of hiring the impression that you really don’t care.
2. Try to connect with the person conducting the interview
Connecting with the interviewer on a personal level can improve the chances of getting hired. At the start of the interview, they will usually introduce themselves. Do your best to remember their name so that you can use it throughout the interview process. If you have trouble remembering names, try saying it back to them when they introduce themselves or writing it down in an inconspicuous area in your notebook.
Connecting with your interviewer on a personal level can boost your odds of getting the job. Typically, hiring managers go with candidates who are personable and who seem like they would fit into the overall culture of the company.
3. Educate yourself about the company
Learn as much as you can about the company before your interview. Oftentimes, interviewers will ask how familiar you are with their business. Even if they don’t ask you outright, you should still draw on the information that you learned to show that you are familiar with the company.
Weaving your knowledge into your answers is a good option. For instance, if the company recently upgraded to a more advanced software system, you could mention the upgrade and talk about how your previous experience working with similar systems in the past could benefit the company as they move forward with their new system.
You can discover a wealth of information about most companies on their website. This not only includes their mission statement and their company values but also their history, information about their employees, and press releases about any major events that have recently happened. Checking the company’s social media profiles and blog can also be beneficial.
4. Prepare well in advance
Reduce stress by having everything planned out ahead of time. This not only includes putting together your resume but also deciding what you are going to wear and finding a pen and notebook that you can take along with you. That way, if you get called in for an interview without a lot of advanced warning, you already have a plan in place. The evening before your interview, gather together all of your supplies so they are ready to go in the morning.
Having all of these items prepared in advance can make getting out the door in the morning a lot faster. It also can take some of the stress out of the equation. Instead of having to worry about what to wear, you can focus on getting in the right frame of mind to answer questions during your interview.
When choosing your outfit, look for clothing that is suitable for the type of job you are interviewing for and that makes a good impression. Bring along more than one copy of your resume. Don’t forget to bring some paper and a pen so that you can take notes during the interview.
5. Show up early
Nothing is worse than being late for an interview. To avoid any problems, plan to arrive about 10 minutes before your scheduled interview time. If necessary, drive to the place where the interview is being held ahead of time so that you can figure out how much time you need to give yourself to get there. Consider how much traffic you will have to deal with, as well, to plan for any delays. Arriving early will give you time to use the bathroom, straighten up your clothing, and get in the right frame of mind for your interview.
Focus on staying relaxed during the interview. When you are calm, it gives you an air of confidence that can help put you in a better light.
Focus on making eye contact with the person conducting the interview. Listen carefully to the questions so that you know exactly what they are asking. Wait until they are done talking to begin answering. Never interrupt the interviewer.
Don’t be afraid to pause for a minute before answering to carefully think about what you want to say. This is better than stumbling through your answer.
7. Touch base after your interview
Sending a thank you note after the interview is always a good idea since it shows the company that you still want the job. If you neglected to talk about any important details in your interview, you can also briefly mention them in your note. If your interview was conducted by more than one person, send a personalized note to each individual. Typically, these thank you messages should be sent out within a day of when your interview took place.