Your interview is an opportunity to shine for your new hiring manager. Preparing will take a little more time than Googling a common list of interview questions. You’ll want to make a great first impression, have knowledge of the company and its product, and know how to communicate you are the perfect fit for the job. While an interview may seem intimidating, there are steps you can take to prepare yourself for a successful meeting.
Know Your Audience
To prepare for an interview, you have to know who you’re talking to. Start with carefully examining the job posting. During your preparation, you’ll use it as a guide. It usually includes a list of qualifications and background your employer is looking for. These will guide the interview questions and give you an idea of how you can align yourself with the details.
Spend some time getting to know the company from all the sources – LinkedIn, Facebook, company website and friends and contacts are sources you can use. Get a sense of the company’s personality and culture and be sure you’ve tried a product first before the interview. If you’re able to, get a list of people from the company who will be in the interview and then learn as much as you can about them, including questions that you can ask of each interviewer. In large companies, many of the leadership can be found on LinkedIn.
Practice, Practice, Practice
One of the most important ways you can reduce your anxiety is to prepare. And the best way to prepare is to practice. Write down the questions you believe you’re going to be asked and practice the answers out loud. You may know the answers in your head, but you’ll find by answering them out loud, you’ll have a better handle on how to craft the best response. Once you practice with yourself, ask a friend or family member to interview you using these practice questions.
Prepare for the Day
There are several things you can do to prepare yourself for the day that will help reduce your anxiety. Practice a trial run driving to the interview so you know exactly how to get there and where you need to be. Remember traffic patterns will be different at different times of the day, so a 10-minute drive at 10 a.m. may be 25 minutes at 8 am.
Get your interview clothes ready days before so you don’t have to think about what you’re going to wear that morning. In addition to which, the clothes you may choose to wear may not fit anymore! So, try them on and be sure you don’t have anything to think about the morning of the interview. Remember some of the details such as shining your shoes, checking for loose hems and making sure your hands look manicured.
Prepare the things you’re going to bring with you, such as several hard copies of your resume, a notepad and pen. Include a list of references and the list of questions you’ve prepared for the interviewer. This is not the time to rely on your memory!
Figure Out What Makes You the Most Nervous
For many people, there is a particular question or topic you dread having asked. Instead of ignoring it, prepare for it. Your hiring manager will be interested in getting all the information they can, so that topic probably will come up. It might be you were fired from a job, switched careers or had an employment gap. These will show up and you will be asked, so prepare a polished answer.
Get Your Head in the Right Place
Finally, it’s important to spend time reflecting on your career so you know your story and it’s easier to come up with examples. Brush up on your body language and what it communicates to the interviewer without even opening your mouth. Your posture and stance tell your interviewer a lot about how you’re feeling and what you’re thinking. Your arms and legs crossed tell them you’re feeling closed off or defensive; when your eyes dart around the room it indicates you’re lying; if your feet are pointed towards the door it means you want to get out of there. For your best opportunity, get enough sleep the night before, and the night before that. It may sound like something your mother would recommend, but sleep deprivation will really throw you off your game.
Are You Looking for Your Next Job Interview?
Call Stellar Staffing Solutions today! We are excited to begin working with you and sharing tips for your interview, resume and reference list to help you get the right job. Our recruiters are waiting to talk – so call now!