Preparing for an Interview can be really stressful. Discover Six Keys that could make your preparation easy and solid.
1. Know the company:
Once you know you have an interview lined up, spend some time researching the company and the position you applied for online.
You’ll often be able to learn the answers to basic questions you have, especially concerning work schedule and job responsibilities. You may also encounter information you’re curious about, so you can ask the interviewer to expand or clarify.
If you know they’re invested in a project that interests you, or that they could utilize your skill set on, bring this up. It definitely won’t work against you.
- Try the company website, anything a search engine turns up about the company, and the company’s social media pages.
- Try to understand the company’s goals and mission, and how it ties into your skills and interests. This makes you appear prepared and suitable for the company, which is a cut above someone who only repeats the website’s talking points.
- If you know someone who works or used to work at the company, that contact can give you specific tips about your interviewers or what the company values.
2. Be on time, Be Prepared:
Never arrive late to an interview. Allow extra time to arrive early in the vicinity, allowing for factors like getting lost. Enter the building 10 to 15 minutes before the interview.
Bring along a folder containing extra copies of your resume, a copy of your references and paper to take notes. You should also have questions prepared to ask at the end of the interview. For extra assurance, print a copy of Monster’s handy interview take-along checklist.
3. Dress the part, Look the job:
There’s an old adage that goes, “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have.” Seriously, this is great advice.
Get a feel for the company culture and present yourself accordingly. If you’re stepping into the corporate world, suit yourself up and make sure you look smart.
Likewise, if you’re going for a job in the fashion industry, make sure you’re wearing your most on-trend outfit. If you can’t afford to deck yourself out in new clothes, beg or borrow (but probably don’t steal) from your friends or family. It may seem trivial, but believe me, it counts.
4. Prepare to describe yourself in a way that is relevant to the job:
The interviewer may ask you non-work-related questions, and you should be able to tie them into your interest in the company. Some of these may take verbal gymnastics, but if you focus on your personal character development and your passion for the work the company does, you can usually find a way to connect them with the question.
- Prepare a short summary of a few major accomplishments in your life or career, ending with a tie-in about how you are suited for this job. When they ask you to “tell me about yourself,” they are looking for more specific information than what you included on your resume.
- Google your name and be prepared to explain any unflattering information, work experience you left off your resume, or unusual hobbies. The last category can easily become a strength if you describe positive reasons you enjoy them.
- Other common questions include What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?, Why should we hire you?, Where do you see yourself in five years?, and How did you hear about our company? These are all opportunities to describe yourself in a positive light, especially your connection and commitment to the company’s mission. If you are having trouble coming up with answers, have a friend who’s prepared for interviews before help you construct answers that are positive, but not clichéd.
5. Be Confident:
I really think this is the most important tip. Remember, you are interviewing your potential future employers just as much as they are interviewing you. So hold your head high and be confident. Remember that you are awesome, and your interviewer will see it, too.
As you answer questions, maintain eye contact with the interviewer. Be sure to pay attention to the question so that you don’t forget it, and listen to the entire question (using active listening) before you answer, so you know exactly what the interviewer is asking. Avoid cutting off the interviewer at all costs, especially when he or she is asking questions. If you need to take a moment to think about your answer, that’s totally fine, and is a better option than starting out with multiple “ums” or “uhs.”
6. Follow up
Whether it’s through email or regular mail, the interview follow-up is one more chance to remind the interviewer of all the valuable traits you bring to the job and company. Don’t miss this last chance to market yourself.
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