You never know exactly what you’re going to get in a job interview. On one hand, it could be an engaging, enjoyable experience. On the other, it could feel like a never-ending interrogation. Unfortunately, you don’t have total control over which experience you’ll have. However, you can tilt the odds in your favor by being proactive and thoroughly preparing for your interview. It requires some effort, but it’s worth it! Proper interview preparation makes your responses to questions more applicable to the job at hand, and can give you a competitive edge over other candidates.
Being prepared can give you more confidence in selling your talents, and help offset some of your interview jitters. Here are five tips to help you prepare for your next interview.
Give the company’s website a thorough look. You should familiarize yourself with their products and services, but also pay attention to their About section and their Mission statements. These are great places to find hints about the company’s culture. Another great way to familiarize yourself with a company’s culture is to review (or stalk) their social media platforms. Scroll through company Facebook and Instagram photos to put some people and imagery behind the mission that the company promotes as their culture.
Review & Print Resume Copies
Updating your resume is a crucial step in preparing for the interview.
- Make sure your resume clearly highlights your previous responsibilities and successes, and also provides a clear snapshot of the impact you had in those roles. Use bullets to quickly capture the important details.
- Double check for grammar and spelling errors by reading the text aloud. It’s also always a good practice to let someone else proofread your resume to catch errors that you may have missed.
- Print off a few hard copies to bring with you to the interview. Even if you sent it electronically, it’s not uncommon for the interviewer to ask for a copy if he or she forgot to print one out ahead of time.
Have Questions for the Interviewer
This is commonly overlooked, but having a couple of relevant questions to ask your interviewer can make a big difference in their perception of you. Have 3-5 questions on standby, and make sure that some of your questions reflect the research you’ve done on the company.
Dress to Impress
Make sure your clothing is clean and ironed, and that you’re exhibiting good hygiene. Does your hair need a quick brushing? Is there anything stuck in your teeth? And while you may need a piece of gum to freshen up from your morning coffee, don’t forget to spit it out before speaking with the hiring team!
Map out the interview location – know exactly where you are going. Leave enough time to find alternate routes if needed. This can prevent some unnecessary stress and allow you to arrive early enough to gather your thoughts, review your resume, and take a breath before your interview begins. You can also use the extra time to strike up a conversation with the receptionist if there is one. Getting some small talk in right before meeting with the interview team can help loosen your interview tension.
These tips can’t guarantee you will get the job, but you can have the satisfaction that you gave your best effort to make the best possible impression on your potential employer.
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