The preparation you do for an interview can make or break it. Preparing for your interview can help you glide through it smoothly, just as failing to prepare can put you at a disadvantage. Being prepared for an interview can separate you from all the other applicants competing for the job.
Here’s how to prep for your interview.
- Research the company and the industry. You should know the details about the position you are applying for, and the company, as well as you know basic math.
- Create a list of practice questions. What are a few potential questions you could be asked? Use specifics from your work history and experience to answer these questions.
- Plan your outfit ahead of time. You want to dress the part for your interview. Make sure your choice of outfit is appropriate, clean, and professional. This goes for your hair, nails, and teeth too.
- Map out your route. You should always arrive at least 10 minutes prior. Know where the interview is a day before and plan your travel time accordingly. Be sure to account for anything that could delay your trip (traffic, weather, accidents, etc.)
With the proper preparation, your interview should be a breeze. The interviewer, or company, has already seen something on your resume that intrigues them so be confident! You know yourself, your expertise, and you’ve done the research to know about the company.
Here are a few tips to help you glide through your interview.
- Remember you interview starts in the parking lot. You never know who you may run into.
- Be nice to the receptionist. If you have a bad attitude with the receptionist, you can guarantee they will pass along the information to your interviewer.
- Bring extra copies of your resume and distribute them to the interviewer(s).
- Shake your interviewer’s hand and make sure to ask for their business card.
- Be conscious of your mannerisms. Make eye contact with the interviewers, keep hand talking to a minimum, speak slowly and clearly, and act like you want to be there.
- Use the STAR technique to answer your questions. STAR: Situation, Tasks, Actions, and Results. Describe a situation, explain the task, the actions you took to accomplish it, and the end result.
- Ask the interviewer 2-3 questions. Asking questions shows your interest in the position.
When the time comes for your interview to end, thank them for their time and make sure you leave knowing when they will give you an answer about the position. Within 48 hours of your interview, make sure you send them a follow-up email thanking them for their time and reconfirming your interest in the opportunity.