It’s natural to feel apprehensive or nervous before a job interview. One of the best ways to ease your nerves is to come fully prepared. This will not only lend you the confidence you need to nail the interview, but it will also demonstrate that you are serious about this role.
- Research– Know the company and your interviewer. It’s no longer enough to rely solely on information from a company’s website. Use alternative sources including social media and news outlets. If you’re interviewing with a public company, read the annual report to learn about the company’s internal relations. Brush up on the latest industry news to show your passion and expertise in the field as a whole. Note the image the company has cultivated in the marketplace, paying particular attention to its positioning on key topics. This will give you insight into the right language and descriptors to use when discussing the organization. Search for information on your interviewer’s career history, experience, and potential commonalities. This will show the initiative you took and demonstrate your ability to make connections with the people you meet.
- Know Your Experience- This doesn’t mean have your resume memorized verbatim. However, it’s important to clearly communicate your background so you may share the progression and achievements from your career thus far. This will also help you to confidently speak to both your strengths and weaknesses. Finally, analyze the job posting and make connections to your experience and skills. This will highlight the attributes you possess that make you the best candidate for the job.
- Materials- Make sure your resume, cover letter, and notes are easily accessible. Employers want to see that you are organized, responsible, and detailed. Displaying these materials is an easy way to portray these characteristics.
- Prepare for the Tough Questions- More than likely, there will be tough questions in your interview. The intent is not to strike panic or fear in you, but rather see how you handle a challenging topic. That’s why it is key to practice. Although you are unable to prepare for every question, you can cover your bases with some of the more standard prompts, such as:
- “Why should we hire you?”
- “How have you learned from failure?”
- “Tell me about yourself.”
Consider reviewing these with a friend or family member and listen to their feedback. This practice will give you the confidence you need to smoothly answer the tough questions in the real interview.