A job interview can be an anxious time for anyone, but you can reduce that anxiety by going into every interview prepared to nail it. While it is impossible to predict exactly what the interviewer is going to ask you, it is still up to you to be as prepared as possible and present a professional attitude.
1. Learn about the company
These days, it is fairly easy to do research on a company, which is why the interviewer is expecting you to know something about the company when you go to your interview. The interviewer may even start off by asking you what you know about the company as a way to see if you did your homework.
When you do research on a company you are looking to work for, there are three things you should always learn about that can be used later in the interview. They are:
- The company’s latest accomplishment.
- The company’s biggest success story.
- The company’s core business operations.
As long as you know the three basics about the company, then you will be able to give a strong answer to the interviewer’s questions and show that you take the interview process seriously.
2. Think about commonly asked questions and be prepared with some answers.
You will never know in advance all of the questions the interviewer will ask, but there are some common interview questions that get asked in every interview. You need to spend some time thinking about the most common interview questions including these:
- Tell me about yourself
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Why should we hire you?
- What is your greatest professional accomplishment and why?
- When was a time when you failed at your job?
- Weaknesses, strengths…what are they?
Every answer should be concise and positive. For example, you can use a time when you failed but learned a valuable lesson to answer the question about failure. Be decisive and positive with your answers and you will impress the hiring manager every time.
3. Practice, practice, practice
Once you have prepped someanswers and your company research done, it is time to practice your interview. Find a friend or family member who you feel can ask you questions that will help you prepare and use their feedback to improve your presentation. Spend some time talking in front of the mirror to learn how to properly use your body language to give an air of confidence when you speak.
4. Present a professional appearance
Unless the job you are interviewing for requires your hair to be unkempt and your look to be disheveled, then you need to get groomed no more than three days prior to the interview. Get your hair cut and give yourself a professional look. A good interview wardrobe is more conservative and uses neutral colors. Avoid wearing any large jewelry, colorful accessories, and strong perfume or cologne. Do not wear a hat or sunglasses to your interview and keep your smartphone away and silenced.
Step 6 – Prepare your portfolio
When you go into any job interview, you should have a portfolio that has a pad of legal paper, a couple of pens, several copies of your resume, and copies of your references. You will present a much more professional look when you show up prepared for anything that may happen during the course of your interview.
Step 7 – Confirm your route
The day before your interview, take the drive out to the company location so that you know where it is and exactly how long it takes you to get there. You want to be at least 15 minutes early for your interview to fill out any paperwork and show that you are taking the process seriously. Remember that the receptionist is going to have some input on whether or not you are hired, so arrive early and present the unmistakable air of confidence.
You are now ready to ace your interview and get the job you have always wanted. As long as you prepare as you are supposed to, you will be giving yourself a significant opportunity to succeed.