You get the call for the interview and the date has been set. You’re excited and nervous at the same time. It’s a normal reaction. Now it’s time to get ready for the interview.
The more you prepare the better you’ll feel. Of course, you can’t control for everything but there’s no greater feeling than arriving for the interview knowing you did your homework.
Here are 7 tips to help you prepare for the interview.
1. Be yourself. Before we begin to prepare, this is my best counsel to anyone. The only person that you can be is your true authentic self in any interview situation. If it doesn’t go as planned, think of it as practice and a great experience that will help you to be better for the next opportunity.
2. Match your experience to the job. Spend some time analyzing the job description and learning as much as you can about the role. Create a list of skills and experiences that you have and a list of what is required for the job. Make parallels and think about your transferable skills. Create mock interview questions for practice from the lists. The types of questions will also vary based on your professional level.
3. Research the company and department. Use internet resources to learn as much as you can about the organization’s mission, organizational structure, products and services and culture. You can even research the individual who will be conducting the interview. Facebook, Google, and Linkedin are all great resources to connect or network with employees and other individuals who have ties to the organization.
4. Ask Questions. Be sure to prepare a few questions to ask the recruiter or hiring manager as well. It shows your interest in the position. You’ll also get a better sense if the position is a fit for you.
5. Engage in mock interview practice. The more familiar you are with the questions the more comfortable you’ll feel. Create a list of key interview questions and practice with a friend or a career counselor. Be sure to consider behavior-based interview questions that ask you to reflect on a specific period in time or experience. Mock interviews are a great way to help you prepare by role playing and creating a real interview environment. Consider video recording your interview for evaluation purposes. There are many different types of interview questions but my advice would be to focus on the most popular. Create questions that focus on you, your work history, experience, competencies, leadership abilities, strengths and weaknesses, communication skills and behavioral based scenarios.
6. Evaluate the mock interview. After completing the mock interview, evaluate your responses to the interview questions with a friend or career professional. Consider four areas for evaluation which includes communication, body language, application (content, knowledge and experience), and questions.
7. Plan your outfit. Your attire for the interview will depend on the type of job and the company. In most cases, professional or business clothing is recommended. For women, some variation of a suit with a jacket, skirt, slacks or blouse usually works well. A male generally wears a suit which includes slacks, jacket and tie.
Regardless of how qualified you believe you are, remember the five Ps - Proper Preparation Prevents Poor Performance.
If you’d like to get some practice in, schedule a call to discuss your virtual Mock Interview with Dr. Monique here. She can help you address all aspects of the interview process.