Think you know how to prepare for an interview? The difference between landing the job of your dreams and bombing the interview often boils down to one key element: how well you prepare.A job interview is one of the most drawn-out and intimidating ways of making the first impressions. However, it’s also your opportunity to get on an employer’s good side, which can give you a distinct edge over even those applicants whose credentials are better than yours.
It’s not possible to anticipate every question that will be asked. It is entirely possible (and advisable) to enter your interview with a strong sense of what to expect and how to approach each question!
Taking the time to prepare for the interview in advance can help you secure a job offer. Here’s how to research the job and company, how to practice interview questions and answers, how to dress for the interview, how to follow up after the interview, and more interview preparation tips.
Analyze the Job
An important part of interview preparation is to take the time to analyze the job posting if you have it. As you review the job description, consider what the company is seeking in a candidate.Make a list of the skills, knowledge, and professional and personal qualities that are required by the employer and are critical for success in the job.
Compare your skills and qualifications to the job requirements
- Analyze the job description. Outline the knowledge, skills and abilities required.
- Examine the hierarchy. Determine where the position fits within the organization.
- Look side-by-side. Compare what the employer is seeking to your qualifications.
Do Research About the Company
- Check Background information of company.
- Use tools like Vault, CareerSearch or The Riley Guide for an overview of the organization and its industry profile.
- Visit the organization’s website to ensure that you understand the breadth of what they do.
- Review the organization’s background and mission statement.
- Assess their products, services and client-base.
- Read recent press releases for insight on projected growth and stability.
Plan what to wear
Make sure your clothes are neat and wrinkle-free.Be sure that your overall appearance is neat and clean.
What to Bring to a Job Interview
- Extra copies of your resume on quality paper
- A notepad or professional binder and pen
- A list of references
- The information you might need to complete an application
- A portfolio with samples of your work, if relevant
Pay attention to non-verbal communication.
Posture counts. Sit up straight yet comfortably. Be aware of nervous gestures such as foot-tapping.
Be attentive. Don’t stare, but maintain good eye contact, while addressing all aspects of an interviewer’s questions.
Respect their space. Do not place anything on their desk.
Manage reactions. Facial expressions provide clues to your feelings. Manage how you react, and project a positive image.
Be mindful. Nonverbal communication speaks volumes.
Start ahead. Remember that waiting room behaviors may be reported.
Project confidence. Smile, establish eye contact and use a firm handshake.
Listen and Ask Questions
During a job interview, listening is just as important as answering questions. If you’re not paying attention, you’re not going to be able to give a good response.
It’s important to listen to the interviewer, to pay attention, and to take time, if you need it, to compose an appropriate answer. It’s also important to discuss your qualifications in a way that will impress the interviewer.
Also, be ready to engage the interviewer. You want there to be a give and take in the conversation, so you’re building a relationship with the interviewer rather than just providing rote responses to questions. Have questions of your own ready to ask the interviewer.
Towards the end of the interview, let the recruiter know that you believe the job is an excellent fit and that you are highly interested.
Review these signs that will indicate whether your interview went well, and, if not, what you could work on for the next one.