7 Tips on How to Prepare for a Job Interview
Preparation is essential for any job interview you go to. Here's our guide to success.
After being invited for an interview, your thoughts will usually turn to delivering an excellent performance. To do so, however, you will need to practice and prepare. Even the most qualified job seekers need to prepare for job interviews. Interviewing is a learned skill and you only have one chance to impress your prospective employer.
Research the Company
Before you go for your job interview, it is imperative that you research the company. This is a critical part to your interview preparation. Researching the company will help you answer interview questions descriptively and ask the interviewer thoughtful questions when the tables have turned. During this researching period, you are also able to determine if the company is a good culture fit for you. Researching the employer is a great way to become a stand-out candidate during the hiring process.
Analyze the Job
Make sure you review the job posting or job description during your interview preparation, if you have it available. While reviewing the posting, think about what the company is looking for in an ideal candidate. Create a list of the skills, knowledge, and professional qualities that are required by the employer. Once you're done, match up your skills and assets to the list you've made. This will help you prepare to answer any job-specific interview questions you might encounter.
Take the time to practice answering interview questions you will probably be asked during a job interview. This will help give you an idea for how to frame your responses, and will also help calm your nerves as you won't be scrambling for an answer. Practice with a friend or family member a few days ahead of your interview, or even practice your answers out loud in front of the mirror.
Figure out what you're going to wear
Don't wait until the day of your interview to put your outfit together. The last thing you want to worry about before your interview is what you're going to wear. Regardless of what kind of job you're interviewing for, the first impression you make is important. Making sure you look neat, tidy and well-groomed is a positive image to present to your prospective employer.
What to bring to a job interview
It's important to know what you should bring to a job interview. Always bring an extra copy of your resume, a list of references and a list of questions to ask the interviewer. If you have a portfolio, bring that too, as well as a mini-portfolio to leave behind with the employer once you're done with the interview. This way, when the employer is reviewing the candidates, they have a physical copy of your portfolio to remember your great work.
Listen and Ask Questions
Listening is just as important as answering questions. Good communication skills includes letting your interviewer know you heard what was said and responding appropriately. This is important because you want to engage your interviewer and have a give and take conversation, so you can build a relationship with them.
Follow up with a thank you note
Follow up your interview with a thank you note expressing your interest in the job. In your thank you note restate why you want the job, your qualifications for the job, how you can make significant contributions, etc. You can use this thank you note as a perfect opportunity to articulate anything you or your interviewer didn't mention.
An interview can be stressful but taking a pro-active approach to preparing for the interview will ensure that you are at the top of your game. Follow the points above and you'll be one step closer to attaining the job of your dreams. Good luck with your job search!