Getting ready for a job interview can be an uncomfortable and intimidating process. Preparing for an interview goes beyond rehearsing common interview questions and dressing to make a great first impression.
The preparation process means taking time to consider your goals and qualifications in relation to the company and the position you want to interview for. Review the job description to understand who they are looking for. And know exactly how to communicate that and convince your employers you are a good fit.
In this article, we have prepared practical steps you can follow to ace your next job interview.
8 Simple Steps to Preparing for Job Interview
1. Examine The Job Description
The job description explains who the employer is looking for. It is a guide that covers the qualifications, qualities and personality the employer is searching for in an ideal candidate. The more you examine these details, the more you align yourself with the qualities they need the better your chances. Your potential employer will be able to see that you are the perfect fit for the position. The job description also gives you an idea and the direction interview questions may take throughout the interview.
You can also go beyond what the company presents as the job description by researching more about similar positions. Read about people occupying similar positions. This helps you to get an idea of how the day-to-day activities will be like. Examining the job description can also help you decide if the position is right for you or not.
2. Know Your Employer
After going through the job description, you need to research the company you are applying to. Spend time to learn everything you can about the company. Dig through past and present employees, read current news releases, visit their social media handles and website. You can also go deep and find out what customers are saying about the company.
You are looking forward to being part of a team. Even if the position you are applying for is not directly related to the company’s product and services, it helps to know about them. This is why learning about the company requires that you also learn all you can about the basic products and services the company offers.
If it is possible, you can even start using some of the products and services to have a feel for yourself. This will tell you more about what customers think about the company and how the company is doing and also place you in a better position for the interview.
You can also learn about the company’s culture. This will give you an idea of the company’s personality and their values.
3. Consider Getting Answers To Common Interview Questions
It is important that you thoughtfully prepare some common interview questions and answers. Even if you are an interview machine who knows how to sell himself well, take some time to think about the answers to some common questions. At this stage, you already know about your employers. Knowing about them will help you craft answers that meet their expectations.
Prepare answers to questions like, ‘Tell me about yourself’, ‘What is your biggest weakness?’, ‘What motivates you?’ Don’t prepare by writing out the answers to these questions, rather make points that you can remember and practice to connect the points to give answers by saying the answers out loud.
In talking about your weaknesses, think about something you are not good with but you are working to improve. When answering questions about your accomplishments and responsibilities, make use of numbers. A good way to use numbers in an interview is to state your accomplishments in terms of percentage value. For instance, “I consistently increased my sales by 10% each month for the last 3 months”. You can then go ahead to add “I was honored to receice an award for my contribution to the company”. Thus if you actually got awarded.
4. Conduct Mock Interviews
Practice makes a man perfect, right? Practising for an interview is a great way to prepare yourself. Also, it helps relieve some anxiety, improve your confidence, make you more comfortable and help you build the right impressions.
Let your friends and family help you to conduct as many mock interviews you can. And if there is no one to help, practice your answers by saying them out loud. You will have the opportunity to refine answers that may not sound well or convey the meaning you want to communicate.
5. Prepare A Series Of Thoughtful Questions For Your Interviewers
Another important thing is to know how to answer your interviewers when they ask ‘do you have any questions’ and employers like it when interview candidates ask thoughtful questions.
The preparation period is a good time to prepare questions for your interviewers and the advice is to prepare questions that show you have researched the company and know about the position you are interviewing for.
Ask questions like, ‘What quality do you look for in a successful employee?’ ‘What does a typical working day look like for a person in this position?’
6. Dress Accordingly
Now let’s talk about your look for the interview, it is time to trim your hair, cut your fingernails, shave if the need be, polish your shoe, wash and press a suitable outfit for the occasion. Your appearance matters a lot because that’s the first thing your interviewers see when you walk into that office or boardroom. So you need to be your best and look your best.
You can research about the company and learn about how they dress, contact a network or friend who works there, or look them up on social media, their website and get some heads up on what they wear.
7. Print Hard Copies Of Your Resume
You might have sent a soft-copy of your resume during the application process, and they may not have easy access to it during the interview session and having some hard copies available can mean a great deal. Print about five hard copies of your resume and have them ready in case the need arises.
You should also prepare a reference list for your interview, whether you think they may ask or not. Your reference list should include name, title, organization, department, telephone number email address and a brief sentence explaining your relationship with your reference.
Read over your resume before the interview or during your preparation and familiarize yourself with the order and gaps that may be in your resume.
8. Follow Up After The Interview
You should be prepared to follow up with your employer after the interview. A simple call or email can remind your employer about you and show them you are genuinely interested in the position.
if you don’t have an answer to a question, try to pause for a moment and gather your thoughts, your interviewer will appreciate you taking time to answer their questions thoughtfully. Come up with phrases that will help you when you need time to stall and gather your thoughts so that you avoid dead air. With these eight tips, you are on your way to ace your next job interview. Now your confidence should climb up because we have handed you the tool you need to wow your interviewers into giving you the position.