The job interview is in 24 hours and you are starting to feel nervous. You’re not sure where to begin to prepare. Experts recommend that job hunters visualize in their minds how the interview will go. A little edginess before can be helpful if it makes you alert and energized, but too much anxiety can be disastrous. Mental and physical preparation of an interview is key to success. While a resume or CV can get a candidate in the door, interviews are often necessary to land a final offer. Here are 6 tips on preparing for an interview in the real world.
- Analyze the Job Posting and Assess your Skills
As you review the job post, you should consider what the company is seeking in a candidate. You can make a list of the skills, knowledge, and professional and personal qualities that are required by the employer. They are critical for success in the job position. Review your list and the job requirements prior to the interview so you are prepared to share them during the interview. This preparation will help you be ready to answer interview questions designed to determine if you have the knowledge and skills needed to perform the job.
- Research the Company/Business
Before you go on a job interview, it is important to find out as much as you can about the company. Company research is a critical part of interview preparation. Google is your friend in this situation. It will help you prepare to both answer questions and to ask the interviewer questions. You will also be able to find out whether the company and its culture are a good fit for you.
- Practice Interviewing
Taking the time to practice answering the questions that will probably be asked during a job interview will help give you a framework for your responses. Some classic interview questions that may be asked include: “What are your strengths?” “What are your weaknesses?” “Describe a time you had to resolve a conflict.” Preparation will also calm your nerves, because you won’t be scrambling for answers while you are in the hot seat.
- What to Bring to the Interview
It is important to know what to bring to a job interview: a portfolio with extra copies of your resume, a list of references, and a list of questions to ask the interviewer. Your cellphone should not be visible and on silent during the interview. Do not bring a cup of coffee, gum, or anything else other than yourself and your credentials.
- Practice Interview Etiquette
You should remember to greet the receptionist, your interviewer, and everyone else you meet politely, pleasantly, and enthusiastically. During the interview, watch your body language; shake hands firmly and make eye contact. You should relax and lean forward a little towards the interviewer so you appear interested and engaged. Do not lean back or slump in your chair. You will look too casual and relaxed. The more positive an impression you make, the better you will do.
- Pick out your Clothes the Night Before
Lay out your professional outfit the night before, get a good night’s rest, and always get an early start. A foolproof interview outfit could be a pant suit, blazer with a skirt, or a dress. You should wear closed toe shoes and make sure to definitely steer clear of sneakers or flip-flops. Planning your outfit the night before ensures that you have enough time in the morning to get there early. The last thing you want is to waste all of your interview preparation by arriving flustered and panicked because you couldn’t find a parking space.
Even if you have less than a day before your interview, you can outshine the competition with a little preparation. It is important to always think about, talk about, and practice exactly what you want to happen at the interview. This is your opportunity to make a good impression and effectively market yourself to a potential employer or graduate/professional program. These 6 tips on preparing for the interview will help you shine like a star.