How To Get Ready For A Job Interview
Interviewing with a hiring manager can end up becoming a huge step forward in any career. You never know how great opportunities may quickly arise and change your life.
Whether you’re a business tycoon who’s snagged many positions, or a greenhorn who’s excited to start their career, an interview is a big deal. Not only is it your first opportunity to show your potential employer that you’re the best candidate for the job, It’s also quality face time with someone who is likely a manager for that company.
The ultimate goal of every interview is to leave a long lasting positive impression, and help them realize you’re the best fit for their company, and this position. Thankfully you’re not alone. With this helpful guide, you’ll be prepared for anything that’s thrown at you.
Let’s get down to the basics.
How can you expect to ace your interview without putting in the proper work ahead of time? When it comes to researching for your interview, there are two basic parts you want to focus on.
- You want to learn about the company as a whole, and
- You want to learn about the position you’ve applied for.
The main thing that’s going to set you apart from everyone else is how much time you put into preparing for your interview. But don’t start to get stressed out! I’ve got some great places for you to start.
At this point you may be asking, “Well, what should I be looking for then?”
The answer is simple, and to get you started down the right path, I have a list of questions you need to ask yourself while doing your research.
- What sets this company apart from the rest?
- What type of social media presence does this company have?
- What types of skills and experiences are valued for your position?
- What news or current events are happening in the company?
- What’s the company culture like?
- What stands out as a good pick for this job?
These questions are a great starting place for your research. One of the best tools you can use is the company’s website. Make sure you don’t forget about social media either, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter are your friends! It’s important to tune into key details about a company. Then obviously you need to study the most common job interview questions and answers (here is a free mobile app) and craft your own responses that are tailor made.
Don’t relax just yet though! You’re not done with your research. You should try to find out as much as you can about the position you’re interviewing for, and the company as a whole.
You have one major issue here though. You can only find out about the role from what they share. But is that really it? Is really a 200 word job description all there is to know?
There are also unwritten requirements. These are basically the kind of requirements that exist in the minds of the hiring managers but not necessarily well known by the recruitment team. As a result of this misalignment, HR and hiring managers end up looking for different things in a candidate. That’s why it’s crucial that you understand what the recruitment team wants and what the hiring manager wants. Once you know what they want, you can then easily give it to them.
To prepare for any interview, you need 4 things in priority order;
- What is the ideal candidate for the role? (with written and unwritten requirements)
- How can you be that ideal candidate based on your previous experiences and skills?
- How can you create the perfect answers using anecdotes and examples from your past?
- How can you deliver your answers genuinely?
The last one is the easiest. It’s just a matter of practice. You can practice yourself in front of mirror or with your family and friends. Make sure you pick a friend who is going to treat the mock interview seriously though. It’s not a laughing matter. It’s your career.
While preparing your answers, you are going to have to take a good look at yourself.
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
If you have a weakness going into an interview, you should have a good idea of what you want to say when it comes up. If there is anything on your resume that would warrant a follow-up question, be prepared to have a good answer. Do you have any criminal history? Do you large gaps in your employment history, or have you made major switches in careers? Have you been bouncing around from company to company a lot? Theses are all things that can, and usually will be talked about, so you need to make sure that you’re prepared for that. Make sure you’re being honest, you might not be aware of what the interviewer knows. Feel free to take a look at some career guidance from Cass Business School.
This is also a good one again from Cass on the infamous tell me about yourself question.
On the other side of the coin, you should know your strengths as well. Being able to naturally direct the conversation to your strengths is a great way to perform well in an interview. But be careful not to get too off topic, if you start to go off on a tangent, that can negatively impact your interview. When you’re answering a question, it’s essential that you’re answering in a way that’s informative, and substantial. Keep in mind that this is not the time to be giving superficial, stereotypical, or sarcastic answers. Answer from the heart!
Now let’s talk about how you look. The first impression you’re going to make on your interviewer is based on how you look, so make it a good one! You should always be clean cut, with clean and pressed clothing. You should try to match to attire of your interviewer if possible. Your interviewer isn’t a part of the fashion police, but you want to dress for success.
Now that you have your practice questions and you know what your strengths and weaknesses are, there’s one thing left to do. It’s time to practice. Remember, the interview is important. It’s your chance to make a long lasting positive impression. And with these simple to follow tips, you’ll be on your way to interview success in no time.
If you would like to have a 1 on 1 coaching session with me, please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org