By the time you get an interview for a job, you have already beat the odds. On average, each corporate job opening attracts 250 applicants. Of these candidates, four to six will be called for an interview and only one will be offered the job. (Glassdoor).
So you might be asking yourself, how do you get a leg up on the next person that is interviewing for the same job? Preparation, demonstration of expertise and follow through will set you apart from those interviewing for the same position.
Today we are going to focus on interview preparation. We believe these are the 4 most important things you can do to prepare for an interview:
- Research the company
Duh, right? Often times, folks think that because they have secured the interview, now it is up to the company to sell them on the position. While a company does need to do their best to sell you on a position, you have to do your job too. Learn about the company products, how they market themselves, how this might relate to your job responsibilities, and don’t forget to research the folks with whom you will be interviewing. This informs your conversation and allows you to ask the right questions to ensure the right fit for you.
- Assess the job description
Print a copy of the job description. On that same paper write out, next to each responsibility and requirement listed, how your experience matches by providing details and metrics where appropriate. This preparation makes it easier to recall that information when questioned about it in the interview. This is also how you can start demonstrating your expertise.
- Prepare for the unexpected
Okay, so maybe you can’t truly be prepared for the unexpected but getting appropriate rest and nutrition prior to the interview will help you relax, think clearly and react quickly. For some, exercise and/or meditation are helpful. Hiring managers want to be certain their employees can handle the unexpected curveball or stressful situation so always be prepared!
- Make a good first impression
First impressions are important. Arrive 15-20 minutes early allowing you time to relax and calm yourself before stepping into the interview. Research the exact location and drive there the day before if needed. If this is a phone interview or video interview, confirm you have correct phone numbers and all technology is in working order. Dress appropriately. You can easily underdress but it’s hard to overdress. If you don’t know what’s appropriate, wear a suit and you can always remove layers to dress it down, if necessary. Last of all, bring copies or send/email copies of your resume and/or work samples (if appropriate) and something with which you can take notes.
By doing these four things before your next interview, you will step in (or call or video conference in) feeling prepared and more relaxed. Interviewing can be stressful no matter the situation. Prepare appropriately so you can put your best foot forward and prove to them that you are the right one for the job!
Is there anything you like to do to prepare for a job interview that we didn’t mention?