Want to master your next interview to land at your dream job? Here are tips to help you prepare:
- Do a detailed research about the company and industry
Understanding key information about the company you’re interviewing with can help you go into your interview with confidence. Using the company’s website, social media posts and recent press releases will provide a solid understanding of what the company’s goals and how your background makes you a great fit.
- Prepare for common interview questions
Prepare your answer to the common question: “Tell me about yourself, and why are you interested in this role with our company?”. The idea is to quickly communicate who you are and what value you will bring to the company and the role—it’s your personal elevator pitch.
- Reach around 10 – 15 minutes before the interview time
Map out your route to the interview location so you can be sure to arrive on time. If you’re taking public transportation, identify a backup plan if there are delays or closures.
- Dressing appropriately and make great first impression
Don’t forget the little things—shine your shoes, make sure your nails are clean and tidy, and check your clothes for holes, stains, pet hair and loose threads. Display confident body language and a smile throughout.
- Bring multiple copies of resume, pen and notepad
Take at least five copies of your updated resume on clean paper in case of multiple interviewers. Highlight specific accomplishments on your copy that you can easily refer to and discuss. Bring a pen and small notebook. Prepare to take notes, but not on your smartphone or other electronic device. Maintain eye contact as much as possible.
- Re-read Job Description
You may want to print it out and begin underlining specific skills the employer is looking for. Think about examples from your past and current work that align with these requirements.
- Practice good manners and body language
Practice confident, accessible body language from the moment you enter the building. Sit or stand tall with your shoulders back. Before the interview, take a deep breath and exhale slowly to manage feelings of anxiety and encourage self-confidence. The interviewer should extend their hand first to initiate a handshake. Stand, look the person in the eye and smile. A good handshake should be firm but not crush the other person’s fingers.
- Respond truthfully to the questions asked
While it can seem tempting to embellish on your skills and accomplishments, interviewers find honesty refreshing and respectable. Focus on your key strengths and why your background makes you uniquely qualified for the position.
- Keep your answers concise and focused
Your time with each interviewer is limited so be mindful of rambling. Practicing your answers beforehand can help keep you focused.
- Do not speak negatively about your previous employers
Companies want to hire problem solvers who overcome tough situations. If you’re feeling discouraged about your current job, focus on talking about what you’ve gained from that experience and what you want to do next.
- Ask about next steps
After your interview, it is appropriate to ask either your interviewer, hiring manager or recruiter about what you should expect next. This will likely be a follow-up email with results from your interview, additional requirements like an assignment or reference list or another interview.
- Finally, never give-up!
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