It makes sense that candidates who are new to the workforce tend to prepare more for interviews than experienced candidates who have seen what the process is like and have an idea of what to expect. However, just because they had a successful interview in the past, doesn’t mean that they can walk in to their next interview unprepared and think they’ll nail it again.
For those of you who may have forgotten the basics of interview prep, Forbes did a great job outlining the steps you should take in preparation for an interview, and we’ve highlighted and expanded on the process below.
To start let us reiterate our previous statement, just because you’ve sat in the hot seat and successfully answered every question that was thrown at you doesn’t mean you don’t need to prepare. Practice makes perfect.
If you’re lucky enough to schedule your interview a few days in advance you should start getting everything together immediately. Start by brainstorming questions that you might be asked, and think of basic answers that you’ll be able to easily remember and naturally expand upon. You may feel like you know exactly what’s going to be asked and how to answer but it’s easy to forget how to talk about yourself after being out of the game for a while. Consider the following questions; what was your position at your last job, and what skills did you learn while you were there? And what do you do outside of work that interests you?
Now that you’ve brainstormed some questions you may be asked, it is helpful for you to sit down with someone and actually answer the questions aloud. While you’re doing this have the other person take notes. Are you talking to fast? Are you talking through your thought process completely or leaving out key details? Are you making eye contact with the person? These are things you’ll only be able to identify if you answer the questions aloud. For more practice behavioral and problem-solving questions click here!
Just as important, if not more important, than questions you may be asked are the questions that you are going to ask the interviewer(s). It’s extremely impressive when at the end of an interview the candidate turns the table and interviews the interviewer. Not only does it show confidence but it also tells the interview that you’re looking for a company that aligns with your needs, values, and goals. So instead of leaving them thinking, “Do they see our company as a stepping stone to get somewhere else?” you’re telling them that if things work out you’re committed.
So you’ve come this far and it’s suddenly the night before your interview. First thing you’ll want to get out of the way is planning your outfit. All this does is gives you one less thing to worry about the day of. Make sure that your outfit reflects your personality whether it’s a fun tie, or a patterned blouse, small details will help you stand out amongst the other candidates. Once your outfit is decided, sit down and do some research on the company. Check out their website or see what’s trending on their social media pages. The more that you can naturally relate to the company and their interests the easier the interview will be.
It also doesn’t hurt to do some research on the individual(s) who are interviewing you. What is their position in the company? What are their responsibilities? Will you be working under them or in another department? Check LinkedIn to see what they did before they came to this company. Anyway that you can connect with the interviewer will make your more memorable.
Even more important than researching the company is analyzing the job description. Many job descriptions have a section that highlights candidate qualifications. Go through each qualification and make a mental note of how you fit the criteria and what you’ve done in the past to prove that.
The day has arrived, and just like the first time around you’re prepared. If it’s a morning interview make sure you give yourself time to get ready, have breakfast, and maybe even fit in a light workout before if you can. Plan on getting to the office ten minutes early and walking in five minutes before your scheduled time. You don’t want to show up too early as to throw off their schedule and make them feel rushed but you do want to show you’re prompt. So we’ve provided you some simple steps to success, now go out and show them what you have to offer!