Once the application process is underway, you may find yourself called in for an interview. Congratulations! But are you ready? Do you feel like you’re prepared? Even if you do feel prepared, it never hurts to evaluate and see if there are any tips you can use. Here are some ideas to help you prepare for a job interview.
Research the Company
Prospective employers are more impressed by candidates who know something about their company. Find out everything you can about their business, including a little history. If you can find out the bios of the company’s leaders, all the better. Find out their mission statement, their goals, and other relevant information. Try to connect this knowledge with interview questions, too.
You may feel silly doing this, but it’s important. Look for possible interview questions, and really think about ways you’ve handled situations in the past. Interviewers are taking a more “behavioral” approach to job interviews these days, which means they are looking for examples of your ability to engage in certain behaviors (such as quick decision making) that would benefit the company. They tend to ask you for examples and present scenarios rather than just asking you to describe what you’re good at.
Sources say that you really shouldn’t try to fudge your way through an interview. You may get caught in the middle of your tall tale, which can be embarrassing (and may lose your chances at the job). After all, you really don’t know just what the interviewer is looking for with his or her questions, so pulling out a textbook-style answer that you think he or she wants to hear may not be the best answer at all.
It’s very important to be on time for a job interview. Make sure you leave your house early enough to arrive on time and get yourself settled and “centered” before you’re called back to interview. Some prospective employers will not even go through with the interview if you’re late.
You’ll want to bring a calendar, electronic or otherwise, and a pen and paper to take notes. This not only shows preparedness; it prevents the awkward situation of having to ask your interviewer for a pen and paper.
Turn It Off
Make sure your cell phone or other electronic device(s) is/are turned off. You don’t want your phone going off in the middle of an interview.
What Makes You Unique?
Think of this as your “selling point.” What is it about you that makes you stand out? While you don’t want to appear to be self-centered, it’s good to recognize your strengths in general as well as the particular strength(s) that qualify you for this specific job. Make sure you think this through before the interview.