We have all been there. Interviews can be scary and you get nervous easily. You need to leave a good first impression and to achieve that you need to prepare for a job interview beforehand. That would take more than just googling the company. We have compiled a list of tips on how to prepare for a job interview:
1. Research the company and the job description
Spend a few hours reading and learning about the company. Don’t just focus on the company’s website, but get information from other sources as well. Twitter, Facebook, news, blog posts, LinkedIn – all of these are useful to familiarize yourself with the company’s culture and tone.
Use the job description as a guide. You should be prepared to know the qualifications, responsibilities, and all the other details. This will also help you to form relevant questions that you can ask at the end of the interview.
You can always research similar positions for other companies and see how those are related or different. That will only help you get a clarification about the role, but also some ideas about what you can ask during the interview. Researching the company is the key to prepare for a job interview.
2. Prepare answers in advance
You know all those boring questions: where do you see yourself in 5 years? What is your biggest strength/weakness? – these are the questions that candidates overlook. Come prepared. Have unique answers to those questions.
Don’t just take someone’s answer that you found on google. Use that as an inspiration and then form your answer. That way you will reduce stress during the interview and you will look more confident. The easiest questions are always the hardest to answer.
3. Use metrics
It’s always a good idea to mention some accomplishments in terms of number during the interview. Just like your resume should have those as well. If you need help with that, you can hire us here to write your resume.
Numbers and percentages are important when talking about your responsibilities. For example, ‘while working for company x I have managed 35 people.’ Or, ‘we have increased sales by 6% while I was a project leader.’ Think about numbers before the interview and have your answer ready.
4. Prepare questions in advance
At the end of the interview, it’s your time to shine and ask questions. Don’t just say – ‘I don’t have any questions. You should ask questions at the end because you will leave a good impression. At the end of the interview, you should ask for clarification if something came up during the interview, but also ask questions that you had prepared.
For instance, you can ask: ‘what does a typical day look like for this role?’, ‘what are the qualities a person should have to succeed in this role?’, ‘where do you see the company headed in the next 5 years?’. The more you prepare before the interview, the less stress you will have during the interview.
5. Prepare for technical interview
Many companies focus on technical questions to see how you work under pressure and to test your skills. Don’t panic. There are plenty of sample questions online and most are here to test your creativity and logic. With some technical questions, you need to give the exact number or answer, but most don’t.
For instance, how many umbrellas were sold in the UK last year? You don’t need to give the exact number, but an estimate. The company wants to see how you would approach the problem, which additional questions you would ask etc. In these questions, the process is more important than the actual number. Prepare for a job interview by setting your mind that nothing will surprise you.
6. Practice makes perfect
It’s important to practice before the actual interview. If possible, have a mock interview. ask your friends or family member to ask you questions and treat this as a real interview. this will help you to relieve anxiety and boost your confidence. You can work on your tone, pace, and body language. If you can’t find someone to practice with, ask yourself questions out loud. This will allow you to work on your answers.
7. Have hard copies of your resume
It’s always a good idea to bring hard copies of your resume with you. You never know – maybe the company could not print your resume. This way you will be ready if they ask you for a copy of your resume. You can always be special by printing your resume on resume-specific paper.
8. Dress for sucess
Planning the outfit and have it ready the night before is crucial. You would have one less thing to worry about in the morning. Trust me, you don’t want to burn your shirt with an iron 2 hours before the interview. Yes, that happened to me.
Moreover, you can always look on social media to see what people are wearing at this company. This can give you a hint if the company is formal or more casual.
9. Leave on time
You should plan your travel arrangements. You should leave early. This way you will remove the anxiety that comes with traffic obstacles. You should scout the location before and see what would be the best way to get to the interview. Will it be easy to park? How long you would have to walk and so on. You don’t want to spend 30 minutes on finding the parking spot and be late for the interview. That also happened to me 🙂
10. Follow up
You successfully completed the interview, you leave, and then you never contact the recruiter again. That’s a mistake. No matter how the interview went, you should always follow up. Send a thank-you note afterward. This will show your interest in the position and the company.
The note does not have to be long but mentions why you are interested in the position, your qualification, something that you found interesting during the interview. Thank the interviewer, ask them if they have additional questions, and end with saying that you are looking forward to hearing back from them.