Preparing for an interview is very easy. Follow these steps.
1. Research the company
Before going in for your interview, it’s important that you understand the company. If you wrote a good cover letter, you should already have some knowledge. Now, it’s time to broaden and deepen it.
You should find out:
- The name of the CEO, and your likely interviewers.
- The company’s missions, goals, and values.
- News related to the company, if there is any.
- The size of the company (employees and branches.)
- Who’s doing the job that you’re applying for, and what their activity looks like on the web, if they have a web presence.
With this base of knowledge, you’ll be prepared to competently discuss your role in the company, and how you can specifically assist.
2. Practice interviewing with your friends
It’s a bit embarrassing, but you should ask your friends to do mock interviews with you. It will help you to be more comfortable during the interview, since it will help you to familiarize yourself with the information you researched about the company.
You should also be prepared to make statements regarding:
- Who you are, and your personal history.
- What your current work experience is.
- Your history, and your future goals.
- Why you think you’d make a good fit in the company.
- Why you’re interested in the company.
When you start practicing, you’ll find out that you’re going to stutter and feel awkward, and unsure about your responses. Better that you work the kinks out with your friends, rather than the boss!
3. Prepare documents for the interview
- 3 copies of your resume. (This is in case you have multiple interviewers. You’ll look extremely prepared if you can hand out your resume to everyone to study.)
- A list of contacts that they can call to get recommendations. (Note: Be sure to ask these contacts if it is OK to list their names.)
- A copy of your cover letter. (Not entirely necessary, but could also be useful if they misplace their copy.)
Bring these items to ensure full preparation.
4. Get a good night’s rest, and eat a healthy breakfast
Be responsible. Don’t drink the night before, stay up late playing video games, or try to jam in too many chores. Studies show that a lack of sleep can cause accidents and even a permanent loss of intelligence. Be sure to eat a healthy breakfast. Studies also show that not eating breakfast will not only sap your energy, but will also contribute to killing you! You’ll need all the energy and spunk you can get when you walk into the interview environment.
5. Dress up – no matter what job you’re applying for
Always dress for success. It doesn’t matter what the job is, you should arrive in a suit or a dress. In some cases, you may feel overdressed – but the fact of the matter is that people will only compliment you on your appearance. Then, they will let you know that you don’t need to dress up at the workplace.
You’ll come off as professional and a head above the rest of your competition.
6. Arrive 10 minutes early
First of all, being late is the worst thing you can do to yourself.
Being right on time is the second worst.
Give yourself some time to mentally prepare before walking into the interview. Rushing to get in the door on time will cause normal people to have an elevated pulse, and appear twitchy and nervous. If your energy level is too high, it can be just as off-putting as being a slouch.
Giving yourself an extra 10 minutes to take some deep breaths and go over the content of your interview can mean all the difference between a shaky, unsteady performance, and a killer interview.
7. Don’t forget to smile
Don’t stroll in the door looking dead serious or panicked. The unfortunate reality is that your first impression is the most important one. Give your interviewers, and their co-workers, warm smiles and greetings.
This can be difficult to do in a pressure-filled situation like an interview. The hiring manager will understand your situation and be sympathetic. However, you’ve got to force yourself to be friendly!
8. Ask questions
All that studying and research you did about their company should come in handy here. Ask detailed questions about the nature of their job, what the company culture is like, what a day at the company might feel like, and related questions.
Having no questions at all can make you come off as disinterested or uncreative. If you’re not confident that you’ll have a question to ask on the spot, you could prepare a list and bring it with you.
Don’t forget to ask the critical question: When are they going to follow up with you?
9. Thank them for the interview
People love being thanked. It shows them that you respect their time and effort, and that you appreciate the fact that they’ve chosen you for further inquiry. Be sincere. Say it loud and firmly.
10. Put on a pair of sunglasses, frown like a boss, and strut out the door
If you can pull it off, you can give it a shot.
But probably you should simply walk out the door like a normal person.
Best of luck with your interview!
You may also like these 8 Terrible Interview Stories.
If you don’t have an interview yet, and feel like your resume isn’t up to par, give our online resume builder a try.