It takes a lot more than googling a list of frequent interview questions to prepare for an interview. It would help if you made a terrific first impression in terms of appearance (no wrinkled suits here!), have a thorough understanding of your target firm and its product, and know how to explain that you are the ideal candidate for the job.
So, to assist you in preparing for your interview, we’ve put up a list of our favorite pre-interview recommendations. We’ve got you covered—with 30 methods to make sure you bring your A-game, from preparing about how to answer the most challenging questions to packing your briefcase.
Know your subject matter well
Take stock of what you already know to save time during the interview. Never go into an interview completely unprepared. Before meeting with your content specialist, check over any existing materials or search to learn everything about the subject.
Begin your interview preparation by jotting down what you already know about the subject. Then take a step back and ask yourself, “Where should I begin to move me closer to my goal?”
“How far will you go?” is the following question. That’s simple. “Go as far as you need to achieve your goal,” says the answer. First, however, consider the frequency of the task, the importance of the job, and the repercussions if it is not completed correctly.
Research about the company
Do you have a job interview scheduled shortly? Then keep reading to discover a secret weapon that will offer you a significant advantage during your consultation.
One of the most acceptable methods to stand out throughout the hiring process is to research potential employers. By donning your detective hat and looking into possible employers, you’ll learn more about them and be more prepared for an interview.
“Why should I spend time researching employers?” you might be thinking. First and foremost, conducting company research is the most effective way to learn about the firm’s operations and the qualities they seek in a candidate. You’ll also be better prepared to respond to queries and promote yourself as the most qualified applicant.
Here are a few things you should know about an employer as you prepare for your forthcoming interview:
The company’s value for talents and expertise
First and foremost, you should be aware of the qualifications that the organization seeks in a suitable candidate. As a result, you’ll be able to present yourself as the best applicant for the job.
Read between the lines of the job listings to find out what talents and experience the employer values. You can also look at the employer’s career page to get a sense of the employees they are looking for. Additionally, speak with current employees and inquire about what their employer values the most in the workplace.
The organization’s key players
Employees who have critical positions in a firm are known as key players. Managers, department directors, and, most importantly, the company’s CEO/president are examples of these people.
Reading the employer’s “About” page and personnel bios will reveal the organization’s significant players. It’s also a good idea to see what these people say about the company on social media sites like Twitter and LinkedIn.
The company’s mission, principles, and culture
During any job interview, job seekers should be able to confidently state that they are a good fit for the company’s culture. In fact, according to a Millennial Branding survey, 43% of HR experts believe cultural fit is the most crucial trait job candidates may possess during the hiring process.
Pay attention to what’s posted on the employer’s website about the company’s principles and mission while you conduct your investigation. You can also gain insight into the company culture by following the company on social media.
The person who is conducting the interview
Finally, find out who will be conducting the interview. This will offer you an advantage in the interview because you will be more likely to connect with them and start a meaningful conversation.
It can be a bit difficult to figure out who the interviewer is, but with a bit of digging, you should be able to locate the person’s name. Look up the person’s name from the interview email you received. If you can’t discover anything, gently request the name of the person who will interview you in response to the email.
Wear formal dress
While many businesses demand candidates to dress professionally, an increasing number support casual attire at work, making choosing an interview outfit more difficult.
The size of the firm, the industry it operates in, and the culture it fosters all influence what you’ll be required to wear. A small creative agency, for example, may have different standards than a large accounting firm.
If you have any questions about the dress code, ask before the interview. It’s important to remember that being too formal is preferable to being too casual. Only wear a more relaxed dress if you’re optimistic it’ll be suitable; stick to respectable work attire if in question. Make sure your clothing is pressed, and your shoes are clean, whatever you select.
Dress as if the interview is taking place in person, even if it takes place over the phone or online. It’s probably not going to go well if you try to act professional while sitting in your tracksuit pants.
Listen first and then talk
During an interview, the gift of gab may be both a blessing and a curse. As a result, you can find yourself talking yourself out of a job.
It’s crucial to remember that interviewers are merely human, and their focus will waver as you speak. It is vital to fully comprehend this to communicate successfully throughout any interview. You must listen well, process and then talk. For example, when an interviewer asks you to “tell me about yourself,” you should respond in less than a half. You’ll have the focus of that interviewer for roughly 90 seconds.
The attention span of the average interviewer looks like this:
- The interviewer is almost wholly focused on you as soon as you start speaking.
- He begins to listen with less focus after around 10 seconds.
- After 60 seconds, his mind starts to wander, and he’s only paying you half his attention. The interviewer begins asking follow-up questions or planning his next interview question in reaction to your response.
- The interviewer is barely listening after you’ve been speaking for 90 seconds without interruption.
Because most people are good at nodding their heads and muttering “hmmm” while gazing at you to mask their wandering minds, an interviewer’s attention level can be practically impossible to detect. The listener will pay less attention to you if you speak for an extended period without interruption. As a result, the interviewer may stop listening when you provide a long interview answer that leads to a significant conclusion. This is especially crucial when responding to an interviewer’s request for information about yourself because there is so much you may say about the issue. You never know which aspect of your interviewer’s background is most interested in learning about.
Be on time
You must wonder why people make such a big deal about punctuality, whether you’re slinging hash, working at a desk. Isn’t the world going to end if you’re five minutes late? No, not the world as a whole. Yes, your profession. Being timely has less to do with the hands-on clock and more to do with your relationships with others. A job interview and the job are two areas where you never want to be late.
When you arrive late for a job interview, it reveals your personality and works ethic to employers. Being late for an interview can indicate that you aren’t paying attention to critical aspects. It demonstrates that you are unconcerned about other people’s time. Punctuality is seen as a sign of disrespect. You don’t want to leave an interviewer with that impression. Arrive at the interview site around 10-15 minutes before the scheduled time. Tell whoever meets you that you are a few minutes early when you go in. Arriving a few minutes early and recognizing your tardiness is a fantastic approach to making a positive impression on employers.
Avoid last-minute preparation
You’ve polished your resume, perfected your cover letter, and identified a firm contact who will ensure that your job application reaches a recruiter. So, you write an email and send it, knowing that you won’t hear back for at least a week.
Then you get a call later that day. Again, it’s the recruiter calling to schedule an interview for tomorrow.
When it comes to job interviews, you know the fundamental dos and don’ts–but when it’s a last-minute thing, all your career wisdom goes out the window. You can cram all you want, but you’ll never feel completely prepared for an interview on such short notice–especially when it’s time to ask questions. In these cases, accept that you’ll need to discover some critical information about the company after your job interview, and keep this “anti-checklist” of topics to avoid when chatting with the recruiter or hiring manager in mind.