Apply these six interview tips to your preparation and give yourself a head start over your competition.
Failure to prepare for a job interview is one of the best ways to make sure you don’t get a job.
How Important is Interview Preparation?
It is absolutely imperative that you begin to prepare for an interview before you are even called by an employer to schedule a meeting. From the moment you begin your job search, you should begin preparing as though you have an interview the next day.
Take a look at the following interview tips for ideas on how you can become better prepared for your next job interview and get a few steps ahead of the competition.
Preparation Interview Tips # 1
One of the first tasks you should tackle is setting up your interview wardrobe and materials. The day of the interview you are likely going to be somewhat nervous and flustered.
Taking the time to make sure you have everything easily accessible will go a long way toward calming your nerves on the day of your interview and insuring that you arrive on time.
While you are job searching, you should have at least one set of interview clothing that is ready to go at a moment’s notice. Also make sure you have a briefcase or attaché packed with plenty of extra resume copies, pens, pencils, notebook and anything else you think you might need on the day of the interview.
Preparation Interview Tips # 2
There’s no way to know every question that will be asked of you during the interview, but almost all employer ask a number of the same basic questions. Take the time to practice your responses to these questions.
- “Tell me about yourself.”
- “Why are you interested in applying for this position?”
- “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
Preparation Interview Tips # 3
It’s great to practice sample interview questions, but to really get a step ahead of the competition you need to kick it up a notch. Practice your interviewing skills with friends and family. Ask them to pose sample interview questions to you.
If you really want to get serious about preparing for an interview, set up a video camera and record yourself during a practice interview.
While it can be painful to watch oneself on camera, the benefits are well worth it. Watch for areas where you might not be smiling enough; or perhaps are smiling too much.
Check out your posture, gestures and overall demeanor. Are you presenting an image that say’s you’re confident and capable of doing the job?
Preparation Interview Tips # 4
Sit down and make a list of what you consider to be your strengths as well as your weaknesses.
The form of the question may vary, but employers generally get around to asking what you consider your strengths and weaknesses to be.
Even if they don’t ask, it’s a good idea to have this information readily available in your mind so you can drop it into the conversation wherever it feels natural.
Preparation Interview Tips # 5
No one wants to think about their past mistakes, but it is necessary if you want to improve and move forward positively.
Are there some areas of your past you might not be particularly proud of? If there are, and it could affect your ability to be hired for a job; it’s really worth the time and effort to think about how you can explain the situation if asked about it during an interview.
Remember, you need to be able to discuss the situation calmly, rationally and without placing the blame at someone else’s feet.
Preparation Interview Tips # 6
If you have targeted one or more companies as prospective employers, one of the best things you can do to increase your chances of being hired is to research the company before you are called in for an interview.
Taking the time to find out critical facts about the organization you hope to work in shows initiative and can put you ahead of the competition.
Many employers are now making it a practice to ask candidates what they know about the company.
Being able to confidently and intelligently discuss the products and services offered by the employer will help your confidence level as well as demonstrate to the interviewer that you have what it takes to succeed.
Finally, remember that in today’s highly competitive job market, skills, education and experience are sometimes not enough to land the job you want.
You need to be the best prepared, most confident candidate out there and you need to be able to express your ability to do the job well to the employer.
Taking the time to prepare is the best way you can insure that you won’t be left behind.