Job Interviews can sometimes be a nerve-racking experience – even before you even walk in. Like most things, though, being prepared makes things a lot easier! Honestly, the preparation aspect is probably the most important part of the interview process.
Knowing what you are going into and able to answer key questions will not only help you look well-prepared but it will keep your anxiety out of focus. You definitely don’t want your uneasiness to show, so take into consideration these 6 tips on how to prepare for an interview.
Bring Copies Your Resume
Often times, companies will likely have already printed out a hard copy of your resume, but you should always bring copies as well. If your interviewer hasn’t printed out a copy of your resume, you have one with you and won’t have to rack your brain to remember everything. This will also show that you are prepared and organized.
Read over your resume while preparing for the interview and make sure you know what’s on there. You’ll want your resume to be in line with the job description and you’ll want to have it basically memorized. Knowing your resume will help you be able to answer any questions the interviewer may have about past experiences, employment gaps, etc.
Put Together Questions for the Interviewer
Before going into an interview, prepare some questions to ask your interviewer. Employers typically ask “do you have any questions?” at the end of interviews and you always should. Employers will likely feel more confident in their decision to hire you if you ask pensive questions.
The questions you put together should be questions you may actually have, but also questions that show you’ve researched the company. You want the employers to know that you’ve looked at their company website, LinkedIn, etc. and have a good understanding of it.
Have a Mock Interview
Remember in school when you would have to give a speech to the class? You’d stay up practicing your speech a few times so you would know it front and back. The same energy should be given to interviews.
Come up with common interview questions and practice your answer to each. Already knowing the answers to their questions can help you focus and engage more and be overall better prepared. Although the real interview questions and answers may differ, you’ll at least have a good understanding of the company and job position.
Do Your Research
Before going into an interview you definitely want to do your research. Go over the job description several times, as well as the company description. You’ll want to make sure they like you, of course, but you also should make sure you’re a good fit for them, too.
There are quite a few ways you can do your research on a company now. Of course their website is the first place you’ll want to look, but also check through their social media accounts. Social media is usually more down to earth and can show you the company culture. This is a great way to see if you’d like the day-to-day premise of the job and company.
Have Everything Ready the Night Before
I know waiting until the last minute has become a cultural norm, but in this case–avoid that. The best way to be prepare for an interview is to have everything ready the night before. And I’m talking about everything.
You’re likely already going to be stressed and nervous before the interview, so make sure you can get done what you can beforehand. Go ahead and rid yourself of that added stress of finding the perfect interview outfit the day of. Try on and set out what you’re going to wear to the interview the night before. Check traffic at a similar time in the day and then add 15 minutes because you never really know. Print copies of your resume the night before and have everything stacked together so nothing is forgotten.
Doing all of this the night before will remove so much stress. Now, you can focus on the actual interview and your answers instead of if you’ll make it in time. You’ll be able to get there on time and pay attention to the hiring manager.
Following up with your potential employer is important if you want that job offer. Following up keeps your name in the interviewers’ mind–which is great if you’re ready to end your job search!
In the follow-up, remind the employer (subtly) of who you are and your conversations. By doing this you’re also showing your interest and tenacity. Now they definitely know how serious you are about the job and that you’re ready to start!
Now go out there and rock that interview! Do you have any other tips for a smooth interview? Let us know in the comments below.
Alyson Pittman is a contributing writer for WBD and a JR marketing associate for Excite Creative Studios, an Atlanta-based creative agency.
Alyson graduated from Kennesaw State University with a Bachelors of Business Administration and a concentration in Marketing. She was in multiple organizations at KSU where she held leadership positions. As a part of the Delta Phi Epsilon Sorority, Alyson held the Social Coordinator position and planned/promoted large events.