One of life’s most stressful events might be a job interview, because of the uncertainty that lies ahead. However, a job interview does not have to be that scary once you have fully prepared for it. Feeling ready can make you feel much more relaxed, which could make your interview go extremely well.
Below is an overview of what you should prepare for prior to your job interview:
1. Research About the Company and Your Interviewers
Understand the important functions of what the company you are applying for does. Search their website, their social media posts (Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), and press releases in order to provide you with a solid understanding of their mission, goals, and values. Try to see how you fit it, and what added-value you might be giving the company.
2. Practice Answering Common Interview Questions
Prepare some answers to common interview questions. The idea is to be able to reflect who you are and the added value you will be bringing with you to the company.
Top 10 Interview Questions:
- Tell Me About Yourself
- Why Do You Want This Job?
- Why Should We Hire You?
- What is Your Greatest Strength?
- What is Your Greatest Weakness?
- Why Do You Want to Leave (or Have Left) Your Job?
- What are Your Salary Expectations?
Tip: Don’t give the impression that you are only interested in the salary; wait until the subject is brought up by the employer. However, you should come prepared to discuss your salary expectations.
- How Do You Handle Stress and Pressure?
- Describe a Difficult Work Situation or Project and How You Handled It
- What Are Your Goals for the Future?
3. Reread the Job Description You are Applying For
Highlight the specific skills that the company is looking for and think of how your skills can align with the requirements asked of.
4. Use the STAR Method when Answering Questions
When asked about specific skills used in your prior job, be sure to use the STAR method in order to tell a clear Situation, Task, Action, and Result:
Situation: Set the scene and give the necessary details of your example.
Task: Describe what your responsibility was in that situation.
Action: Explain exactly what steps you took to address it.
Result: Share what outcomes your actions achieved.
5. Let a Friend or Family Member Help You Practice Answering Questions
Practicing your answers out loud with someone else can effectively prepare you for your interview. Not only will you be able to practice with another human, but you can actually gain confidence and trust what you are saying.
6. Prepare a Reference List
Having a reference list prepared beforehand can save you time as well as give a positive impression to the interviewer that you always come prepared. This can also move the hiring process a step forward, since you already have the documents available. Your references can include but are not limited to: a former or current manager, a co-worker, an advisor, a professional mentor etc..
7. Be Prepared to Show Examples of Your Work
During your interview, you are most likely going to be asked about tasks you have completed. Try to think of the tasks that would be related to the current job description you are applying for!
8. Prepare Smart Questions to Ask Your Interviewer
Don’t expect to come into an interview and not ask the interviewer any questions. They actually expect you to ask them questions because it usually shows that you truly are serious about working with them. Below are some questions you might consider asking:
- Can you explain more about the day-to-day responsibilities that his job has?
- If one were to succeed in this job role, what characteristics do you think they should have?
- How would the performance of this person’s position be measured?
- Are there any challenges you are currently facing with this job position?
- What other departments will this employee be working with?
Preparing for a job interview is never easy, but this shouldn’t be an excuse to give up! By following the above guidelines, not only will your confidence be boosted, but you will most likely be giving the interview a positive impression about you, regardless if you get the job or not.
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Good luck on your job hunt, we hope you get it!