Categories: Jobs & Jobs Hunting

5 Ways to Prepare For a Job Interview

So, you’ve finally made it to the interview stage of your job hunt, and you’re looking for some ways to improve your chances of success. Well, look no further, because these 5 interview tips will give you just the edge you need to snag that employment. 

1. Do As Much Research As You Can.

The first of our interview tips is to make sure you’ve done your homework. Research your prospective employer as much as you can, so you know what their looking for, what they do, and what portions of your skillset to hype up. Doing your research and having prior knowledge of the company also make you seem interested and engaged, which are qualities that interviewers look for. They’re more likely to hire someone who looks like they care about the work and company they are being hired for.  Knowing the potential employer also lets you figure out where your potential future workplace will be and how far away it is, letting you plan your commute more effectively. It also informs you as to what questions the interviewer might ask, what skill they’ll be looking for, and the kind of formality they expect. This information is vital to preparing for an interview and will let you avoid several pitfalls. 

2. Practice Your Interview Answers.

Next up on our list of interview tips is making sure you get some practice in. Make sure you’re ready to answer most of the common interview questions, and have at least some idea on how to answer the more specific ones the interviewer might ask you. I don’t expect you to practice every possible question they might ask, that would be absurd, but making sure you can answer the majority of the questions they do ask with ease and confidence will do wonders for you during the interview itself. If you did your research, you can know what skills they’re looking for and by extension the sort of questions they’ll ask. Make sure to also practice your posture and tone, because body language is just as important as spoken language. If you answer every question well but are constantly slouching and sound disinterested, the interviewer might think you don’t care and that’s not a good look. Practice your posture, prepare for a wide variety of questions, and know what you might need to talk about and you’ll have a much better shot at acing your interview and getting the job.

3. Put In Some Work The Night Before.

Item number 3 on our list of interview tips is to put in some work to prepare the night before your actual interview. Make sure to have your transit route and interview outfit figured out ahead of time, so you don’t need to worry about them the day of the interview. The more things you have figured out in advance, the less stressed you’ll be on the big day. Set alarms to remind yourself to head out, pick your clothes and transport route the night before, and check the weather to make sure you give yourself enough time.  Other things to figure out ahead of time include what is nearby in terms of food or public transit, in case you need to use them or want to get something to eat after the interview. You absolutely shouldn’t let your interview prep work interfere with your actual sleep schedule, though. The takeaway here is that the more things you take care of ahead of time, the less worried you’ll be on the day the interview comes around. Organization and pre-planning are vital tools, so use them to their fullest extent. 

4. Look Your Best.

The fourth of our interview tips is to make sure to look your best. First impressions are a big part of interviews and you want to ensure you make a favorable one. One of the best ways to ensure you are at your best is to make sure you get a good night’s sleep, as exhaustion isn’t a good look before you’ve even started working. Make sure to clean yourself up and dress appropriately as well. Shower, wash your hair, shave/trim any facial hair you may have, and make sure your clothes are good and ready. If you show up looking like an absolute mess, or wearing inappropriate or overly casual clothes, you signal to the interviewer that you’re not taking this seriously, and that you don’t care. This isn’t a good message to send, and will probably lower your chances of getting the job. Being well-groomed and dressed appropriately sends the message that you actually care and are willing to dress for your work, which is a much better message to send. Overdressing can also happen, but it’s generally less damaging than underdressing. You want to show off the best version of yourself at an interview, and it’s absolutely worth the extra time you put in to do so. 

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5. Minimize Distractions.

The last of our interview tips is to minimize the chance of distraction or disruption during the interview itself. Make sure to avoid any tangents or long-winded stories when answering an interviewer’s questions. Don’t go into intense detail unless they ask for clarification, and even then make sure you don’t lose track of the original intent. While it may be tempting to explain ever last aspect of why you’re so great for the job, you should make sure that you practice keeping your focus on the topics at hand. External distractions should also be minimized and this isn’t a difficult thing to do. Silence your cell phone, set any social media notifications to do not disturb, and make sure that if you have a smartwatch to also silence it as well. Even if you don’t answer them, receiving call or text notifications during an interview is disruptive and annoying for all involved. Social media alerts can be another disruptive source of sound, so making sure they’re inactive during the interview is a must. You don’t want the interviewer feeling like you don’t care, or worse, are wasting their time. 

Do you have any tips you’d like to share with us?

Featured Image Source:
Edward Zukoski

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