Job interviews are nerve-racking, but they don’t have to be. The key to a successful interview is to be ‘prepared’. The more you prepare, the more you will feel confident and bring your A-game to the interview. If you are wondering where to start, we’ve got you covered. This comprehensive guide on how to prepare for an interview shows you 12 ways to get an edge on the competition and land a job offer successfully.
Step 1: Make a Match
The first step to knowing how to prepare for an interview is to match your qualifications by carefully analyzing the job listing. Make a list of connections between your qualifications and what companies are looking for. Use it to write your resume and cover letter to show the hiring manager that your qualifications match the position. It will also help you prepare for the interview process.
Step 2: Figure Out What to Wear (Yes, Even During a Remote Interview)
You’re probably familiar with the saying, ‘Dress for the job you want, not for the job you have’. That’s a good tip to follow — attire-wise — when it comes to the question of how to prepare for an interview. Whether you like it or not, the way you present yourself plays an important part in a job interview. It is the first thing your hiring manager will notice when you walk into the room or start a Zoom call. Dressing up is also a great confidence booster.
Dress professionally and wear a clean and wrinkle-free outfit. Also, be sure you check if the company has instructions regarding what to wear for the interview and dress accordingly. If not, play it safe with a formal or a ‘business casual’ style and in keeping with the role you’re interviewing for. It’s imperative to have a neat overall appearance.
Step 3: Listen and Ask Questions
The interview doesn’t have to feel like an interrogation. Approach it as you would a conversation with the hiring manager — listen carefully and ask questions. If you are relaxed and have an engaging conversation with your hiring manager, you will be more connected and may even enjoy the interview. Do not interrupt the interviewer and listen carefully. Answer thoughtfully and ask follow-up questions when relevant.
Step 4: Get Comfortable Selling Yourself
Do you know your selling points? Think carefully about your skills, knowledge, and qualifications that make you the ideal candidate for the role. Once you know all the reasons that make you the right fit for the job, make a list of all your selling points, and back it up with data. Approach the interview like a marketer and get comfortable selling yourself concisely and compellingly.
Step 5: Research the Company
Learning everything about the company can be hugely beneficial for you to ace that interview. Look up the company’s website and social media, read up about it in the news media, and check out the competitors. Make sure you know the following three points:
- Culture: What is the company’s culture? Company culture can provide a glimpse at the employee’s well-being in the organization.
- Mission: What is the company’s mission statement? The mission statement defines the primary objective of the organization, such as its business, products, or services.
- Vision: What is the company’s vision statement? A vision statement describes the future goals of the organization.
Getting insights on these topics before your interview can help you align yourself with the company’s core values and help you think about what you will bring to the organization if you’re hired. It will also help you decide if it is the right fit for you.
Step 6: Anticipate What Questions Will be Asked
Along with preparing for common interview questions, you should also be ready to respond to any reservations and concerns the interviewer might have in hiring you. Think about the reasons why they might not hire you and figure out the best ways to address them.
Step 7: Prepare Thoughtful Questions for the Interviewer
An often overlooked part of addressing the question of how to prepare for an interview is of you doing the asking. It’s a good idea to have one or two queries prepared to ask the hiring manager at the end of the interview. Asking thoughtful questions will not only make you look engaged and excited about the role, it will also give you an opportunity to address any concerns about joining the organization. Avoid asking about the salary and already covered topics. And make sure you don’t just ask questions for the sake of asking.
Step 8: Practice Makes Perfect
Practice everything you have prepared for the interview. Don’t just think about the answer — practice. Write down common questions and answers. You don’t have to write a scripted answer. You can write a few talking points for clarity of thought and practice speaking out loud.
Step 9: Have Your Resume Handy
Always bring a few copies of your resume to interviews. This can be helpful if you want to hand it over to the interviewer for your reference during the interview.
Step 10: Have References and Contact Information Ready
Have a reference list ready, whether you are asked for it or not. Inform your references before giving out their information, so they are prepared to recommend you for the job. Include the name, organization, title, phone number, and email address of your references.
Step 11: Conduct Mock Interviews
Practice mock interviews. Ask a friend to help you conduct a mock interview, or practice the interview in front of a mirror on your own. Practicing with others or recording yourself can help you analyze your performance and be aware of the areas you need to work on, such as your answers and body language.
Step 12: Carefully Examine the Job Description
Read the job description carefully and learn everything about the position. It will help you understand the tasks, skills needed, and key requirements. Assess how the role fits into your career path and what makes you the ideal candidate for the position.
What are 5 Tips for a Successful Job Interview?
Now that you know how to prepare for an interview, here are five more tips to remember for a successful job interview:
- If you are doing a remote interview, test your devices or network connections ahead of time. Keep your devices charged and connected prior to the interview.
- For in-person interviews, reach the location early. Doing so can help you mentally prepare for the interview.
- Focus on the positives while talking about your previous or current job.
- Start the conversation by giving a strong introduction about yourself.
- Close the interview on a positive note.
Learning, the Emeritus Way
This extensive guide that shows you how to prepare for an interview equips you with the tools to get ready for the real thing. Show the hiring manager what makes you the best candidate for the role. You can boost your confidence even further and get the credentials to become a pro in your field. Check out the diverse range of courses offered by Emeritus that can help you upskill and increase your chances of getting hired.
By Krati Joshi
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