The best way to ace your next job interview is to prepare for it. This may sound obvious, but it’s not. Too many applicants walk into an interview without knowing as much as they should about the industry, the company and its problems. Remember, you are there to solve a problem. Otherwise, the company wouldn’t be hiring. Follow these steps:
- Know the company. Find out as much as you can about the position, the company and its needs, so you can show how your background meets those needs.
- Know yourself. Mentally review the skills and character traits you have that will help the company’s bottom line. Think in terms of the value you can add to the position and the company.
I recommend creating an interview cheat sheet which includes 1) the questions you want to ask the interviewer, and 2) the key points about yourself that you want to make sure you get across during the interview. Bring it with you! It shows you’re prepared, organized, and care about landing the job.
- Know your job history. Mentally review your past achievements and be prepared to describe your work experience in detail. Gather letters of reference and samples of your work to present to the interviewer as proof of your past accomplishments.
- Know the questions. You can almost bet on being asked: “Tell me about yourself.” Approach this from the employer’s point of view. Think of the worst questions you could be asked about your experience and abilities, then prepare positive responses.
- Prepare questions of your own. Employers are as interested in your questions as they are in your answers. And they’ll react favorably if you ask intelligent questions about the position, the company and the industry.
- Get the big picture. Visualize the entire interview, from start to finish. See yourself as performing with style and confidence. How will the interview end? Will you get a job offer or be called back for a second interview? How much salary do you want? What kind of benefits? The research you did in step 1 will give you an idea of what to expect.
Need help with more interview tips? Check out more articles here.
Here’s to having a career you love!