Do you have a job interview on your schedule? There are a number of steps you can take before (and after) the interview to ensure that you make a terrific impression during the interview.
Below are tips on how to prepare for an interview. Advice includes how to research the job and company, how to practice interview questions and answers, how to dress for the interview, how to follow up after the interview, and more.
1. Analyze the Job.
An important part of interview preparation is to take the time to analyze the job posting, if you have it. As you review the job description, consider what the company is seeking in a candidate.
Make a list of the skills, knowledge, and professional and personal qualities that are required by the employer and are critical for success in the job.
2. Make a Match.
Once you have created a list of the qualifications for the job, make a list of your assets and match them to the job requirements.
Create a list of up to 10 of your assets that match the requirements of the job. These might include skills, qualities, certifications, experiences, professional qualifications, abilities, computer skills, and knowledge bases. You can bring up some of these assets when you explain to the employer why you are a great fit for the job.
Also think of examples from past work experiences that show you have these qualities. This way, if the interviewer asks you to describe a time when you demonstrated a particular skill or ability, you will be ready.
Review the job requirements, your list of assets, and your examples, prior to the interview so that you’re prepared to share them during the interview.
This preparation will help you be ready to answer job-specific interview questions and behavioral interview questions designed to determine if you have the knowledge, skills, and qualities needed to perform the job.
3. Research the Company.
Before you go on a job interview, it’s important to find out as much as you can about not only the job, but also the company. Company research is a critical part of interview preparation. It will help you prepare to both answer interview questions about the company and to ask the interviewer questions about the company. You will also be able to find out whether the company and the company culture are a good fit for you.
For a concise understanding of the company, check out the company website, specifically the “About Us” page. Get a sense of how the company compares to other organizations in the same industry by reading articles about the company in industry magazines or websites. You can also check out company reviews from clients and current and former employees.
Also spend time tapping into your network to see if you know someone who can help give you an interview edge over the other candidates.
Here’s more advice on how to research a company.
4. Practice Interviewing.
Take the time to practice answering interview questions you will probably be asked during a job interview. This will help give you a chance to prepare and practice answers, and will also help calm your nerves, because you won’t be scrambling for an answer while you’re in the interview hot seat.
Practice interviewing with a friend or family member ahead of time and it will be much easier when you’re actually in a job interview.