Preparing for a successful job interview can be stressful and can take significant time. If you follow some basic steps, you can reduce the stress as well as abbreviate the amount of time required. The first thing to remember is that preparing for an interview is very important and you must allot enough time to prepare for the interview so that will be successful. Adequate preparation time will result in decreased anxiety, better performance, a more relaxed interview experience, and you will leave a more positive impression on your interviewer.
- Review the company website – A great interview requires a conversation between the interviewer and the candidate. The company representative will ask you questions, and you are expected to give good answers. The part that people often forget is the candidate is expected to ask intelligent questions that demonstrate a knowledge about the company and the industry they serve. You should read through the company’s website and understand their place in their market. Ask yourself what makes them special in their industry or to their current customers. Make sure you understand what challenges exist for them today, and that will help you understand why hiring you might address some of those challenges.
- Review your resume – This is going to be challenging to some, but if you have ever hired someone before this might be slightly easier. Read you resume like you are a hiring manager and looking at your resume for the first time. What items on the resume are impressive, and which items would be something a hiring manager might be worried about? Items that might concern a hiring manager are gaps in your employment, short-term assignments or frequent job changes, changing from one industry to another, missing skills, etc. Now is the time to change your resume or think about how you might address questions about these items. Do not lie about what you can or have done to make yourself look better, because this will come back later and could cost you the new job.
- What is important – Think about what is important to you and what it would take to make you happy at your new job. Write down 5 relevant questions that will tell you if this new company will make you happy. What did you really enjoy about a past employer that you want to see in this new employer? Are their specific technologies or solutions that you feel you are important? Make sure you ask about their use of technology today or plans for the future that might bring solutions important to you into this new environment. If telecommuting is important to you, as about the opportunity during the interview.
- Close the gap – While you might be the best at many different technologies, you might still be missing one or more skills that are important to this new company. That doesn’t mean you aren’t a great candidate, especially if you can identify that gap and explain your plan for closing the gap. Explaining how you know you aren’t the idea candidate because you are missing the one skill, but you can explain what it will take to learn that one skill, how long you think that will take, and explain one or more of your other skills is above average might seal the deal. This shows self awareness, problem solving, and time management skills during the interview.
- Practice answering questions – Start with 10 questions you might be asked about your ability to perform the new job responsibilities. Write down the questions, and then write down your answer to each question. You will probably have to refine your answers until they are concise and perfectly worded. Once you have these 10 questions solved, start with the next 10, then 10 more, etc. Review these questions and answers before your next interview, practicing listening to the questions, answering the questions, and studying your body language in a mirror.
If you take the responsibility of a job search seriously, less stressed during the process and you will be more successful overall.