How To Prepare Yourself for an Interview

In past jobs, there were often clear signs that I needed a promotion. Sometimes I would stay out of loyalty to my employer; other times, I would look for other opportunities. Whether you’re interviewing for a new position within your department or making a move to a brand-new company, preparing yourself for an interview is a lot like preparing for a test. You need to study the material, know how to handle difficult questions, and practice so that you feel comfortable when it’s time to sit down with a hiring manager.

Research the Company

The first step to preparing for an interview is to do your homework on the company you want to work for. You’ll know what they’re looking for in a candidate and how they want you to perceive them as an employer.

Here are some things you should know:

  • The mission statement, goals, and objectives of the company
  • Accomplishments or awards the company has earned
  • The details of the job description for the position that you’re interviewing for

Create a Great First Impression

When you’re interviewing, making a great first impression is important. It’s always good to arrive at least 10 minutes early if you’re interviewing virtually. That means that you have tested your camera and microphone ahead of time, and you’re in a quiet space before your interview begins. By being early, you show that you respect the interviewer’s time as much as your own.

Know How To Handle Difficult Questions

I always spend time highlighting important information in my resume. It’s important to prepare to answer questions about your resume, experience, education, and skills.

Be prepared for unexpected questions about your experiences and what you can bring to the team. It’s important not to get flustered by unexpected questions; take a moment to collect your thoughts and answer thoroughly.

Ask the Right Questions

There’s usually a chance toward the end of the interview when you can ask questions. As you are interviewing, jot down any questions you need more clarity on. Additionally, you should have already researched the company and position before the interview. So it’s a good idea to prepare questions ahead of time so that you can learn more about the expectations or typical daily tasks of the role.

Practice Makes Perfect

It may seem goofy, but I always spend time in front of the mirror prior to an interview. I practice how I will introduce myself, my answers to common interview questions, and explain why I’m the best person for the job. Practicing is one of the best ways to prepare yourself for the interview.

If possible, record yourself practicing on video so that you can see what areas need work and then improve upon them before your interview date.

Final Thoughts

Interviewers usually ask questions because they want answers to help them make an informed decision about whether or not to hire you. I hope that you now feel more confident about what to expect during an interview and have a good idea of how to prepare. Remember that preparation is key, so the more time you spend in advance, the better your experience will be. Happy job hunting!

 

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