The days of waiting for the phone to ring are over. You got the interview! Make the most of the opportunity by using these simple tips to prepare in advance. The time you invest may pay off richly in the form of a steady paycheck.
Knowledge is Power
Usually, employers want to know how much you know about them. Use this opportunity to your advantage. Go to the company’s web site and study its history, philosophy, products, press releases, past successes and future plans. Google the company’s name to find information not contained on the website. Study the company’s LinkedIn profile to find out more about the person conducting your interview. Check Facebook postings and follow the company on Twitter to pick up valuable tidbits you might not find anywhere else. It takes time, but it is the best way to prepare for the unexpected questions that cause many to stumble.
Plan for Success
Being late for an interview is like hammering the nails in your own coffin. Do not do it! Regardless of the excuse, it is unprofessional, disrespectful and indicates you lack good time management skills. Give yourself extra time in the morning by deciding what to wear the night before. Set your briefcase, with printed copies of your resume inside, by the front door. Place the other odds and ins, such as your purse, car keys, directions, and interview appointment notes in a pile next to it. Add a cushion of 15 to 30 minutes to your travel time to allow for heavy traffic or other tie-ups. If you are a little early, – no harm – you can sit in your car for a few minutes. However, if you are late – well – enough said.
Rehearse and then Rehearse
It is hard to practice too much for a job-winning interview. You uncovered a lot of information during the research phase. The trick now is turning that knowledge into a conversation that sounds polished and smooth. Look up a list of likely interview questions. Ask a friend or relative to play the role of the interviewer.Give him or her permission to pose the really tough questions. What do you think of our newest product/service? Why did you quit/get fired from your last job? What is your greatest weakness? Tell me how you handled a difficult situation with a co-worker/customer. Practice until your answers drip with poise and confidence, your posture is relaxed, and your eye contact is steady.
The night before the big interview, your emotions can turn into a jumbled mess. One minute, you are basking in confident anticipation; and the next, you are drowning in waves of anxiety and doubt. You wonder, ‘Did I learn enough about the company? What if they get me with a trick question? What if my mind freezes and I forget the interviewer’s name?’ Break the grip of this stress-induced torture by doing something totally unrelated to the interview. Watch a favorite movie, go out to dinner with friends or take the dog to the park. Relaxing calms the nerves and it prepares you for a night of restful, rejuvenating sleep.
Showing up prepared is the trademark of a true professional; being unprepared suggests you are not interested or you are lazy. Increase your chance acing the interview by taking the time to study, get organized, practice, and rehearse.