Congratulations! You landed the interview for the career of your dreams! That’s the first step! Now, what do you do? Prepare, prepare, prepare. Being prepared is the key to a successful interview and will set you apart as a candidate. Too often, candidates don’t ready themselves for an interview, and they have low success rates. While not all interviews will lead to you landing the job, being prepared for the interview gives you a better chance at success.
When I have Strategy Sessions with clients, there are several essential tips that I give to help you with your career goals and hit the ground running. Here are five tips to help you prepare for your interview:
Review The Job Description
Before you go in for the interview, take time to look over the job description. Knowing what the position is looking for in an ideal candidate. Pay attention to the required skills and qualifications and make sure you understand how your previous skills and experience qualify you for the position. Highlight areas that you know you are proficient in and make a note of the areas of opportunity. This will help you speak their language in the interview and help you understand how to talk about your vulnerabilities.
Study Your Resume
Your outstanding resume is what landed you the interview the first place. Just like you should know the job description, you should also know your resume! Studying your resume will help you to be able to recall responsibilities of your former roles, even if you didn’t include them on your resume. Take note of your skills, experience, and technologies that you listed. Consider how aspects of your previous positions will help you excel in the job that you are interviewing for.
Research The Company
When you step foot in the room for your interview, you should have gained as much information as you can about the company. Thanks to the internet and social media, you can find out about the company’s background, culture, and mission. Get to know as much as you can about what the company does, and the people who influence the company. Read the company’s blog, LinkedIn page, website, and any press releases. Thorough research of the company will help you anticipate what kinds of questions they will ask and will enable you to highlight how your skills will add value to the company.
Have Answers Ready
Avoid that moment where your brain goes blank, and you don’t know what to say. Anticipate the questions that the will ask beforehand. You don’t want to appear to be over-rehearsed but articulate and polished. Expect to be asked to describe yourself and to talk about your duties in previous roles (which is why it’s important to study your resume!). Also, anticipate the “Tell me about a time” questions. To prepare for these, use the STAR method: Situation Task Action Result. Each of your answers should hit each point. Discuss the situation, expound on the given task, share the action you took, and describe the result. This method is thorough and will ensure that you’ve fully answered the questions asked.
The interviewer expects you to ask questions. Make sure you prepare a list of questions to show the interviewer that you are interested in the position and the company. Keep in mind that you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Take your time and make sure you ask enough questions to make you feel comfortable with the role, the company, and that you’d be an excellent fit for the position and they’d be an excellent fit for you.
These five tips will help set you apart as an ideal candidate and make you more memorable. What are some things that you do to prepare for an interview? Any tips you can add? Please add your comments below!
If you’re looking for additional assistance, please go here to learn more about coaching with me.