A job interview provides the opportunity to showcase your unique personality, skills and potential.
Being prepared for a job interview can help you feel more confident and present yourself in the best possible light, increasing your chances of landing the job. Whether it’s researching the company, practicing responses to common interview questions, or preparing a list of questions to ask the interviewer, taking the time to prepare for a job interview can make all the difference.
1. Come to an interview prepared – research what the company does, who you are interviewing with, and some history about the company. Take time to visit their website, social media pages, Glassdoor, etc.
2. Dress to impress! It is important no matter what position you are interviewing for.
3. Bring a portfolio, or at the very least, a pad of paper to write on and a pen.
4. Prepare questions! Always ask questions! Feel free to write them down ahead of time and bring them to the interview. Questions not only help you show interest in the position and company but are a good way for you to find out more that you may not be able to gather through the company’s website or social media.
5. Practice! It may seem silly, but practice makes perfect! There are so many online resources that provide sample questions. The company may not ask you those exact questions, but having an answer prepared for that question may be applicable to another question the interviewer might ask you.
6. Interviews are nerve-wracking, we know! But don’t let the interviewer know. Never apologize for an answer and never say, “I don’t know” or “I am so nervous”. The interviewer wants to see that you can perform under pressure. Have confidence! You can do this! Don’t be afraid to take time to gather your thoughts before you give an answer to a question. You don’t get bonus points for getting through the interview the quickest!
7. Bring a copy of your resume. In most circumstances, you won’t need it, but in the event that you are prepared for it when the interviewer doesn’t have it, it will give you extra “brownie points”. Also, it is a great resource to refer back to during the interview and can help jog your memory when and if, you get stuck on a question that is asked.
8. Read the information/instructions that the interviewer gives you carefully.
9. Sometimes companies might want to see the projects that you have worked on that showcase any applicable skills. Be ready and prepared to refer to that or offer that information at the interview.
10. Be early, but not too early! In fact, it might even be a good idea to map out the location the night before to make sure you know exactly where you are going and ensure that you leave your house with ample time to get to the interview at least 10 minutes before it is scheduled.
11. Do you know what you are looking for in an employer? An interview is a great opportunity to ensure that you are also getting out what you want from an employer, as well. Take in the environment, the personality of those you are meeting with and anyone that you have ancillary interactions with. They all matter and will tell you a lot about the company.
12. Always send a handwritten note or email afterward to thank the interviewer(s) for their time. It is a great touch and will certainly set you apart from other candidates that they might be interviewing.