There is a lot that goes into preparing for an interview. We all know that you should look up the most common interview questions and prepare your best answers. We also know that we should dress to impress, but what are some of the most common errors people make and how can we remedy them? I’m going to give you the best tips I know to help prepare you for your interview.
Outfit for the interview
Let’s go ahead and start with that oh so important interview outfit. Always try to show up to your interview dressed in clothes that go along with the companies dress code. You can sometimes find the companies dress code online in their employee section.
If you can’t get that lucky go ahead and scope out their office ahead of your interview. Watch for some time and see what the employees are wearing as they come in and out. Always make sure your clothes are well fitted, cleaned and pressed. Splurge a little and make sure you have an up to date suit, not that thing that’s been sitting in the back of your closet you used for your last round of interviews years ago.
Know the company
Next focus on really getting to know the company that you’re interviewing for. Go ahead and get on Google and spend a few hours learning everything you can that way, but don’t let that be your only source of information.
Jump onto Linked In and find a few people from within the company you can talk too. Ask your friends who might know about the company. Read all of the newest news releases on the company to make sure you’re up to date on everything they’re working to accomplish.
Jump onto all of your social media platforms and check out the companies pages. You might be surprised what you can learn there. You could also try looking up some of the employee’s blogs to gather information. No matter which way you choose to do it just learn absolutely everything you can.
Prepare your Mind…
Now that you know what you’re wearing and you know everything about your company inside and out it’s time to prepare the very most important thing, your mind! Memorize your school and work history completely, to the point where if anyone at any time asks you what you were doing in June of 2015 the answer just rolls right off your tongue.
You don’t ever want to leave them in silence while you think at your interview.
If you are going to be given a technical interview then study, even if you’re sure you know your field 100%, a little extra practice can’t hurt.
You can often find a prep-book on pretty much any subject. You can also create your own study guide, writing it out helps the answers stay fresh in your mind. If you can’t quite gather your answer quickly in your mind during your interview don’t just sit there silently.
Have a plan in place for what you’ll say if you get stuck.
One such thing you could do is repeat the question back to them as though you’re thinking about it. Once you feel fully prepared to make sure you spend at least twenty minutes before your interview calming yourself and clearing your mind of everything that isn’t company related.
Use the Cheat Sheet
Make a cheat sheet before your interview with all of the points you’d like to make and all of the questions you’d like to ask. Fill it with every detail that you’d like to remember about the company for your interview. Make a list and check off each of your pre-interview preparations. Print it out and go over it at least once a day until your interview.
Take good rest and eat properly
This next part is going to seem like common sense but really put some effort into making it happen. Be well-rested. The day before your interview makes sure you eat properly and drink plenty of water. Eat a well-balanced diet. Consider even getting yourself a nice massage.
Do whatever it takes to help you relax and keep calm so that you can get a full, restful uninterrupted 8 hours of sleep. You will definitely be pleasantly surprised by what a bit of self-care can do for your interview skills. So while it may be tempting to drink those five cups of coffee and cram for your interview until 2 am, you’re time will be much better served just climbing into bed and getting some much-needed rest.
Practice, practice, and more practice — Mock Interviews can help
The last thing I’m going to ask you to do is to prepare and practice some anecdotes. I’m sure you have some in mind, some classic go-to’s you’ve used since your very first interview. While it is definitely great to be well versed and comfortable with your stories’ try to add something new that is relevant to this position at this specific company. We can help you with Mock Interviews (schedule your free consultation) — that’s our specialty.
Have you previously done some form of work that coincides with this job? Did you do a project at school that would fit right in? Write out the experience, add in a little bit of humor and don’t forget to practice reading it out loud, if only to yourself in the bathroom mirror. Some level of comfort with the material is key to being able to nail it in the job interview.
Now that you’ve got your shoes shined and your check-list printed you’re ready to rest up and head into that interview with all of the confidence of a person who knows they already have that job.