Use the 17 tips a checklist to help you prepare for that important interview.
Several Days – One Week Before the Interview
- Spend some time researching the organization and the position. Study up on the company’s products and services, industry, target market, annual sales, geographic locations, structure, history, officers, and any other key information. Look for any new trends in the industry?
- Identify the organization’s major competitors and do some basic research on how they differ (either positively or negatively) from the company at which you are interviewing.
- Prepare specific examples of how your skills and experience make you a strong fit for the organization’s needs. Practice answering questions about your experience, education, and skills and how they relate to the position.
- Identify your strengths and weaknesses. Be prepared to talk about your weaknesses but find a way to frame them positively. For example, “My biggest weakness is that I am a perfectionist. It may take me a little extra time to get a project done to my satisfaction, but you can be guaranteed that the work will pass even the most stringent review, be 100% accurate, and that no detail will be overlooked.”
- Prepare several intelligent questions about the company and position that will demonstrate your knowledge of the company and your sincere interest in the position.
- Make sure you have a well-fitting suit or professional attire.
The Day before the Interview
- Contact the company to confirm the date and time of your interview. Also confirm the name and title of the individual(s) you will be meeting.
- Drive to the interview site, I recommend doing this for the exact time you plan on leaving the next day. This will take in account any traffic concerns. Quick story, one of the organizations I worked at, we had a train that came through every morning at 9:50 AM. It never failed that people with 10:00 AM interviews were late 75% of the time. Our Hiring managers did not want us to warn them because if they could not show up early to an interview, they did not want to hire them.
- Lay out your entire interview outfit. Check it for any spot, wrinkles, or snags.
- Print off a few extra copies of your resume and cover letter on nice paper. Even if the interviewer has a copy of their own, it’s always a good idea to have a backup copy. This is also helpful if you end up interviewing with multiple individuals, since the head interviewer may be the only person with a copy of your resume.
The Day of the Interview
- Get a good night’s sleep! Your brain needs fuel to run at peak performance and if there is ever a day you needed 110% from your brain, it is today. So, do not skimp on meals. Be cautious about eating large amounts of carbohydrates right before your interview though, since carbs are known to cause sluggishness and may lead to a “post-lunch” naptime.
- Get dressed early so you do not feel pressured to dash out the door. Pay attention to the details (brush off any lint, comb your hair, brush your teeth, use deodorant, etc.) and remember that a first impression can reveal a lot about you and your character.
- Do not forget to take copies of your resume, your cover letter, and your portfolio if you have one.
- Leave yourself plenty of time to get to your interview. If you arrive more than 15 minutes early, it’s best to wait in the car or outside the building. Arriving too early gives off the impression that you have a lot riding on the interview (and have nothing better to do with your time), and also pressures the interviewer(s) into feeling that they have to adjust their schedule to accommodate you.
- Smile and shake everyone’s hand when you are meeting for the first time – you should also smile and shake hands when the interview concludes.
- Relax! If you have done your homework you are well-prepared for the interview. Take a deep breath and have fun!
After the Interview
Write a quick “Thank You” message to the individual(s) who interviewed you.
Joshua Crawford | Managing Director | Get Hired Secrets
Get Hired Secrets is Launching Careers Daily. My name is Joshua Crawford, and I am a leading authority in all things Recruiting, most things HR, and an expert in helping you Get Hired. Get Hired Secrets is about bringing you powerful, insightful, impactful resume and interview techniques so you can dominate and get the job of your dreams. Check out our trainings, tips, and tricks at www.GetHiredSecrets.com
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