You’ve got an interview coming up and you’re excited, but you’re also nervous! You really want the job and want to do your very best. What happens if you’re put on the spot and not sure how to respond? What happens if you get stuck in traffic and show up late? These are among many concerns candidates face when thinking about an upcoming interview.
Ways to Prepare for Your Interview
Jitters are entirely common when it comes to interviews. Most people dread them! But there are easy things you can do to prepare and ace your interview. Try all of the following:
- Get the details. This includes who will be interviewing you, the time of your interview, how you will be interviewed (in person, by phone, by web conference, etc.), and about how long the interview will be. The person who sets up your interview will be able to give you all this information.
- Research the company and interviewers. Go to the company’s website and social media pages, and read all about them. What do they do, what is their mission and vision, what challenges have they faced lately, how are they expanding, what’s new and what is the culture like? These are all things you’ll be able to glean from a company’s online presence. If you have the names of people who will be interviewing you, Google them. See if they have anything in common with you, which can be a great way to break the ice at the beginning of the interview.
- Practice interview questions. Google “common interview questions” and prepare your answers ahead of time. No, you won’t be able to know everything you’ll be asked, but having at least a few answers ready to go will help you calm your nerves and think more clearly if asked a question you didn’t prepare for.
- Prepare 3-5 questions of your own. ALWAYS ask questions during an interview. It shows the person you’re interested in the job. Good questions to ask are: Why did the previous person leave this job? How can I excel at this job? What are the most important things I can do in the first 30 days after I’m hired? How many other candidates are you interviewing? What other questions can I answer to help you make your decision?
- Test your equipment. If you’ll be interviewing by phone or web conference, make sure your equipment is charged and ready to go, or that you’re hooked up to a power source. If you’re rusty on video conferencing, log into the link ahead of time to test your web camera and troubleshoot if it’s not working right.
- Drive to the location ahead of time. If you’ll be interviewing in person, make sure you know where you’re going by making a test run. Travel to the location ahead of time to be sure you know how to get there, and about how long it takes you.
- Choose an outfit. You want to look your best, even if your interview is by webcam. Do your hair and makeup, and choose a professional outfit. Be sure your clothes are clean and pressed, and your shoes are in good shape.
- Breathe or meditate right before. To calm your nerves, it helps to simply breathe. Give yourself 10 minutes in a quiet spot, close your eyes and breathe. Use a meditation app if you need guidance. You might be amazed how well this works to help you calm down.
In Search of Your Next Interview?
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