1. RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH.
Research the company, industry trends, projects they’re involved in, stock market rate, etc. Be sure to know who their competitors are as well.
Look up the people you are interviewing with and check out their previous career positions and background. Try to find things you have in common with them. Anyone can go on LinkedIn and see their picture and name. Go beyond that! See what groups they’re in or people they’re connected to that you might know as well. Maybe even look them up on Facebook!
2. RESUME PREPARATION.
It’s essential to know your resume forwards and backward. There might be positions on your resume that you haven’t looked over or thought about in a while. The best way to refamiliarize yourself with those early-career roles is to write out a description of each job you’ve had and what experiences you gained or insights you learned from them. Statistics show that writing things out helps with recollection.
3. PREPARE COMMON INTERVIEW QUESTIONS.
Look up some common interview questions and practice saying them out loud or write them out. By incorporating muscle memory into your prep, it will be easier for you to remember what you want to say during the interview, and it will feel more natural.
4. BE READY FOR “BEHAVIOR-BASED” INTERVIEW QUESTIONS.
In this case, the interviewer will ask you to describe the experiences you’ve had that demonstrate the behaviors the company is looking for. Lookup a list of behavioral interview questions and prepare an answer for each with a story that explains the scenario. Remember to review your resume beforehand with this kind of format in mind to help you remember examples of behaviors you may not have anticipated.
5. PREPARE 3-5 QUESTIONS YOU WILL ASK IN THE INTERVIEW.
You need to show the interviewer that you are interested, invested, and that you took the time to learn about their company. Homework is appreciated, and believe it or not, a lot of people skip out on this part of the interview prep. When you are researching the company, look at current events they are involved in, and ask more detail about it. Find something about the interviewer that you find interesting, as stated in #1 above.
6. ARRIVE EARLY AND DRESS TO THE NINES.
This is the first impression. And although this may seem redundant, there are plenty of stories of people not getting the job because of their lack of punctuality and effort in appearance. Be sure to arrive 15 minutes early. Map out the directions the day before and always plan for traffic/accidents. There is no such thing as being overdressed for an interview. Get that new suit, flaunt your shiny shoes, get your hair done! It’ll be worth it.
7. BE ENTHUSIASTIC AND CONVERSATIONAL.
Smile, be engaging, look the interviewer in the eye and shake their hand firmly. Use positive body language and try to have an open dialogue. Use your personality, but keep it professional.
8. “TELL ME ABOUT YOURSELF” QUESTION.
You can answer this in several ways. The obvious one is by telling the interviewer about where you grew up, what your parents do, how many siblings you and the dogs you have, etc., but you might be missing the point.
You want every answer to affect the bottom line of the company directly. Tell the interviewer three things you think are most vital for them to know about you. Give your three selling points and then expand on each. This strategy is kind of similar to how you prepared for the behavioral questions. Tell the interviewer about three situations that showcase your performance, patience, and tenacity. Then, if you feel you crushed the interview, use the last 5 minutes to bond over hobbies, interests, etc.
9. THANK YOU NOTE.
With technology in mind, it’s easy for applicants to reach the interviewer quickly, so it might be timelier to type up a thank you email. Be sure to include references to the conversations you had in the interview and reiterate your interest in the job and state why they should consider you. Lastly, thank them for their time and consideration.
10. KEEP ON GOING!
Odds are you probably won’t nail every single interview you attend. After each interview, take notes on what you talked about, what you felt went well, and what you think you can improve on. Each interview you attend will feel more comfortable, and before you know it, you’ve nailed the job!