Job Interview Tips: How To Prepare for Your Job Interview
As much as you might be tempted to wing it, if you have a job interview coming up, PLEASE take time to prepare yourself in advance. The work you do upfront will help you successfully handle their questions (see below) and also help relax you enough to actually listen to what they say — without all those nerves getting in the way.
Practice and preparation helps clear your brain … and lets you be your real self throughout so you can engage more fully in a natural conversation while in the interview hot seat, the biggest advantage of all. Remember that each step you take BEFORE your interview can make a huge difference to giving your best interview — and hopefully getting that job.
Steps To Help You Prepare for a Job Interview
Step #1: Know Who You Are!
When it comes to job interviews, it’s important for YOU to know who you are before you can help your interviewer see it. Take the time to get to know yourself well – your strengths, your weaknesses, and what you really want!
♦ Assess your strengths and skills
♦ Look at work history to find your strengths
♦ Make a list of your successes
♦ Take time to review any failures
♦ Think about what you really want
♦ Think about what you never want to do again
Step #2: Know Who They Are!
Try to learn all you can about the company before your interview. Doing your research ahead of time will help you to better target your answers, and also help you know what to ask. And if you can find out something helpful about the interviewer(s), even better.
♦ Research the company
♦ Go to their website
♦ Use a search engine
♦ Look for them on social media
Step #3: Review Job Description
One of the most important things you can do to prepare yourself for your job interview is to know the job you’re interviewing for as well as possible. Use the job description to note key requirements, and look up anything you’re not familiar with.
♦ Carefully read job description
♦ Highlight key requirements & skills
♦ Look up any terms you don’t know
♦ Brush up on key skills not recently used
Step #4: Review Your Resume
I’ve seen job candidates look like deer caught in the headlights after I asked them about something that’s written on their own resume. Prepare for your interview by reviewing your resume carefully, making notes about key elements – especially any experiences that relate to the new job you’re hoping to get.
♦ Familiarize yourself with entire resume
♦ Compare job description to resume
♦ Note points of similarity
♦ Create work history success stories
Step #5: Practice! Practice! Practice!
Take the time to practice answering each one of these 12 commonly-asked interview questions. This would be helpful to anyone, but it will be especially useful to you to prepare this way if you’re someone who gets nervous in interviews. Ask family and friends for help. (BTW … most people get nervous when they are being interviewed.)
♦ Get comfortable talking about yourself
♦ Ask friends or family to play interviewer
♦ Record yourself if possible
♦ Imagine yourself doing well in the interview
Job Interview Preparation Tips
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A few more thoughts
All too often a job seeker goes into their job interviews thinking “If I can only ace every question, I’ll get the job!” Of course, handling interview questions is important, and that’s why I gave you a link to help you understand the general method for answering, as well as some specific question and answer tips.
But when I hire people, it’s because of the whole package. Yes they have to have the required skills and be able to speak coherently during the interview, but we are also looking for someone we will enjoy working with — and who we can trust to be there for the rest of us on a day-to-day basis.
And the best way you can show us who you really are is to prepare well enough to handle the interview as a natural conversation — while also making sure we get to see the whole picture of a capable, dependable, resourceful person who matches the job we need to fill!