Just landed a job interview with the company of your dreams? Congratulations! A job interview is your opportunity to showcase to a potential employer that you have the skills and background that would be a good fit for the company. Many people understandably feel some pressure about performing well in the interview, but the truth is, as long as you’re prepared, you’ll do just fine. Here are some do’s and dont’s to keep in mind before your interview.
Before you do any other preparation, you need to start by learning as much as you can about the company (within reason, of course!). Reviewing the company’s website is a great place to start, but you should also Google the business to see what news they get (both good and bad). Recent press releases and financial reports can help give you an idea of what the company says about itself, as well as how it’s doing in the market. Don’t be shy about following the company on Twitter, Instagram, or any of its other social feeds. Twitter will show you who the company is engaging with – and who’s talking to them.
All of these details will put the job you’ve applied for in context and help you answer the question, “What could I bring to the company?” before the interviewer even asks you.
One of the biggest interview mistakes people make is
not practicing before the actual interview. Take time to do at least two practice interviews before you go in for the real thing; you’ll perform better when you’re comfortable and have an idea of what to expect. Have friends or family play the role of the interviewer and ask you some practice questions. Many career services offices at colleges and universities also offer practice interview sessions for their recent graduates.
In addition, take some time to ask yourself some practice interview questions and come up with a list of answers.
Some of the most common interview questions are:
What do you know about our company?
Tell me about yourself.
What are some of your strengths?
What are some of your weaknesses?
Being asked to describe yourself in just a few words or sentences can be challenging. Keep it simple: talk about what you like to do for fun. It’s okay to show a bit of a human side in addition to your professional credentials.
Experts see interviewees frequently make two very common mistakes: not dressing professionally and not arriving to the interview on time. Both of these mistakes demonstrate that not only do you not take yourself seriously, you also don’t take the interview seriously – and that’s a red flag for employers.
Regardless of the workplace environment – from business casual to business formal – experts say you should wear something that is tailored and fresh. Your shoes should also match the outfit: don’t wear a pair that has scuff marks or looks heavily worn.
On the night before the interview, take time to do something relaxing, watch your favorite t.v. show, go for a nice walk, use an e cigarette drip, whatever you need to do to prepare for your last-minute preparations. Collect and review any of the documents you might need to bring: ID, resume, copy of your cover letter and resume. Have a good dinner and get a good night’s sleep. Experts say that one of the best ways to perform better in the interview is to visualize performing well. Keep that image of confidence and poise in your mind as you drift off to sleep.
The morning of your interview, make sure to give yourself plenty of time to get to the interview location to allow for traffic or any unforeseen obstacles.
You’re going to do great. Good luck!