When you have an interview coming up, it’s normal to be nervous, excited, and sometimes even ecstatic. Perhaps you landed an interview for a job or company that you’ve always dreamed about. Trust me, I know. I’ve sat through hundreds of interviews throughout my career. It’s completely normal. It is important, however, that you keep those feelings in check. Fortunately, these emotions can be addressed with just a little preparation. Taking these steps will allow you to walk into an interview feeling prepared and confident, and help you to stand out from your competition.
- Do Your Research
Researching the company is crucial when it comes to interviewing; after all, we are talking about your dream job! It is important to know the company’s mission, and helpful to gather any available information on the hiring manager prior to the interview. You should also research the job description and know the ins and outs of each aspect of the job. This is impressive to hiring managers because it shows your interest and care for the company even before the interview has started. It is important in your research to write down any questions you may have about the job description or the company in general. These questions are good conversation starters during the interview, and show you did your homework.
- Prepare for the Basic Questions
Interviewers usually ask a few preliminary questions before getting into the nitty-gritty details of the actual role. It is important to be prepared as best you can for these questions. How you answer these career path questions will show your determination to accomplish your goals, and also help you decide if this organization can help you accomplish them. Some of the basic questions you might be asked include:
- Where do you see yourself in 2, 5, or 10 years?
- What is one positive and one negative aspect of the job description?
- What has been your biggest career accomplishment thus far?
- Arrive Early and Bring Your Resume
Arriving early, resume in hand, is a clear indicator that you are prepared and have your act together. You should plan to arrive at least 15 minutes before your interview, as this allows breathing room and extra time in case you get lost or run into traffic. Since you always want to sell yourself in the best light during an interview, being prompt shows you are punctual and a reliable candidate for the position. Bringing your most up-to-date resume is crucial. This shows you’re prepared and showcases your current skills.
- Dress your Best
Dressing for success is one of the most important aspects in preparation for the interview. You want the interviewer to see your best self and have a great impression of you. For men, that means a suit and tie, and for women, a dress or dress slacks and a blazer with a nice blouse. Dressing your best will not only give you confidence, but the interviewer will be impressed.
- Be Passionate!
Being honest and confident in the answers you provide the interviewer is always important. Confidence in your accomplishments and skills shines through when you have a passion for the job. True passion is a trait that not everyone possesses, and if you are able to demonstrate passion for the work, it will give you an edge against other candidates. Enthusiasm is an important factor considered by most interviewers; passion is genuinely a good aspect of any career.