How to Prepare for an Interview: Step by Step
Your resume can allow you to show off your skills in an in-person interview. Thus, you should pay close attention to how to prepare for the interview. The interviewer will be able to tell whether you have done your research or not. There are several things you need to do to prepare for an interview. Without a doubt, you should research the company, the position, and the hiring managers.
Mainly, you should practice your answers to the interview questions. This can make you stand out amongst other applicants. Above all, your preparation can help you get the job of your dreams. Below are the crucial interview preparation tips to help you shine at the interview. Following this preparation checklist may help you get one step closer to your dream job.
How to Prepare for an Interview
1. Analyze the Job
2. Analyze the company
3. Practice answering interview questions
4. Prepare questions for the interviewer
5. Prepare your documents
6. Mentally prepare for an interview
7. After the interview
Prepare for an interview:
Step 1. Analyze the job
During your interview, you should focus on highlighting the desired skills. Most often, you can find these in the job description posted by the company. Above all, focus on aligning yourself with the skills the company is seeking. Then, highlight your strengths and apply them to the duties of the position. In the job posting, you should focus on these key factors:
- Description of the company, company culture
- Required skills and experience
- Job duties
- Beneficial qualities
Step 2. Analyze the company
Knowing the company you are interviewing with is crucial to your success. That is to say, it shows your initiative and interest. Apart from this, it also helps you prepare for the possible interview questions. To prepare for an interview, make sure you know the basics of the company. This includes the industry it operates in, any recent news, the size of the company, and so on. When browsing the company’s website and social media profiles, focus on the following:
- Research the product and services
- Research the position
- Research the company culture
- Research the interviewer (HR) through Google or LinkedIn
Step 3. Practice answering interview questions
To prepare for an interview, it is great to go over common questions in advance. This can help you come up with answers and identify which questions make you nervous and why. In turn, you can cut the nervousness and prepare the best answers. Apart from this, you will avoid being caught off guard with hard questions. Also, it is great to think of stories that show off your best qualities and skills. Here are a few examples of common interview questions:
- “Tell me about yourself.”
- “Why do you want to work for (this company)?”
- “What is your greatest strength?”
- “What is your biggest weakness?”
- “Why are you leaving your job?”
- “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
- “Are you interviewing with any other companies?”
Step 4. Prepare questions for the interviewer
Think of the job interview as a conversation rather than an interrogation. After all, it is crucial to make sure the job suits your needs before accepting it. Thus, to prepare for an interview, have your questions ready. This can help you decide whether the job is right for you. Besides, it can also make you seem more interested in the position. Here are a few examples of common interview questions:
- What tasks does a typical day/week consist of in this position?
- What skills are most needed in this position?
- Who will I be reporting to?
- What are the current priorities to focus on in this position?
- What is the timeline for the hiring process?
Step 5. Prepare your documents
You should bring at least 3 copies of the necessary documents to your job interview. Even if you have already sent some documents, make sure to bring a hard copy with you. Without a doubt, this will show that you are organized and put together. The following are the most important documents you should bring to an interview:
- The resume
- Contacts of your references
- Recommendation letters from your references
- Examples of your work or your portfolio
Step 6. Mentally prepare for an interview
To make the best impression, ensure that you are energetic and alert. Get a good night’s sleep and clear your mind with a short walk outside before your interview. To avoid feeling nervous, prepare for the interview using this simple preparation checklist. Moreover, remember that the interviewer is hoping to find the right person as much as you are hoping to find the right job. Don’t see the interview as an interrogation, but rather as your chance to take the next big step in your career.
Step 7. After the interview
Remember to follow up with the hiring manager after your interview. In other words, thank them for their time and the opportunity to apply for the job. Not only is this polite, but it will make the interviewer remember you. Moreover, it will remind them of your conversation, qualities and accomplishments. A short thank-you note allows you to show initiative. Besides, it can also serve to bring up any points you forgot to mention during the interview.
Remember: A job interview is your chance to make the best impression on the hiring manager. First, make sure to always arrive early for your interview. Also, dress according to the position you are applying for. Remember to bring enough copies of the relevant documents with you. Finally, remember to switch your phone off and bring a notebook for taking notes. This interview preparation checklist may help you get one step closer to success. So, use your preparation and research to your advantage. Getting ready for an interview in advance might help you land the position and advance your career.