Finding a new job isn’t easy. But once you get the interview, what’s next? By preparing yourself beforehand, you can be more apt to tackle the questions that are thrown at you. Remember to keep calm, cool, and collected. Acing an interview isn’t just preparation, it’s also a state of mind.
So, if you can appear confident (even if you’re nervous), you should be able to put together a great interview.
The first task at hand is researching your potential employer. Find out everything about them that you can. Explore company culture, read the last annual report, analyze financial statements, and do anything else that you find pertinent to total knowledge and comprehension of the company. For example, if you are interviewing for an IT position, you can demonstrate your knowledge by knowing various software, such as accounting programs or job scheduling improvement programs.
You may also want to do some exploration on competitors and what differentiates your company from their rivals. Undoubtedly, you will be asked to present some sort of company knowledge at the beginning of the interview. It will be better to know too much than too little.
2. Conduct a Mock Interview
No matter if this your first job or you’re a veteran, conducting a mock interview is sure to be beneficial. Have a friend or family member pose as the interviewer and have them ask you questions that may come up during the interview.
Many employers ask the same questions such as “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?” or “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”, so having a way to answer these questions without hesitation will be to your benefit.
3. Dress the Part
Depending on what industry you’re in, you will need to dress the part. How to dress will come as a result of the research you did on your potential company’s culture. Clearly, you want to leave a lasting impression, so no matter what type of job it is, it may be better to overdress rather than under dress.
As a rule, you may want to carry a spare shirt or blouse in the car in case you spill lunch or coffee on your shirt. It’s always better to be safe than sorry.
4. Be On Time
No matter what job you are interviewing for, being on time is integral to getting the job. So, make sure you arrive early to your interview.
You may even want to drive from your home to the interview site earlier in the week so you can time it. Also, adjust for the time of day and the traffic that may happen as a result.
5. Question the Interviewer
Typically, at the end of most interviews, the interviewer will ask if you have questions for them. Remember to always ask questions, as it shows that you’ve researched the position and have a vested interest in knowing the opportunities within the company.
Ask questions such as how to advance in the company, tuition reimbursement, or the company’s management style. By asking questions, you’ll give the impression that you’re confident, strong, and engaged.
6. Send a Thank You
While it may seem like a nice gesture to email the interviewer a thank you, the best way to stick out in a potential employer’s mind is to send an actual thank you via the USPS. It shows that you had the initiative to send an actual thank you, and that you sincerely want the job.
Just taking a few minutes will translate into making an impression on the interviewer.
7. Follow Up on the Interview
Perhaps the most crucial step happens after the actual interview. However, it is important not to harass the interviewer after the interview. Instead, wait an appropriate amount of time (which varies from job to job). If you haven’t heard back from the company in a reasonable amount of time, call them and see if you are still a candidate for the position. If you aren’t, it is a golden opportunity to ask how you could improve your interview skills, resume, or other attribute. Additionally, it shows initiative and how much you want the job.
Interviews start from the time you are offered the interview until days after the interview. Remember not to leave out any steps. Be sure to prepare intensely beforehand, conduct a practice interview, and follow up afterwards. You can be your own best friend or your own worst enemy in this regard. If you are truly passionate about getting the job, this should be easy, but always make sure you are confident and give a good first impression. Just like anything else in life, people will feed off your energy. Make sure it’s positive.