So, you’ve gotten an interview for your next big position. How can you make yourself stand out from all the other potential hires? With a little prep and practice, you will come out of your interview looking like the perfect candidate. Get ready to do your homework in the days leading up to your interview with these tips.
Know the Role
Read over the job description and be sure that you understand exactly what is expected of the role. Make note of your personal experiences and strengths as they relate to the description. Then get ready to sell yourself as the best person for the job. Don’t be afraid of a little well-placed bragging. Your workplace strengths and accomplishments are what they want to learn about.
Research the Company
You also need to have a clear understanding of the company to which you are applying. Learn about the company’s mission statement, size, key players and important events in the company’s history. Look for ways that you can relate to these facts, and be prepared to communicate those points when appropriate.
Interview the Interviewer
Even with lots of research, you are sure to have at least a few questions. Write out a list as you’re researching. That way, when the interviewer opens the conversation up to your questions, you’ll be prepared. Ask about company culture, and how success in this role is defined. Your interest and thoroughness at this step of the interview can make a huge difference in the impression you leave on the interviewer.
Practice Answering Off-the-Cuff Questions
Interviewers sometimes like to throw out an oddball question, just to see how well you think on your feet. Your actual answers to these questions aren’t as important as how you handle them. Sit down with someone you trust and have them help you practice answering more unusual questions until you feel comfortable with responding on the fly. A little bit of rehearsal can help to calm you down and keep you from clamming up on the big day.
Have Copies of Important Paperwork
Though you may have turned in your resume and letters of reference when applying for the job, have copies along with you at your interview for easy reference. If your job requires licenses, certifications or other similar paperwork, ensure that you have copies of those to share with your interviewer, as well. You may not need them at this stage of the hiring process, but it’s always better to be prepared.
Preparation for the interview is one of the most important aspects of your job search. By taking the time to ensure that you are ready for whatever the interviewer throws your way, you will increase your chances of getting the position you covet.