A job interview is a competitive process. That’s why job seekers need to prepare for the job interview as much as possible. Think about it, that meeting that you will attend may change the course of your life. It’s no small matter! The problem, however, is that instead of getting things running as they receive a phone call for a job interview, too many job seekers suddenly feel apprehensive. What better way to avoid that feeling of apprehension than to avoid thinking about the interview? As a result, they delay preparing for that crucial moment until the last minute.
Do Your Research
Wishful thinking will not get you where you want to be. You need to work hard for it. The first stage in preparing for the job interview is to research the organization, the position, the industry and the interviewer’s (or interviewers’) background.
Research is important because you want to arrive at the interview “knowledgeable.” This will allow you to have interesting conversations and, as you answer questions, you’ll be able to put things in the right context. The other reason why research is so important is that it will help you get into the right state of mind. You have no more excuses not to do proper research in this day and age. With the Internet, all this can be done from the comfort of your own home.
Review Your Credentials
Once you have done your research, the next step is to review your credentials. Since you already did your research, you will be able to target key elements of your background or skill set to emphasize during the job interview. Reviewing your credentials means that you should go through your resume and cover letter in detail. Regarding your resume, make sure you can elaborate on the information presented therein, including giving concrete examples.
Prepare a List of Questions
Once you’re done reviewing your credentials and background, prepare a list of questions you expect to be asked during the interview. Put yourself in the shoes of your interviewer and try to think of what he or she would want to know about you. Look at the job posting for clues in terms of what the employer is looking for.
Prepare Answers to Those Questions
Prepare answers to those questions that you just came up with. Possible answers to questions can be diverse. The process of coming up with good answers takes time. Don’t do this at the last minute. Start with a draft and revise your answers as many times as needed until you feel comfortable with them.
Practice, Practice and Practice
The next step after preparing answers is to practice actually answering the questions. Practice in front of a mirror. When you feel you have a good grasp, ask a friend or family member to do a mock interview with you. Ask for their feedback on the substance of your answers. Is what you are saying convincing? Do you look professional? Are you clear when you talk? As they give you their feedback, make sure to keep an open mind. It would also be a good idea at this stage to ask your practice partner to prepare a few questions of their own. You never know what you are going to be asked during an interview. Accordingly, the ability to think on your feet is critical.
Decide What You Are Going to Wear
As you go through the process of preparing for the job interview, start thinking of what you would like to wear.
Although this step is mentioned at this point in the article, it should be applied throughout your job search process. Think positive! Positive people attract “good luck.” Positive thinking will also help you stay motivated. Further, don’t forget that the most important thing about interviewing is to make a good impression and there is no better way to ease tensions than with a smile.
Once you have gone through the above steps, the last thing that you need to do is to visualize your interview day, from the time you wake up in the morning to the time you leave the meeting room. Visualization cannot be emphasized enough.
Pave the Way for the Next Interview
The interview process does not stop here. What if you are not offered a job? Think ahead and prepare for your next interview by documenting what you did. After each interview, write down your impressions of how you performed. Document how you can improve. This includes noting down the mistakes you made and avoiding repeating the same mistakes next time. Reflect on the answers that you gave during the interview and think of how the interviewer reacted. Was he or she satisfied, impressed, disappointed or indifferent?
What you just read might seem like a lot. Yet, these steps are necessary if you want to increase your chances of getting a job. Remember, by the time you are called in for a job interview, the finish line is near, and the competition has just become that much more fierce.
by John Sylo