Landing a job interview is exciting but can also come with a lot of pressure to make the best impression possible. To prevent your nerves from getting in the way, preparation is key. Properly prepare for your interview with these tips:
Consider the Employer’s Perspective
Review the job posting carefully to get a clear idea about the most important qualifications the employer is looking for in the position. Also, research the company by reviewing its website, social media, and any recent press releases, so you have a thorough understanding of its mission, values and products/services. Considering the employer’s perspective will help you prioritize what you need to highlight in your responses during the interview.
Practice Your Introduction and Responses
Since interviewing isn’t something most people do on a regular basis, it’s understandable that the interaction won’t come naturally. Don’t put pressure on yourself to get it right when you’re on the spot in an unfamiliar situation – instead, practice it ahead of time. Practice your greeting, handshake and making eye contact. Also, anticipate common questions you’re likely to be asked and rehearse your responses (not word-for-word, but at least the overall content and structure) so you’ll be able to make your key points and not ramble or go silent due to nerves.
Brainstorm Questions to Ask
Interviewers don’t assess you solely based on how you answer their questions – they want to hear what questions you have for them. Thoughtful questions show the interviewer that you are taking the opportunity seriously and are enthusiastic about it. Brainstorm questions to ask ahead of time – if you wait until during the interview to come up with questions off the top of your head, you risk drawing a blank and looking like you’re not that invested.
Select Your Outfit Ahead of Time
A professional appearance is a crucial part of how hiring managers form their impressions of you. Don’t distract from your qualifications because you don’t look well-groomed or dressed appropriately. Prepare for your interview by selecting your outfit ahead of time. Pick something simple and professional (such as dress slacks and a blouse or button-up shirt), and ensure it’s clean and wrinkle-free. Along with your outfit, have extra copies of your resume, a notepad, and pen packed and ready to go.
Know Where You’re Going
A day or so before your interview, make sure you know the exact location of the interview, how long it takes to get there, and parking options if necessary. Estimate how long it will take to get there and add in extra time as a buffer in case something goes wrong or you can’t easily find it. This way, you’ll arrive early and calm rather than rushing around and anxious.
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