• Margaret Bernam

6 Musts To Prep For The Big Interview

Interviews can be scary. What will the interviewer be like? What questions will they ask? How much competition is there? These are all normal questions that might be racing through your mind leading up to the interview. But fear not! With the right preparation you’ll be calm, cool, and collected in no time.

  1. Don’t sweat what you can’t control

Before diving deep into your preparation, take a deep breath and understand there are certain factors you can’t control. The interviewer might be hostile. You might not feel your best on the day. They may ask you unfair/inappropriate questions. The moment you acknowledge there are certain things out of your control and you quit worrying about these factors, you will be less stressed and more excited about the interview. After all, interviewing is meant to be an opportunity not a stressor. If you take this perspective, nailing the interview will be far easier.

  1. Read the job description closely...real closely

It’s very important to have a clear understanding of all the responsibilities and skills required for the position. This may not seem that useful but it’s extremely useful in helping you engage in an in depth discussion regarding the position. Interviewers usually will go beneath the surface of the job description and if you do not have a conceptual understanding of the job, this will not be a fun discussion. We strongly recommend you do research on the day-to-day obligations regarding the position. This can be done by going on various websites and reading what others who have had that position have written. Knowing and understanding this critical information will also help you fully realize whether this is the right opportunity for you. Your interviewer will likely cover this but knowing ahead of time will prepare you for questions pertaining to day-to-day activities.

  1. Research the company

It’s almost a given that you're qualified for the job if you’re asked to interview. Interviews are mostly used to find the candidate that would fit in best with the company. Employees that fit in well are happier. Happy employees equates to lower turnover, maximized production, and a stronger company culture. The interviewer will want to see if you’re the best candidate given the company's culture and business. Our advice: do your homework. Research the company culture and the product/service the business offers. With this, tailor your answers to certain questions to display that you are a good fit for the company and you would flourish. The interviewer will pick this up quickly and it will absolutely raise your chances of getting hired.

  1. Develop and rehearse original answers to the basic questions

While no two interviews are exactly alike, there are certain questions you are almost guaranteed to be asked. Among them: Tell me about yourself. What are your strengths/weaknesses? Why do you want to work here? There are certainly more but the main message is to be prepared for these questions and construct responses that will make you stand out. By the end of the interview, you need to convey that you’re different and you are the best candidate for the role. These typical questions are the perfect opportunity to do so as most people give cliche answers. Do some research online on what other successful candidates have responded with to these questions. However, you definitely want to be original and give your own unique response.

  1. Be careful of over-rehearsing

You're anxious and you want the job. I get it. But over-rehearsing is a textbook mistake. You do not want to sound robotic as if youre reading off of a script during the interview. Slight pauses are good. A great interview is not a simple Q&A. It’s a discussion between you and the interviewer. A question and answer segways to another question and answer. The interview is an opportunity to show that you are a good fit for the company. A crucial way to show this is that the conversation between you and the interviewer feels natural and not forced or rehearsed. Rehearsing is important and we recommend it. However, do not rehearse 20 times. This is overkill and will prevent you from engaging in free thought during the interview. Sounding robotic shows the interviewer you lack confidence and will prevent them from truly connecting with you.

  1. Check out Glassdoor for unique questions

This is one of our favorite tactics to nail an interview and it can often be overlooked. Glassdoor has a vast database of interview questions asked by many of the company’s listed on its platform. Every great company has its own questions that they will ask when conducting an interview and Glassdoor is a great place to tap into some of these unique questions. You can read past candidate’s experiences while going through the interview process at the very company you’re interviewing with, granted it’s available. You might find really useful information about tricky questions to expect and the people who conduct the interviews. Utilizing Glassdoor can be the difference between nailing a question who would otherwise be blindsided with if you didn’t give the platform a look. After all, the more prepared you are the more confident you will be.

Hopefully, you find these tips useful and you use them to prep for your interview. Interviews are something most people dread rather than get excited over. If this sounds like you, change this mindset. Your frame of mind is the foundation for success. A positive attitude will raise your chances of success greatly. Now relax and kill it!

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