How do you know you are ready for your next interview? You probably did the same thing you want to do now before and you did not get any positive feedback. So why are you still doing the same thing? Preparing for an interview takes a lot more than Googling a list of common interview questions. You have to make a great first impression appearance-wise, have a great knowledge of your target company and its product, and, of course, know exactly how to convey that you’re the perfect fit for the job. Could it be that you are doing something wrong over and over again? What makes you think you are ready this time? Ask yourself the following questions.
- What do you know about the audience?: You should endeavor to spend a few hours learning everything you can about the company—from as many sources as you can. Talk to friends and contacts, read current news releases, and, yes, spend some actual time on Google. Get a sense of “who” the company is and how to embody a similar personality during your interview. Start by reading the company’s blog and Facebook page—the tone of the company’s content on these sites will speak volumes.
- What type of questions do you think will be asked? Some questions asked during interviews are constant, get familiar with them and have an answer ready. You want to be sure to nail this first part of the interview. It is essential to spend time thinking carefully about what skills, accomplishments, and interview answers will resonate with your interviewers most. It’s likely you’ll get asked why you’re interested in this particular role and company. (And if you can’t answer this question, you shouldn’t be in the interview!) So to make sure you can, consider why you’re interested in the function and identify a couple of key factors that make it a great fit for you and how it aligns with what motivates you. For example:
“I love customer service because I love the constant human interaction and how satisfying it is to help someone solve a problem”
Prepare a few smart questions for when it’s your turn to ask. Make sure they’re thoughtful ones that show you’ve been paying attention and have done your homework when it comes to researching the company and the specific job you’re after
- What are you going to wear? Plan the perfect interview outfit. Make sure you get your outfit cleaned, pressed, and well tailored. Most people often have their “ Interviewing suit” sitting in the closet for years and they just dust it off, don’t be that person. Don’t forget about the little things: Shine your shoes, check for loose hems, and make sure your fingernails look manicured. This is the stuff that you don’t always think people notice, but they do!
Print out copies of your resume. You never know who you’ll be meeting with, and you want to have your resume ready to go in case you’re asked for it.
Your resume or curriculum vitae (sometimes called your “CV”) is your most important tool when applying for a job. It doesn’t matter how qualified you are, or how much experience you have – if your resume is poorly presented or badly written, you’re going to have trouble getting the job you want – or even an interview. Be sure to check out the following before proceeding to your interview.
- Opening statement
- List of key skills
- List of technical/software skills
- Personal attributes/career overview
- Educational qualifications
- Employment history/volunteering/work placements
Job interviews tend to be stressful for most people for many reasons, but getting to the interview can be a challenge in itself. Imagine having to beat Lagos traffic in order to get to your interview early. It can cause unnecessary anxiety which may, in turn, affect the course of your interview. Use the following tips to prepare yourself to ensure everything goes smoothly on the day of the meeting.
- Leave early: This may seem obvious, but it’s better to leave with plenty of time to get to your interview, even if it means arriving way too early. Even if you leave yourself a few extra minutes to get there, small obstacles can be enough to make you late, such as heavy traffic, accidents, no parking or trouble finding the building. If you arrive too early, just use the time to go over your notes and mentally prepare for your interview.
- Save the interview contact information: Even with plenty of time for your commute, sometimes situations out of your control can still cause you to be late. If something happens and you know you’ll be a little late, call your interview coordinator and make them aware of the situation. Most people are empathetic to these situations and understand that some things just can’t be helped, especially if you’re letting them know in advance and have a reasonable explanation. In this situation, the worst thing you could do is show up late without any notice and try to explain yourself.
- Search the location in advance: Most interviews are scheduled days or weeks in advance, so you have time to research the location.
Nailing your next interview should be easy now if you thoroughly follow these simple tips. Remember to speak from the heart and try to connect to your interviewers. Don’t be nervous, you are really just trying to meet the people you will end up working with. Good luck with your interview and don’t forget to send a mail after your interview.