October 23, 2012

Job interviews can be strange, nerve-racking and difficult to prepare for. But there are some things you can do to feel mentally and physically ready to make a great first impression. Here are some of the best ways you can prepare for your next big job interview:

1.       Check The Company’s Twitter

Presumably you’ve done your due diligence prior to heading to your interview. You took a look at the company website, its competitors and read the job post a dozen times (at least). On your way in, tap on Twitter and the company’s website one last time to see if the company has any breaking news you might be able to relevantly reference. Meryl Weinsaft Cooper, co-author of Be Your Own Best Publicist: Using PR Skills to Get Noticed, Hired and Rewarded At Work, says it’ll make you seem interested, informed and help you stand out from other candidates.

2.       Go to the bathroom

There have been many, many horror stories about interviews that had to be paused because nature called. Not only does having to going to the bathroom stop your train of thought and break the rhythm of the interview, the interviewer may think you didn’t plan ahead and go to the bathroom beforehand. Do yourself a favor and arrive 15 minutes early so you’ll have time to prepare yourself.

3.       Dress for the occasion

This may be an obvious tip, but, like the bathroom tip, people still tend to forget this, which makes no sense because the tip’s been around for centuries…literally! In the 18th century, Lord Chesterfield’s Letters addressed the issue of attire with a quick quip.“Dress is a very foolish thing, and yet it is a very foolish thing for a man not to be well dressed.” Dress like you are a professional who cares about his or her position and wants to be taken seriously. If you’re not sure how to dress, always err on the side of caution and dress up rather than down.

4.       Perfect your storytelling 

“Show, don’t tell” is a technique commonly used by writers, but it is equally applicable for job interviews.Monster’s article about response strategies for interview questions recommends that “for each quality you present, make sure you’re prepared to describe a situation where you demonstrated that quality.” Show the interviewer how your skills lead to a company’s success. Did you complete a project within the budget and deadline? Prepare a brief story to give the project context and meaning for the interviewer.

5.       Prepare answers for the standard questions

Are these questions boring? Sure they are, but you’re bound to hear at least one of them in your interview.

  • What is your greatest weakness?
  • Tell me about an accomplishment you are most proud of.
  • What’s your dream job?
  • Tell me how you handled a difficult situation.
  • Why should we hire you?
  • Why you are interested in working for [insert company name here]?
  • Describe yourself.
  • Where do you see yourself in 5 years?

Preparing an adequate answer for each of them should keep you safe and allow you to spend more time storytelling and less time struggling to create a clear response.

6.       Bring some questions of your own

Preparing for a laundry list of questions only goes so far in making you stand out as a candidate. One of the best ways to show your interest and engage the interviewer is to ask questions. Ask questions about features of the company that make it unique, what the work environment is like, etc. U.S. News provides some great questions that anyone can ask their interviewer. The questions not only help you better understand the position; they make a great impression to boot.

These tips should help relieve the butterflies in your stomach, but there are always more sources you can go to if you still don’t feel ready for the big interview. If you’d like to see Think IT’s presentation on interviewing, click here

What advice would you offer to professionals getting ready for a job interview? What do you think hiring managers want you to be ready to answer in an interview? Let us know in the comments section.

Posted By: James Sweeney

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1 Comments

  • January 9, 2015 11:04 PM

    yeah, those tips are crucial, I will use those tips, thank you

    Posted by:  Shahbaz Ali

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