We've listed 8 things you can do to prepare yourself before your job interview!
- Carefully go through the job description
- Know why you want this job
- Thoroughly research the company and role
- Practice. Practice. Practice.
- Know your salary expectations
- Prepare questions
- Know where you have to go and how you're going to get there
- Know your worth
1. Carefully go through the job description
The job description highlights what the employer is looking for in an ideal candidate and can also give you an idea of what questions will be asked throughout the interview. So use the job description as your guide when preparing for the interview.
Make a list of your assets and match them to the job requirements. Think of quantifiable examples from your past work experiences that prove that you have these qualities for this role.
2. Know why you want this job
The first question in any job interview is usually: 'Why did you apply for this role?' Be prepared. Before the interview, reflect on why you want the job and what makes you the perfect candidate.
3. Thoroughly research the company and role
Researching and showing a genuine interest in the company will give you a competitive advantage. It will also help you provide context for your conversation during the interview and help identify thoughtful questions you might want to ask your interviewers. Here's a couple of things you should research:
- The role: Make sure you understand all the requirements and responsibilities in the job description and determine whether this is the position for you. Prepare any questions you might have for the interviewer, for example, what your day-to-day responsibilities would look like or how performance is measured.
- The company culture: Companies will seek to hire people with similar values, and it's essential to reflect on whether the company's values align with your own. If you have questions about any procedures, policies or software used internally, you can ask during the meeting.
- The products or services they offer: Even if the role is not directly related to the product or service, it's essential to understand what the company provides. There is no need to stress over the product details, etc., especially if you're not applying for a technical role, but it's good to have some basic knowledge. Furthermore, it might also be beneficial to know who their main competitors are and their primary competitive advantages.
4. Practice. Practice. Practice.
It's a good idea to go through some common interview questions and practise how you would answer them. Don't study these answers by heart. You don't want to sound like you're reciting a script during your interview. But, practising will help you feel more prepared and calm.
Mock interviews are also highly beneficial. Some main advantages of such discussions are:
- They will help reduce interview stress and anxiety.
- They will boost your self-confidence, as you will have time to re-evaluate your interview weaknesses.
- You can get constructive feedback in a low-stress environment from an interviewing professional.
If you're unable to attend a mock interview, you can always ask a trusted friend or family member to ask you some typical interview questions. Or you can even practise in front of a mirror. Practise aloud to make sure that you sound articulate and confident. You can even record yourself and listen to yourself back to see where you can improve, what you can add to a specific answer, etc.
5. Know your salary expectations
Before attending the interview, you should have an idea of what your expected salary is. If you're unsure about what the market is paying for a specific role, you can check through a salary calculator. Here you can calculate the potential salary range for all types of jobs, including financial services law jobs, affiliate management jobs or driver jobs.
6. Prepare questions
Before concluding an interview, most interviewers will ask: 'Do you have any questions for us?' It's good to prepare 2-3 questions to show that you're interested, and their answers will help you make an informed decision should you receive a job offer. Here are some questions you can ask in an interview:
- What do you love most about working with this company?
- What does a typical day look like for a person in this position?
- I've enjoyed learning more about this opportunity. What are the next steps in the hiring process?
7. Research the office location
Job interviews are stressful enough on their own. Add spending an hour in traffic or trying to find parking at the last minute, and you've got yourself a panic attack waiting to happen. The biggest tip we can give is to leave early and aim to arrive at least 15 minutes before the interview begins. If you arrive before your interview starts, find a quiet place, go through your notes, clear your mind and relax before going in.
Before attending the interview, ensure you have the company's contact information. Sometimes things happen that are out of your control, which might cause you to be late for an appointment. Letting people know in advance with a reasonable explanation is always better than showing up late trying to explain yourself.
Nowadays, certain companies might conduct online or phone interviews. Companies use different software for meetings, such as Zoom, Google Meets or Microsoft Teams. Most companies will email you the link before the meeting. Add this to your calendar, download the application you need before the interview and test the link if possible. Ensure you have someone's contact information, just in case the link isn't working or you start experiencing connectivity problems.
8. Know your worth
Go to the interview with 2-3 selling points in mind. Ask yourself: What makes you the best candidate for the position? Take note of skills you possess that relate to your role, and brainstorm which experiences contribute to your overall goals. Sometimes numbers speak louder than words. A great way to sell yourself is to quantify your accomplishments or growth during previous roles. For example, you can mention that you increased monthly sales or social media engagement by X%.
It's perfectly okay not to know an answer to a question during the interview instantly. Ask the interviewer for a moment and think about it. It's better to reflect than to answer carelessly.
Consider following up after an interview, as it shows your potential employer that you are genuinely interested and allows you to mention things you might have forgotten during the interview.
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