After completing several job applications and sending out several copies of your resume, you finally have your first scheduled job interview. Now what? Interviews can certainly be intimidating experiences. As your appointment draws near, anxiety may begin to creep up on you. Preparing for the interview will help combat those nerves and build your confidence.
Research the Company
Go into your interview armed with information about the company. The internet provides a means to research many companies, both large and small. Visit company websites and get familiar with the products and services they offer. Look for recent news stories involving the company. A well-informed candidate will definitely impress an interviewer.
Anticipate Interview Questions
Interviewers pose questions to help them determine if you are the right candidate for the available position. These questions usually focus on your past experiences, sketching a picture of how you may behave as an employee. They can range anywhere from the generic “Tell Me About Yourself” to the more direct “Tell Me about a Time when you dealt with a difficult customer.” However, no matter what question is asked, you can go into the interview with an answer already handy.
Being prepared does not mean that you should have responses already scripted. By anticipating the questions the interviewer will ask, you can have an idea of what points you want to focus on or which direction you want to take when answering. All responses should come natural during the interview.
Have Questions Ready
Before you sit down in your interviewer’s office, you want to make sure you have questions ready to ask. Interviewers normally expect prospective applicants to have questions about the available position or the company. Not having questions may signal to the interviewer that you are not seriously interested in the position.
Make certain to focus your questions only on the available position and the company. Be inquisitive, but not invasive. Refrain from asking the interviewer any personal questions. Instead, ask how a typical day for a person in the position would go or what qualities are needed to be successful in the position. Keep your questions focused on topics that will give you more insight into what the interviewer is looking for in a new hire.
Mock interviewing simply refers to rehearsing your interviewing techniques. By having mock interviews, you get your mind and body ready for the real thing. Us mock interviews as an opportunity to fine tune your body language, responses, and questioning.
To perform a mock interview does not require anything special. It can be done alone with the help of a mirror. The best method requires enlisting the help of a friend or family member. Whether you choose to go at it alone or with someone, take notes to determine where you need to improve. If you have a video camera, this will make it even easier.
Say Thank You
The hard part is over. After leaving the interviewer’s office, you think you can sit back and wait to for the job offer. Wrong! Sure, you thanked the interviewer for his or her time in the office, but so did every other prospective candidate. What the others may miss can be your time to shine. Send the interviewer a “Thank You” card with a short note thanking them again for the meeting. This small gesture shows thoughtfulness and gratitude. It also has the added benefit of keeping your name in the interviewer’s head as they make their final decision.
Putting these tips to use will get you ready for any job interview. The more interviews you have, the better you will become as an interviewee. If you don’t get a job offer, don’t get down on yourself. Use it as a learning experience and look for areas of improvement. As long as you are mindful of your missteps, you can always do better. Remember, practice makes employed. Good luck with your job hunt.