How to Prepare for an Interview, from the Start!
You’ve probably heard it a million times, but interviews are the best way to get an offer from a company. So, how do you prepare for one? It can be challenging knowing where to begin. The first few interviews feel like a done deal: You’ve been invited to interview with the company because of their high rankings on job search engines. And rightly so — a great interview can set you apart from competitors who may have had more experience or been offered higher salaries in the past. But beyond that, what should you do beforehand that will help you stand out from the competition? Here are a few tips:
Make a list
Some people recommend writing out all the tasks you want to do during your interview. But this can get out of control and make you forget important details. A better approach is to make a list in order to keep your mind focused. This will help you stay focused on the task at hand and avoid getting overwhelmed.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions
An accurate and well-rounded understanding of the company’s mission, products, and services is crucial to an effective interview. There are many questions you need to ask, but make sure you’re not afraid to ask them. After all, if the employer is afraid of being asked certain questions, they may not know as much as they could.
When you’re first meeting with an employer, you may feel nervous and self-conscious. There are many reasons for this: You may be feeling shy, you’re nervous about what to say, you’re not used to speaking with executives, or you’re unsure of how the conversation will go. Instead of getting nervous, try to keep your questions as open-ended as possible. Ask questions that will get the employer talking about the company and its products/services.
Tell your story
You may have heard that interviewers are looking for candidates with “a story to tell.” Well, your story can set you apart from competitors who may not have had as exciting or challenging life experiences as you have. Instead of telling your story in general terms, explain one specific event in your life that happened during your interview. This could be something that happened years ago or that is still very recent. The event need not be something that happened in your past, but something that happened in your life.
An example of this could be: “During my interview with XYZ company, I described how I became interested in certain subjects and the way that I went about learning about them.”
Be yourself — don’t overthink it
You don’t have to be the most prepared person in the world for an interview. In fact, you’re likely to feel a lot more nervous than if you were fully prepared. That’s perfectly fine — you shouldn’t overthink it. There is no need to overthink how you’re going to answer a question or what questions you’re going to ask. This is one of the most important things you can do: Be yourself.
You don’t have to try to be the most prepared person in the room. You don’t have to memorize every word that is being said. You don’t have to memorize the company mission, products, and services. And you don’t have to know the answers to every question that is thrown at you.
Don’t be afraid to talk about your education or accomplishments
If you’ve attended a prestigious university or have a lot of experience in a certain field, you may feel self-conscious when you’re first meeting with an employer. Instead of getting nervous, talk about your education or accomplishments. You may be surprised how often this goes overlooked during the hiring process.
This could be something as simple as saying that you graduated with a first-class degree in accounting or that you got your certification in human resources. Be direct and straightforward about what you achieved through your education or work experience, and don’t be afraid to brag about it.
Here are a few examples of talking about your education and work experience:
“I studied accounting at university and then got my job in HR after my degree.”
“When I was young, I always wanted to be an accountant. And now that I’m in my 40s, I’m proud to say that I’ve earned a first-class degree in accounting.”
“I worked in human resource for five years before I got my accounting degree.”
Don’t be afraid to ask the interviewer follow-up questions
After you’ve interviewed with a company, you’ll probably receive a list of follow-up questions. Make sure you have the answers to all of these questions in advance so that you don’t feel too nervous in the interview room.
Here are a few questions you might want to ask:
How did you feel during the interview?
What questions did you have?
What questions did they have?
How did your answers go?
How did you feel about the company overall?
An interview is the first step toward getting hired by a company. It’s also the most important step you can take. So, make sure you’re well-prepared for your interview. Be sure to research the company, their products/services, and their hiring process carefully. Be sure to bring a hard copy of your resume and your list of questions from the interview. And most importantly, be yourself — don’t overthink it!
Enrique Nevett – Hispajobs