By: Brie Weiler Director of Online Content
- Do some serious company research.
- Job interview preparation begins with research. “Research the company and for larger companies the division you would be working in. LinkedIn, Jigsaw, the company website and social media all provide information that will be useful. Also, job evaluation websites where former and current employees talk about their jobs is helpful to get an idea of what to expect. When I apply for the job, I start a Google Alert for the company and I review everything I find there.”
- Research your interviewer online.
- “I search LinkedIn for the interviewer’s profile. It helps to know what the person looks like, but I also like having some background information on them as well. In some instances the person I have interviewed with has been connected to the same people I am and I can get the scoop on the company or person in advance.” Understanding who will be interviewing you is a great job interview preparation tip.
- Make connections between your experience and what this company needs.
- “Most importantly, I review the job description carefully and takes notes on how my experience relates to each of the requirements.”
- Practice answering typical interview questions out loud.
- “Rehearse, rehearse, rehearse answering questions you think a potential employers will ask (why do you want to work for us, what are your plans in five years, what makes you the applicant they should hire, as well as explaining oddities on your resume e.g. work gaps, etc).” Job interview preparation is extremely important if you want to sound professional and prepared.
- Bring nice copies of your resume and cover letter.
- “I always go over and update my resume, print off several copies of my resume on off-white special paper I pick out at my copy center, and take these printed copies with me along with a company specific cover letter. Resumes tell a lot about you along with your personal appearance and can forge a nice first impression.”
- Create a small portfolio of work samples.
- “The other thing I do that makes me feel as though I’ve prepared as completely as possible is to gather any samples of my work that prove my skills – Powerpoints, spreadsheets, correspondence – whatever I can use to showcase myself.”
- For video job interviews, practice ahead of time.
- “I am also sure to practice with my webcam, prior to interviewing remotely, to be sure I am sitting far enough away that I appear to be making eye-contact with my interviewer. If you sit too close to your webcam, you tend to look as if you are looking down at your keyboard rather than paying attention to the person who is asking you questions.”
- Ready your outfit ahead of time.
- “I have my personal ritual where I check out my suit the night before, iron my shirt, and polish up my shoes.”
- Psych yourself up to get confident.
- “My ritual is emotional: on the way to the interview, I think about my really wonderful friends and why they believe in me. I am not one to go around thinking how wonderful I am, but before a job interview, this allows me to take a deep breath and enter the interview confident and happy.”
- Put on a happy face.
- “My other trick is to sing “If you are happy and you know it clap your hands” before I enter the building. There is nothing like a simple song in the key of C to brighten your voice and make you sound merry and chipper!”
- Make sure you know where you’re going.
- “If you have prior notice, do a trial run [trip to the company] to make sure you know the traffic pattern and parking availability!”
If you follow these job interview preparation tips before your next interview, you’re sure to be confident, prepared, and ready to land the job!
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