Preparing for an Interview: A checklist for success
Preparing for an interview
The first hard part is over: you secured an interview with a company you are interested in working for. Congratulations!
Now you need to worry about preparing for an interview. You will want to tailor each interview to focus specifically on the company, but the following list holds true for any interview you are getting ready for.
1. Body Language and Manners
Remind yourself of some basic manners when preparing for an interview.
- Be sure to show up a few minutes early.
- Avoid chewing gum or mints.
- Don’t leave your phone out and/or check it at all during the interview.
- Dress for success.
- Remember basic body language principles.
- Review things to NOT Say in an Interview.
2. Interview Questions
A huge part of preparing for an interview is creating responses to common interview questions. While you are at it, learn how to respond to behavioral interview questions, which can be a bit trickier, but when handled properly, really give you an opportunity to show what you know in applicable situations.
Lastly, don’t forget to prepare some questions to also ask the interviewer. This will really impress them and give you a better idea of what it will be like to work there.
3. Strengthen Your Weaknesses
Every candidate is likely to have some weaknesses – even you! Whether it is gaps in your work history or evidence of job-hopping on your resume. This is ok as long as you think about how you can frame them positively. Perhaps you took some time out to travel so you could gain some soft skills, which you can then apply to the role you’re applying for.
You should also prepare to discuss your weaknesses and give examples of difficult situations that you’ve faced in previous roles. Make the interviewer feel as though you have learned from these situations and are able to deal with adversity confidently, using you problem-solving skills. The best way to do this is to give concrete, specific examples.
It seems like common sense, but you might be surprised by how many people overlook simple logistical items when preparing for an interview. They are so focused on the interview itself that they forget to find out important things like:
- How long does it take to get there?
- What is the parking situation?
- Is there any construction going on that will slow me down?
- If the interview is being outside of normal business hours, are there special instructions for when you arrive?
- Who will you be meeting with?
Figure all this out waaaaaaaaay in advance of the day of the interview so you aren’t feeling rushed and get thrown off of your game.
Good luck out there–you’ve got this!
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