How To Prepare For a Job Interview: 20-Step Interview Prep Plan

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Today you’ll find out how to prepare for a job interview.

So you have compiled your resume with great care and sent it to the employer of your choice. The next thing was getting called for an interview for the dream job, very thrilling but at the same time intimidating.

The very first thing that scares most people is the thought that the interview might go badly. However, we all know what’s important; to make such a good impression they could not wait to hire us.

Job interviews are unavoidable during hiring but they’ve never been easier.

Maybe you have been doing the job for a few years, maybe you meet and greet new people every day, maybe you have even got your third degree but job interviews at all times make you doubt everything about yourself.

Every time you go for an interview, you’ll face the same nervousness and tense feeling. It is very difficult these days to stand out amongst all the highly qualified applicants, how do you sell yourself properly in a job interview in today’s competitive market?

If you are counting the days until your next job interview and attempting to find tips to help you get on board, then you need the right mindset going into the interview. I’m here to help you land your dream job.

I’ve analyzed several factors about job interviews and put together a checklist to help you prepare effectively for your next interview.

How to Prepare for a Job Interview:

1. Do Your Research

Knowing beforehand about the company you are interviewing with is a must. These days getting information is just a click away.

Talk to former employees, search Google, explore the company’s website for history, business goals, culture, achievements, years in operation, last year’s profit, and up to date service or product launches.

Go through the newspapers and annual reports to find out more. Inquire about the interviewer’s name and use it during the interview.

If you cannot answer questions about the company then you are as successful as you were before moving on to the interview. Know as much as you can about your potential employer.

When answering, try to attribute your answer to that company. Knowing these basics will convince interviewers of your desire to join their team.

2. Practice

The next step is to practice. Practice answering typical job interview questions.

Search the internet for the most common job interview questions which are: your main strengths and weaknesses, why are you the best person for this job, why do you want to work for the company or your future plans?

These questions are bound to arise. Use real examples to illustrate your skills. Ask family or friends to interview you, it really helps.

Also while practicing, check your posture, hand movements, voice quality and clarity of your words.

3. Get ready

When you are ready with answers then ensure your clothes are appropriate. Remember to take a good portfolio with a copy of your resume.

Take pen and paper with you. A portfolio will help you demonstrate your experience and skills. All of this will show that you’re well organized.

4. Dress appropriately

Appearance matters whether you believe it or not. You are judged before you say a word. Make sure you shower, use a good deodorant, polish your shoes, have clothes that suit you

perfectly and your accessories match. Dressing differs from company to company.

Reach your contacts such as former employees or current workforce. But most companies follow a corporate casual style. But if you do not know what to wear, remember that you can never go wrong with formal business attire. Avoid statement jewelery as it looks unprofessional.

Check your posture, carry yourself confidently, it can help you finish the game.

5. Get ready

To conduct a job interview, you need to know your strengths, weaknesses and accomplishments. Identify the skills they’re attempting to find in their job posting.

Prepare yourself as best you can (1). Be prepared for key questions and straightforward questions like “tell me about yourself” and “why should we hire you”.

Your oratory fluency is essential and more important than you might think. While you are in the interview focusing on the strengths they’re attempting to find, show them that you have what they need to do the right job.

Also prepare a list of questions that you need to know from the interviewer but be sure that these questions are really important and add value to your potential.

6. Arrive early.

Just relax. If rushing to an interview will strain you, you will arrive sweaty and stressed. Get there early, take 15-30 minutes to cool off and get ready.

Being on time will show your professionalism and sincerity in working there. The worst thing you can do is be late. When you get there, be sure you have turned off your phone. Unwanted and personalised ringtones are enough to ruin your interview.

7. Show enthusiasm

First impressions matter, I say it time and time again because it really impacts the final judgement.

When you get there, take a deep breath. Put on a kind and friendly face. Smile and say hello. Smiling sends a sign of a positive attitude. Getting on the right foot this way will give the impression that you can blend in with them.

Tell them you are knowledgeable but do not act arrogant. Try to match your career achievements and goals with the company’s requirements.

8. The message is forwarded

When you arrive at the interview, be sure you are professional from the start. If you chat with a receptionist or other applicant and say something you should not then you have lost your job prior to the interview.

You can talk casually but do not say anything personal or do not be overly friendly. We’ve seen employers ask the receptionist about potential applicants or their behavior during waiting periods.

So, there is a good chance your new friend has something negative to say.

9. Keep calm

No matter what, stay calm. Stay in control.

When you are ready, understand how to behave, dress properly and you have ready answers to possible questions, then there’s nothing to worry about. Interviewers are normal people and you need to treat them as such.

You may be nervous but there is a good chance they’re nervous too. So relax.

Show the interviewer how they would like to work with you. Maintain the mandatory eye contact, speak clearly, listen carefully and you’ll shine.

10. Be yourself

Being yourself at all times works. Just because the person sitting behind the counter has a serious face does not imply she or he never laughs or sometimes does not like having fun.

You need to focus on what you are being asked and through the answer you’ll probably crack a natural joke. Natural jokes can do no harm but be sure you do not overdo it.

Personalizing your answers, showing a little bit of your personality is a good thing.

11. Be confident

Highly confident people are more successful at what they do. When you are confident, you’re able to show your qualities and how you can improve yourself.

Show the interviewer that you’re pleased with yourself and feel the same way inside yourself too. Set your value at the interview.

If you have previous work experience, tell them how you have solved a critical situation or how you have achieved a target or how you have created an innovative solution to save costs.

Sometimes through negligence, our self-confidence looks like arrogance. Arrogance and self-confidence have a fine line between the two. Don’t cross it.

12. Short answer

When your interviewer asks a question, answer it briefly and to the point. All you must do is listen to the questions carefully, memorize them and answer them briefly.

Interviewers do not want to hear everything you must say, they simply need a brief, sharp answer. During the talk maintain eye contact with the interviewer and listen to what you are saying and you’ll know what to say and when to stop.

13. Give an example

You cannot say everything you have ever done. Just give good examples of the important things you have done. You should prepare some examples that you can easily use.

Suppose if they ask you about your customer support skills, you can say that ‘yes, I’ve done it before and here’s an example’ and then you explain. When you are asked a selected question, answer particularly.

And then you can ask the recruiter whether the answer satisfies his question or not.

14. Communication and time constraints

When you answer, bear in mind the time limit. Give one or two minute answers.

Your successful hiring depends on your level of communication with the interviewer. Try to give examples as it will make sure the validity of your skills.

If possible, try to tell a story to illustrate your point. Telling the right story will prove that you’re intellectual and witty to the interviewer and he will likely remember you for that.

15. Don’t be distracted by silence

Between answers there may be awkward silences. Don’t stress yourself about silence as some employers take the time to ask you another question after you have answered it.

Use that quiet time to calm down. If they take the time to ask questions, it does not imply you have done something wrong. If the gap is very long, ask if they want to know more or not.

16. Try to be honest

Honesty is the best policy during interviews (2). If you do not know the answer to a question they’re asking, just state the real answer.

You can even tell them about any skills that are relevant or that you’re ready to learn. Most candidates think that when you do not know an answer then you should cover it up. But dancing around the reality & irrelevant answers distracts the interviewer and wastes their time.

17. Always accept water

This may sound like an odd tip to you, but it is very important. From now on please accept the water when requested.

This will provide you with a ‘time out’ after difficult questions. Taking a sip at such times can help you answer the tough questions.

18. Stay alert

You must be alert during the interview. Maintain eye contact throughout the interview. Don’t look up or down.

Maintain eye contact and trust me, it will boost your confidence. Most people cannot look other people in the eye. Try to show your enthusiasm and interest in working for them. You also need to show a high level of energy.

19. Ask probing questions

If you can ask really good questions during the interview, it shows that you have researched them very well. These questions will show your intelligence, analytical skills and decisiveness.

Make sure you leave an impression; questions will make you stand out amongst other applicants. Ask questions about goals, objectives, business expansion issues, new product development issues or about the post you recently interviewed for.

20. Thanking and following up

Call or e-mail the interviewer to thank them for taking the time to interview you. Tell them how much fun you have working and learning from them.

It also shows your interest in the job and how you are as a person. You can even leave a personalised thank you note for each interviewer. You must follow up within 24 hours of the interview.

Thank you for reading this article on how to prepare for a job interview and I actually hope you take my advice into action. I wish you good luck and that I hope that its content has been a good help to you.