By Shawn Kinard
Have you ever finished an exam and known immediately you got an A? It’s one of the best feelings. While I can’t promise you an A on your next interview, I can promise you will go in feeling more prepared than ever. I’ve been at Godshall for over six years and work with some of the most-trusted experts in the hiring field. We have come up with our best tips to prepare you for your next interview. After reading these, you’ll be an expert, too.
- Do your research; i.e., stalking. Let’s be honest, we’ve all surprised ourselves at how good we are at stalking. Thanks to social media, you now can uncover a person’s entire life story without even knowing his or her last name. So why not put those stalking skills to good use? Your goal is to go in feeling like you already work there. Make sure to research the following:
- The company:
1. How long has it been around?
2. What is its mission?
3. How many employees does it have?
4. Who are its competitors?
5. What do they do?
6. Has it been in the news recently?
- The interviewers:
1. What are their job titles?
2. Check them out on LinkedIn and other social media outlets to see what they’re
like, how long they’ve been in those roles, and any other interesting information.
3. Google them to see if they are in the news.
2. Study the job description. Sometimes companies do not provide the most detailed job description. When they do, make sure you truly understand the job and what you will be doing. Nothing shows a lack of detail and understanding quite like telling an interviewer you’re not much of a desk person when you’re interviewing for an accounting position. Also, compare your previous experience with this new role so when they ask why they should hire you, you’ve got the hard facts.
3. Practice makes perfect. If you have not interviewed in a while, it would be in your best interest to practice answering some of the traditional interview questions (tell me about yourself; strengths vs. weaknesses; why you are looking; etc.). You want to present yourself as a calm and poised professional. Practicing will help relieve some of those pre-interview jitters and will help you come across more confident, as well.
4. Dress the part. The company and market will determine what you should wear. For about 90 percent of interviews, traditional business attire is acceptable. When you’re interviewing for marketing agencies or young startup companies, you might be able to branch out a little and show your creativity. Once you have your outfit picked out, put it on a few days before. Have someone else critique it to make sure it all looks good. Make sure everything is spotless and perfectly ironed. Also, it’s a good idea to plan a backup outfit in case your coffee decides to go crazy. Your goal is to leave your home feeling confident and on point from head to toe.
5. Know where you’re going. Thanks to the internet, you can now see
overhead and street views of the company. Once you have an idea of what the building looks like, find directions from your home to the company. You might even want to print or screenshot those directions just in case. Finally, drive that exact route the day before to make sure there aren’t any road closings, heavy traffic areas, or anything else that might delay your commute (Waze is a great app to show current wrecks, heavy traffic areas, road closings, etc.). Showing up late for an interview is not professional.
6. Remember, they’re not just receptionists. That receptionist may very well be your ticket into or out of the company. Treat everyone with the same respect whether they are the administrative assistant or the CEO. How you treat people when no one else is looking says a lot about your character and how you will act if you get the job.
7. Bring several copies of your resume and references. Having extra copies helps you look prepared and organized. In some cases, the hiring manager might’ve lost yours and needs a new one. In other cases, other employees might be pulled into the interview and would like to see a copy, as well.
Now go ace that interview!