Have you ever bombed a job interview? It’s not fun. Imagine sitting across the table from the hiring team. You are trying not to show your embarrassment but you are visibly sweating. Your voice is shaky and you have lost all confidence. You can’t wait for the interview to be over. You actually want to walk out and never come back.
It doesn’t have to be this way. With a little bit of preparation you can be ready for any job interview. In this article, we will discuss 5 quick ways that you can get ready for any job interview.
Idea #1 – Do your research
A simple way that you can stand out in your next job interview is to do some simple research.
The job – The first thing that you will want to research is the actual job that you are applying for. You will want to understand the requirements, job description, commitment, salary and any other expectations. In most cases, you can find this information online where you have found the job opening. You don’t want to show up to an interview and then realize that you are not qualified or aligned with the position.
The company – Before you even enter the room, you should do some quick research about the potential hiring company. Do you agree with their vision, mission and core values? Is this a company that you could see yourself working with for the foreseeable future? Take 15 – 30 minutes and browse their company website. Read their “about us” page to understand what makes this company tick. Take some time to look at their social media profiles to learn more about their culture. Finally, you might want to do a search in the news for this company. Do they have a good reputation or do you find something negative about them?
The interviewer (Optional)- Do you know who will be in the room during the interview process? In some cases this may not be possible, but if you happen to know you could do some basic research. If you have some inside information about the interviewer, this can be helpful as you form the answer to your questions. What is their position? Were they in the military? Do they like sports? Are they outspoken online about issues?
Idea #2 – Get comfortable with your answers
A second way to prepare is to consider the possible questions that you may be asked during the interview. It is impossible to know the exact questions you might be asked, but you can prepare for possible options.
Gather a list of questions – Look online or buy a book with the possible interview questions that you might face. We have a list of 15 questions that you might be asked during your interview. With all of the information online, you can find lists of traditional and non-traditional questions.
Write sample answers – This process can take quite a bit of time, but it will pay off over the long run. We will encourage you to write out your answers. Answer as many questions as you can. Once you have written them down, set them aside for a day. The following day, review your answers and see if you can improve on them. Next, read them out loud and record them. Listen to the recording. Refine your answers one last time.
Practice with a friend – Once you feel comfortable with your answers, find a friend to practice with. Listen to their feedback. Don’t worry if they give you some constructive criticism. You are there to learn.
Idea #3 – Mock interview with a mentor or business associate
The third step in our preparation process is to schedule a practice interview session with a mentor or business associate. Find someone who has experience with interviewing and hiring. Ask them if they would be willing to do a mock interview.
Set the stage – Tell the mentor as much as you can about the job that you will be interviewing for. Use your background research about the company to help inform your interviewer.
Run the interview – Run the mock interview from start to finish. This is not the time to stop and discuss possible answers. Act as if this were the actual interview.
Debrief – Once the interview is done, ask the mentor for any feedback. Ask them what they thought went well and also what areas needed improvement. Don’t be offended by corrections. The goal is to get better and to excel in the real interview.
Idea #4 – Think about the practical details
The fourth way to get ready for the interview is to make sure you have thought ahead about the practical details around the interview.
- What time do you need to be there?
- How long will it take you to get to the interview?
- How will you get to the interview?
- What do you need to bring with you (resume, references etc)?
- What are you going to wear to the interview?
- How will you introduce yourself?
These don’t seem complicated but I know people who have shown up late to interviews because they miscalculated traffic. It is better to be there 30 minutes early and grab an extra cup of coffee than to be late.
Idea #5 – Get a good night of rest
The final tip is to make sure that you get a good night of sleep before the interview. It has been proven that people perform better when they are rested. People think clearer when they have slept enough.
If you can get a reasonable amount of sleep you will feel better, look better and be in a better mood. Do your best to get into bed at a reasonable time.
Finally, have confidence! If you have done your due diligence in preparation for the interview, then you can go in with confidence. You’ve done all you can do. The ultimate decision is not in your hands. All you can do it to do your best.