Tips for Preparing for an Interview – All You Need is a Plan
“All you need is the plan, the road map, and the courage to press on to your final destination.”
– Earl Nightingale
As the saying goes, “failing to plan, is planning to fail.” While this proves true for many facets of life, it is especially so in the case of a job interview. After all, you are going to sit down with a company manager and convince them that you are the perfect candidate for the job. While we do not deny that this terrifies even the most courageous of souls, a solid plan and preparation make a significant difference. We’re also here to help you walk into this with confidence.
So, here are some tips for preparing for a good interview:
Research the Job
Before the interview – maybe even before you apply – make sure you understand the position. Read the company website and learn as much as you can about it.
- What is their history?
- What are their values?
- What is their product/service?
- Have they been in the news recently?
- How can you help them grow?
Stage a Mock Interview
Ask a friend to do a mock interview with you. Have them ask you questions and give honest feedback on your presentation. Remember, body language and voice tone are critical.
While you can’t know every question that you will be asked, you can predict some basic ones. You might be asked to describe yourself, to share your strengths and weaknesses, or why you’ve left your current job. Hiring managers look for employees who communicate well. Many resources offer a list of typical interview questions.
Practice answering out loud until you sound articulate, without sounding rehearsed.
Plan Your Outfit
Rather than rushing around on the day-of, plan what you’ll be wearing. Make sure it is cleaned, pressed, and ready to go. (Watch out for sneaky, loose hems and hanging threads!) Dress for success to present yourself as a polished professional. Typically, business or business casual is your best bet – especially for professional positions. But even if you are interviewing for a more casual job, being neat and tidy creates a positive image.
Know Your History
You will be asked about your previous employment, so be ready to answer questions about different sections on your resumé. Formulate thoughts about your work history, and the purpose and lessons in each step. Give specific examples of accomplishments that demonstrate your ability to fulfill the responsibilities listed in their job description.
Prepare to explain employment gaps and reasons for leaving previous positions. During the interview, do not ever speak badly about former employers or teams.
It’s Your Turn
Come with thoughtful questions of your own. A good interview is a conversation with dialogue going both ways. Asking thoughtful questions about the company, company policies, and your potential role demonstrates initiative on your part. Be an attentive listener when they respond.
Your whole objective during the interview is to sell yourself. But balancing between selling yourself, and coming across as narcissistic, can be tricky.
Be genuine. Show enthusiasm. Be concise and accurate as you share your accomplishments. Give credit to previous team members who played a role. Speak with confidence about your capabilities, and how you have grown as a professional, but also share how others have taught you along the way.
Be prepared with extra copies of your resumé, and any other materials that showcase your qualifications.
Follow up by sending a thank-you note for their time. It will set you apart from the crowd. Mention that you appreciated the opportunity and restate in a simple sentence why you believe you are the right candidate for the position. Express your desire to hear from them soon
Are you looking for help snagging that interview? At ERG Staffing, we’re here for YOU! Our purpose is to create beneficial connections between both candidates and businesses. We post new opportunities every day. Whether you’re looking for a position in light industrial work, the skilled trades, or in a technical, clerical or professional position, if you are ready to work, ERG Staffing is ready to help you find opportunities that match your experience, interests, and skills. Contact us today and let us help you grow in your career!