Ever get excited about an interview and then slip into a wave of nervousness about how you will do? You are not the only one. There is a lot of pressure knowing that you are a few interviews away from the job that you’re after. Here are 6 foolproof ways to prepare for an interview. Follow these steps to prepare and you will notice an increase in your confidence and improvement in execution! You will surely stand out, and for the right reasons.

number oneLocation Location Location

Expect the unexpected! You’ve done a major amount of prep, practiced your handshake, picked out your confident outfit, DO NOT let being late create a bad impression first thing at your interview.

Know exactly how long it takes to get to your interview site and ADD 15 minutes to the commute to make time to park your car and walk to the correct part of the building without needing a sweat towel when you get there!

number 2Study the company and the position

In a sea of many companies, why did you choose them? They might be curious to know your why for pursuing this job with this company. Pour into the company website and read into more than just their mission and values. How are they involved with the community, what are they proud of?

Are you new to the industry? Be able to study and grasp as much as you can to show your commitment to the new industry.

Were you given the name of your interviewer? Search them on Linkedin, learn of their background and note if you have anything in common with your interviewer. Be ready with questions either about their background or role in the company. Create a connection with the person who’s getting to know you! Show your investment into getting this position by knowing the position, learning the ins and outs of what the company is about and looking for so you’re able to emphasize the value you add.

 

number threeKnow Yourself

It’s easy to take for granted that you’ll need to study YOU before answering interview questions. I mean, how hard could it be? It’s you, you must know all the answers!

Well, in an interview dynamic, the pressure to speak well, and nervousness could have you tripping over the simplest things, like what you’re good at and areas you are working to grow.

Reflect on why you want this job, what you’ll be able to bring to the position and what experiences ensure that you’ll be able to meet the responsibilities best. Write out which strengths and weaknesses you want to talk about if that question comes up in an interview. Write out an answer to “tell me about yourself” so you can see if you’ve included all the relevant* information you want in that introduction.  

number fourRemember your stories ahead of time

Behavior-based interview questions are always a part of the process. You know them, it starts with“Tell me about a time when _____”. These questions challenge you to share an experience you had to help them understand how you think and might behave in a situation you’d face in your position. For instance, “ Tell me about a time when you failed to make a deadline, what did you do?”

These are the hardest questions to be able to answer on the fly. Avoid having to rack your brain of a good story from 3 years ago that exemplifies leadership, in real time, with pressure and nerves of saying it all right. You have a lot of experiences to sort through and in a rush to answer timely, you might start telling a story that wasn’t the best one to talk about.

Think of various memories:  a time when you went the extra mile, resolved a conflict, were under a lot of pressure, had to prioritize, worked on a team, lead a project just to name a few. You don’t necessarily know which ones will be asked, but thinking about them ahead of time will have it in the forefront of your brain, ready to be pulled in case a question creates the opportunity.

number fivePractice!

Now that you’ve thought of what you want to say, try it out! Written answers don’t tend to sound natural when you say them, practice with a friend, career counselor, or the mirror. Get through the story you want to tell sans Uhms, Ahs, and stutters. It might take a few tries but doing this ensures a smoother answer during showtime.

Come with your questions

Your turn to flip the interview! What makes you curious about the company or position says a lot about what is important to you as you decide whether or not to accept an offer. Take this opportunity to get the information you can’t find online. If you’re looking for some good questions, here are some of my favorite:

  • Is leadership important to you? Ask about the leadership structure and who will be expected to report to.
  • Did you just leave a toxic workplace and are worried to repeat? Ask them to describe the work culture.
  • Are you curious about the level of training provided? Ask how the company sets you up for success and who trains you in this position.
  • Are you striving to move up in this company? Ask what the typical career path a person starting in your position takes.

Job description not totally clear about their expectations?

  • Ask how success is measured in this role.

 

 

Not asking questions shows a lack of curiosity and might imply that you feel like you know all there is to know about the job or company.

Now, go get’em!

More preparation is bound to increase your confidence in how you will do in your interview. Still overcome with nerves? Change your state. Life coach Tony Robbins, says the key to overcoming stress is to move your body to shift your state from stress/nervousness to one of confidence.  Stop, and breathe deeply. Think of how you stand when you’re confident. Are your hands on your hips? Shoulders back? Are you looking up? Replicate this, and your nerves will shift to reflect what your body is expressing. Use this link in case you’d like to look into this a little more. https://www.tonyrobbins.com/mind-meaning/how-to-reset-your-mind-and-mood/

Following all of these tips ensure that you’ll be more poised to answer the questions your interviewer asks you. Repeat these steps for every interview you have and remember, BE YOURSELF. They invited you to the interview, there’s already something they like to see. Good luck!

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Ann Vu

Ann Vu

Ann is a career expert with a particular emphasis on the job search process. She has helped countless clients find and land jobs they love. Read more about Ann here.