A job interview is an exciting, yet stressful, experience. When getting the call or email that you’ve landed a job interview, it is common to feel a mix of emotions. First, you’re likely to feel proud and accomplished. After all, your resume, cover letter, and/or CV made a good first impression and thoroughly demonstrated your skills and abilities. It is likely that you took the process of applying very seriously by creating a cover letter or CV using templates like those offered here at BuzzCV! If you’re looking for CV templates that you can use to land a job interview, register for free today!
The second thing you’re likely to feel when you are notified that you secured a job interview is a bit of apprehension. Typically, job seekers are concerned about making a great first impression, and they often feel as though they have very little to go on when it comes to what they should expect. Luckily, you don’t have to walk into a job interview unprepared. In fact, there are a series of steps that you can take to put yourself in the position to perform well.
Today, we’ll be telling you all about the 5 steps you can take to prepare for your upcoming job interview. The reason that so many job seekers view a job interview as a stressful process is because you only have a limited amount of time to make a good impression and prove that you’re the best fit for the job. But as with anything else, adequate preparation is needed not only to calm your nerves but also to ensure that you knock your job interview out of the park! Follow these steps and you can rest assured that you’ll wow interviewers.
1. Review the Job Description Thoroughly
In the process of writing your cover letter and crafting your resume, it is likely that you went over the job description with a fine-tooth comb. That being said, you’ll want to take another look at it when preparing for your upcoming job interview.
At BuzzCV, we highly recommend printing out the job description itself and grabbing a highlighter. Next, identify the key skills that the employer is looking for in an ideal applicant. You should also take care to highlight the responsibilities that the job entails. Make it your goal to identify which job duties make up the majority of the position. Using this strategy, you’ll more easily be able to pinpoint the areas that should be emphasized during your job interview.
While going over the job description, it’s also a good idea to list out your own strengths and what you bring to the table. Remember, this job interview is your prime opportunity to sell yourself as the perfect candidate for the job. For this reason, you will want to not only be informed about what the company is looking for, but also how exactly you can rise to the occasion and exceed those expectations. Knowing the qualifications is one important way to prepare for a job interview but you need to also be able to demonstrate that you possess those qualifications.
2. Research the Interviewer and Company
Although you have likely heard this job interview advice time and time again, it bears repeating that you should thoroughly research both the interviewer and the company before your interview. Put simply, to make a truly impactful impression you need to be very informed about the company.
Take some time to review the company’s website and social media in order to familiarize yourself with the overall company mission. Aside from this, you should also ensure that you have a good grasp on what the company does and why they do it. Dig in and do enough research to learn as much as you can about company culture. It’s also a good idea to look for any recent announcements regarding things like expansions or product launches so that you can bring these up during the interview, demonstrating that you’re informed and engaged in the company’s well-being.
Finally, if at all possible, it’s a good idea to look into the person (or people) that will actually be interviewing you. What is their role in the company? Would you find yourself working directly with that person? Further, is there anything personal that you connect with this person on? Knowing a few basic facts about your interviewer ahead of time can benefit you in various ways. For one, it will help you to remember that the person interviewing you is only human and this may calm your nerves. Secondly, demonstrating that you know a little bit about your interviewer personally will make you much more memorable to the hiring manager. Don’t skip this all-important step!
3. Rehearse Your Answers to the Most Common Job Interview Questions
Recently, we wrote a blog post entitled, “Most Common Job Interview Questions and Answers” in which we talked about some of the most common interview questions that you should be prepared to answer. If you haven’t read that post yet, check it out! There’s some very helpful information there to help you prepare for your job interview.
With that being said, once you are aware of some of the questions you should be prepared to answer, it’s time to rehearse your answers! Now, we know that the word “rehearse” probably brings to mind visions of you standing in front of the bathroom mirror practicing your best smile. But rehearsing your answers for a job interview doesn’t have to be that involved.
To rehearse your answers, think through your responses to some of the most common interview questions including:
- What are your greatest strengths?
- Why do you want to work for this company?
- Why should we hire you for this position?
- What are your greatest weaknesses?
By walking through your answers ahead of the job interview itself, you can ensure that you respond with answers that are well-polished and actually answer the question at hand. Think through how you’ll answer each question and take some time to look at some samples of some of the most common interview questions to give you a guideline to follow. This step will pay off!
4. Brainstorm Questions That You Want to Ask
While rehearsing your answers to common interview questions is definitely important, you would also do well to have some of your own questions prepared. At the end of any job interview, your interviewer will take the time to ask you if you have any questions. There are few things worse than awkward silence when an interviewer asks you this.
We highly recommend grabbing a pen and some paper and thinking of a few questions to ask during your job interview. Even if you don’t have any especially pressing questions to ask, you should think of at least two to ask to demonstrate your interest and engagement in the position itself as well as the hiring process. Even questions as simple as, “What does a typical day in this position look like?” or “How would you describe your ideal employee?” are great questions to ask. Use this part of the interview as your chance to prove how interested you are in working for the company.
5. Plan Your Route to the Job Interview Ahead of Time
Finally, since being late to a job interview will automatically harm your first impression, take time to plan your route well in advance. Be sure that you are able to locate the site of the job interview and take some time to review your route. This should include how long it will take for you to get there based on the typical traffic conditions at that time of day. You should also review what your parking options will be upon arriving on site so that you don’t have to waste precious time finding a place to park your car.
Finally, take some time to identify where you’ll be checking in for the interview. Following these considerations, you’ll be able to determine precisely when you need to be on your way to arrive at a reasonable time. We recommend arriving a minimum of 10 minutes before your job interview. This demonstrates punctuality and professionalism. You don’t want to keep your interviewer waiting!
Land the Job By Being Well-Prepared!
Now that you know the 5 key steps that you should follow to prepare for your upcoming job interview, it’s time to get started! By preparing for your job interview ahead of time, you can do the necessary work to ensure that you win over the interviewer and land the job! Think smart, plan well, and be confident. Follow these steps and you can’t go wrong! Good luck!