Being interviewed for a job can be a nerve-racking experience. You want to make a good impression and get the job, but it’s hard to know exactly what will impress an interviewer.
The best way to prepare for an interview is to practice your responses in front of a mirror or with a friend. This forces you to think on your feet and improve your communication skills. It also gives you the opportunity to catch any verbal tics or body language problems you may have.
Here are some tips on how to prepare for an interview and make a great impression:
1. Do your research.
Identify common questions that employers ask in general and specific questions that they might ask you. For example, if you’re going to be asked about your strengths and weaknesses, think of the top three strengths and weaknesses that relate to the job.
2. Practice telling your stories out loud.
The interview is a chance for you to sell yourself and share your accomplishments, so try to recall specific examples from your past that demonstrate your skills or experience. You can use these examples as anecdotes when answering interview questions.
Think about how you’ll respond to behavioural interview questions, which often start with “Tell me about a time when…”
You should also be ready with two or three questions of your own. Asking thoughtful questions shows that you’re interested in the position, engaged in the conversation and prepared for the interview. Don’t forget that interviews are a two-way street, it’s also an opportunity for you to find out if the job is really a good fit for you.
3. Suited and booted.
Dress up a bit. You want to look professional but not over-the-top. A nice suit is always appropriate, but if that’s not in your budget, there are plenty of other options for men and women. And if you’re unsure of how formal the company is, it never hurts to ask your recruiter or contact at the company what they suggest you wear.
4. Time is money.
Be on time, or even a little early. If possible, try to arrive at least 10 minutes early for your interview. But don’t show up too far in advance of your scheduled interview time; it can be distracting for the hiring manager and his or her staff if they have to stop what they’re doing to deal with you while they’re trying to get work done.
5. It’s always good to have more than one.
Bring copies of your CV. Even if you gave them one when you applied, bring another copy along with you just in case their copy got lost or spoiled somehow. Also bring extra copies so that you can both go through it together and that way the interviewer will also be able to have it in front of them.
Last but not least, don’t forget to be yourself!