Interviews are your chance to sell your skills and experiences! They give you the opportunity to land the job you want by allowing a future employer to get a good idea of the person you are, so they can determine if you're a good fit for their company culture. Therefore, it's important to prepare yourself ahead of time so you can ace your interview and leave a good impression for the potential employer. Here are some tips that will help get you ready for your future interview:
Start by reviewing common interview questions. Practice answering them with someone else or in front of a mirror. This will give you an idea of what kind of questions could potentially be asked. You should also figure out in advance what the requirements are for the job posting and then write down your qualifications. This can show you if you lack a particular skill, so you can determine how to address this in the interview and convince the interviewer that you can learn the skill. Finally, come prepared with stories that relate to the skills the employer wants, while emphasizing your:
- Leadership skills
- Willingness to learn
- Contributions to the organizations in which you’ve worked
- Creativity in solving problems and working with people
List Questions to Ask at the Interview
Think about questions you want to ask during the interview to demonstrate your interest in the job and the company. Don't underestimate how important it is to familiarize yourself with the company's website and exactly what they do. This can give you the opportunity to come up with some questions you may have. An interview is the opportunity for you to determine if the company is a good fit for you as well, so ask questions about the job you will be expected to perform, such as:
- What are the day-to-day responsibilities of this job?
- Could you explain the organizational structure?
- How will my responsibilities and performance be measured?
- What is the organization’s plan for the next five years?
Remember to bring important items to the interview:
- Extra copies of your resumé and a list of references
- Copies of letter(s) of recommendations, licenses, transcripts, etc.
- Notebook and pens
On the day of the interview, remember to:
- Plan to leave 10-15 minutes early, so you arrive on time
- Look professional and dress in an appropriate manner
- Turn off your cell phone
Be confident, but let the interviewer start the dialogue. Send a positive message with your body language. Check out this article on interview body language.
- Shake hands firmly, but only if a hand is offered to you first
- Maintain eye contact
- Listen carefully
- Welcome all questions with a smile
- Give honest, direct answers
- Develop answers in your head before you respond
End With a Good Impression
A positive end to an interview is another way to ensure your success.
- Be courteous and allow the interview to end on time
- Restate any strengths and experiences that you might not have emphasized earlier
- Find out if there will be additional interviews
- Ask when the employer plans to make a decision
- Indicate a time when you may contact the employer to learn of the decision
- Don’t forget to say thank you and that you appreciate their time and consideration!