Often times, just getting an interview is tough enough, so when you finally get your foot in the door and the opportunity to land the job – you need to take time to prepare. Knowing as much as you can prior to the interview can mean the difference between getting an offer or not.
Do your research on the company. This can often be done by reading through the different sections of the corporate website. Familiarize yourself with all of the types of products or services they offer. Take time to read any sections that give you an idea of the company values and what’s important to them.
You will generally find this information on pages such as About Us, Philosophy, Values and likely Events if they have one. Company activities such as volunteering and philanthropy may be found on blogs, photo or event pages.
Also, take time to go through the company’s social media pages. Not only will this give you a better sense of the company itself, but also talking points you’ll have in your back pocket. It’s also a good idea to familiarize yourself with the actual interviewer. Check their professional and social media profiles to get as much insight as you can on the person you’ll actually be speaking with. Although this may feel a bit like stalking, it’s helpful to have an idea of their personality and what they’ll respond to best in potential candidates.
Go back to the original job posting that you applied for. Go through each of the items listed in the job description, responsibilities and requirements. Take time to note what your experience or qualifications are for each of those.
During the interview, many of these items will come up and you should be prepared to share what your experience is for each one. Being able to give specific examples can set you apart from other candidates so be prepared to answer those questions or talk about them when given the opportunity.
Ensure that you know what you are going to wear to the interview and dress to impress. Pamper yourself a bit before the interview and ensure your nails are manicured, facial hair is trimmed up, eyebrows are plucked and that you just look well taken care of. Personal hygiene can say a lot to an interviewer about a potential candidate – so shine those shoes and take some time to iron your clothes.
Not only should you be dressed accordingly, but you should also be prepared. Many times, more than one interviewer will be present, and you may or may not know that before you get there. Take at least five copies of your resume. Prepare a reference list in case you are asked for one. It’s always better to have it with you than for them to ask and not have it on hand.
Practice any potential interview questions with a friend. They can give you feedback on your answers and it will give you an opportunity to perfect your responses and be more prepared. Take a notepad and pen to jot down any notes or follow-up request the interviewer may ask of you. Be sure to clean out your bag or briefcase as well. There’s nothing worse than fumbling around to pull out items you need or dropping a used tissue in the process! Good luck and be prepared!