As you prepare for an interview, it is essential to be primed and ready to show hiring managers you have the professional skills and strengths for the position. To do so, you must prep before the big day, which requires a little bit of research and role-playing so you can enter the meeting with confidence.
To help you prepare for an interview, I’ve rounded up five essential steps.
1. Research The Company
Company culture plays a significant role in long-term job satisfaction. Doing some research will help you understand a potential employer’s work culture. Here are three places to look:
The company’s website
Social media channels (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn)
Comments from past and present employees on sites like Glassdoor
While examining these sources, pay attention to the language, tone and imagery used. What does it say about the company’s personality and beliefs? Are there examples of what types of employees are successful? Do you notice an alignment of values and characteristics? If so, write those down and incorporate those as touch points during the interview process.
In addition, there’s a good chance your interviewer will ask you what you know about the company during the interview process. If you’ve researched the organization, including their history, services and top executives, you’ll demonstrate that you took the time to prepare for an interview.
2. Understand The Role And How Your Experiences Relate
To prepare for an interview, review the finer details of the job description. Note what skills they are looking for and how your abilities fulfill or exceed their expectations. To begin, make a list of each of the requirements in the description and provide examples of experience with those tasks.
As you work through the list, also consider if any could be turned into an anecdote for questions the interviewer might ask, like “Is there a time you took it upon yourself to go beyond the requirements of a project?”
3. Prepare and Rehearse For Interview Questions
Another critical component to prepare for an interview is to be ready to answer interview questions with confidence. While you won’t know the exact questions a hiring manager will ask, Glassdoor has a list of the 50 most commonly asked interview questions.
Here are five to get started.
What are your strengths?
What are your weaknesses?
Why do you want to work at our company?
Tell us about a mistake you made and how you fixed it.
Why should we hire you?
Instead of writing down full answers, craft bullet points to cover your main points. Rehearse the answers out loud or with a friend. As you deliver them, be aware of your body language and tone of voice.
4. Bring Questions to the Interview
The interview process is not a one-sided conversation and usually ends with, “Are there any questions you’d like to ask us?” Take full advantage of this moment. It is an opportunity to learn more about the position, the values of the company and how those beliefs play out in the work environment. The hiring manager’s answers will ultimately help you decide if a job with the company is the best career choice for you.
If you need some help figuring out what to ask a potential employer, The Balance Careers has a list of 30 questions.
To start, here are five.
Describe a typical day for this position.
What is the company’s management style?
What are the prospects for growth and advancement?
Is there an onboarding policy that helps new hires?
Tell me about the biggest challenges of this role.
Create a list with 10 interview questions. Bring a printed version with you to the interview and feel free to make notes.
5. Prepare For An Interview By Planning Ahead
The last tip for an interview preparation is to plan ahead. Choose an outfit that best represents the company’s dress code and don’t wait until the last minute to press your shirt or stop by the dry cleaners. In the days preceding the interview, make sure you have enough time to do the little things that boost your confidence, such as getting a haircut or manicure.
The day of the interview, don’t skip meals as a full stomach will improve your focus. Bring extra copies of your resume and a reference list. Plan to arrive at least 20 minutes early to the interview and know the best route to take and exactly where to park. If the location is in a high traffic area, adjust arrival time accordingly. Having everything sorted and in order beforehand will set you on a path for success when the interview day arrives.
Find Your Hire Purpose
At CorEdge, our financial recruiters take the time to match you with the best finance job and help you prepare for an interview and the hiring process. Contact us today to speak directly with one of our recruiting experts and let us help you find your ‘hire purpose.’