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Preparing For a Job Interview

A Transformative Experience

Whether you’re embarking on your first career or pursuing a career change, thorough preparation for the interview is essential. In today’s competitive job market, a professionally crafted resume is a wise investment that can set you apart from other candidates. A well-written resume and cover letter greatly increase your chances of being called for an interview. Rather than viewing the interview as an intimidating process, consider it as a mutually beneficial discussion to determine if the role aligns with your aspirations and if the company is a good fit for you. Remember, adequate preparation is just as crucial as the interview itself.

Initial Impressions

​From the moment you make contact with a prospective employer, you are being evaluated as a potential employee. Your professionalism, language proficiency, interview attire, and genuine interest in the position will all contribute to this assessment.

Comprehensive Preparation

Preparing for the interview can often be more stressful than the actual event. To alleviate this stress and present your best self, it is crucial to leave nothing to chance. Follow these guidelines for comprehensive preparation:

Conduct Online Research: Before the interview, thoroughly research the company, its objectives, and mission. This knowledge will help tailor your responses to align with the company’s values and goals.

Familiarize Yourself with the Interview Format: Understand the interview format, including any specific requirements such as presentations, expected duration, or documents to bring. This awareness will allow you to prepare accordingly.
Dress Professionally: Ensure that your attire is appropriate and professional, reflecting your seriousness about the opportunity.
Plan Your Logistics: Determine the time required to reach the interview location and aim to arrive at least 10 to 15 minutes early. This punctuality demonstrates your respect for the interviewer’s time.
Rehearse Your Answers: Anticipate potential interview questions and practice concise, yet specific, responses. Strive to effectively communicate your experience, education, and skills as assets for the position. Creating an interview brag book to leave behind, may significantly work to your advantage.
Project Confidence and Poise: Maintain a calm and confident demeanor during the interview. Actively listen to questions, respond thoughtfully, and avoid rambling or lengthy answers.
Carry Extra Copies of Your Resume: Have multiple copies of your resume on hand in case the interview panel requires extra copies.
Prepare Questions to Ask: Demonstrate your interest and engagement by preparing thoughtful questions to ask the employer. This will highlight your curiosity and desire to learn more about the role and the company.
Emphasize Your Value: Articulate how your experience, education, and skills align with the position’s requirements and how they can contribute positively to the organization. Learn how to sell yoursefl in an interview.

During the Interview

During the interview itself, pay attention to the following aspects:
Be specific and succinct when answering questions.
Exude confidence through your body language and maintain eye contact.
Fill out any application forms neatly and attentively.
Offer a firm handshake and wait for an invitation to sit.
Sit upright and avoid slouching.
Address each interviewer by name and use appropriate titles.

Post-Interview Actions

After the interview, follow these steps to leave a lasting impression:
Express Gratitude: Thank everyone present for their time and express your appreciation for the opportunity to interview.
Send a Thank You Letter: Within 24 hours, send a concise thank you letter reiterating your interest in the position. Highlight no more than four of your strongest skills that align with the employer’s needs. 
Maintain Professionalism: Your demeanor, confidence, posture, and knowledge during the interview will create an opening for further communication and potentially a follow-up interview. Stay professional and maintain a positive attitude as you await the employer’s decision. By demonstrating your preparedness, enthusiasm, and alignment with the company’s needs, you increase your chances of progressing to the next stage of the hiring process and ultimately securing the job. 

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