Preparing for your interview should be extremely high up on your list of priorities right now. Even if you’re still in your current job or life’s just hectic and it’s hard to find a minute, you need to make the time to organise yourself for something this important.
Turning up unprepared is worse than not turning up at all. It’s like an actor turning up to an audition without knowing their lines. It’s embarrassing for both parties and, chances are, there’s not going to be a call back.
Job interviews are one of the most stressful things we will deal with as adults. By readying yourself in advance, you’ll feel calmer, more confident, and be more likely to impress your interviewer.
Interviewers like catching you off guard to see if you came prepared or not. Making sure you put aside enough time to revise your interview techniques and strategy is a sure-fire way to show them you’re serious.
In the run up to your interview, you can prepare by:
Practicing answering questions in front of a mirror
Take note of your facial expressions and your eyes as these are big things the interviewer will be watching. Avoid the perpetual Botox grin and the attempted-professional-but-more-forlorn-funeral-director look. And no “you looking at me. You looking at me? Well, I can’t see anyone else in here.”
Conducting mock interviews with friends and family
If you can find someone willing to take it seriously, this can be an extremely effective way to prepare. Practicing answers for the usual questions and seeing how quickly you can think on your feet with new ones.
It may also help to record the sessions so you can see yourself as the employer will. If you notice you fidget too much or avoid eye contact, you can work on correcting these problems prior to the real interview.
Going over your CV again and again and again…
You should be 100% familiar with what’s on it and how you will respond to questions about it. Remind yourself of the key skills, any benefits you could offer the employer, and your previous accomplishments.
Prepare examples to go with your statements as your interviewer will expect you to be able to back it up.
Giving yourself extra time for your appearance
On the big day, make sure you look good and smell good. Don’t worry, you won’t be judged on that. This is entirely for yourself, not your interviewer.
Plan out your outfit ahead of time and avoid having to rush to get ready. When you feel good, you act more confident. The employer will definitely see that.
Ensuring that you leave extra time to travel to the interview
Nothing will wreck your confidence more than turning up late because you got stuck in traffic or a bad storm.
Use a journey-planing app or head to the location of the interview the day before to figure out how long it’ll take to get there. On the day, check the news for any disruptions like roadworks or bad weather.
Brushing up on your knowledge of the company you’re interviewing at
Alas, the great interview killer. If you’re unable to answer basic questions about the company, it’s painfully obvious that you didn’t bother to research. It shows you’re not genuinely interested in the company, and suggests you’re don’t care if you work for them or not.
The people who land the best jobs are the ones who put in the extra time and effort to be fully prepared for the interview. They’re the ones who take this opportunity seriously and do everything they can to ensure it goes well. Interviewers notice the signs of a prepared interviewee. Your confidence and composure will be obvious.
Benjamin Franklin famously said “by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail.” Set yourself up for success by organising yourself before your interview.
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