Walking into an interview can be intimidating for any job seeker. By taking the necessary steps needed to prepare for an interview, job seekers can ease their worries and better their chances of an interview being successful.
Prepare for Your Interview to Guarantee Success
There are several steps a job seeker can take to prepare for an interview. Everything from reviewing their resume to participating in practice interviews can serve a job seeker well in achieving the ultimate goal: job offer.
Proofread and Make Copies of Your Resume
Interviewees should bring at least two to three hard copies of their resume to their interview. Make sure that your copies are on clean, non-wrinkled paper of reasonable quality. Also, before printing your resume, check for any typos or grammar errors. When resumes are clean and free of errors, it allows the resume to showcase a job seeker’s skills, instead of highlighting a lack of care.
When a job seeker does a little research on the company they are interviewing with, it can give them a leg up on the competition. For example, 47 percent of interviewers say applicants have little-to-no knowledge about the company with which they are interviewing. Don’t be one of the unprepared!
When researching a company, look at their website and get a feel for what they do and what projects they are currently working on. By doing research, a job seeker can have an informed conversation about the company, which shows the interviewer they made an effort to be prepared.
Prepare Responses to Standard Interview Questions
Interviews are much the same across most industries. Many interviewers, no matter the job or company, use standard interview questions such as:
- Tell me about yourself?
- What interests you about this opening?
- What do you know about our company so far?
- Why did you leave your last job? If you are still employed, why are you thinking about leaving your current job?
- Tell me about your experience in your past/current job?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- What salary range are you looking for in this role?
- Do you have any questions for me?
After reviewing these standard interview questions, it’s time to prepare thoughtful responses. Make sure your answers reflect your resume and avoid anything that can be considered polarizing or offensive. Also, when speaking about your past or current work situations, avoid talking negatively about the company or your co-workers, this can signal a poor attitude and can be a red flag to potential employers.
Have a Practice Interview With a Friend
A great way to prepare for an interview is by doing a practice interview. With your interview questions and responses in hand, ask a friend to act as an interviewer and run through some of your questions. This way, you can hear your answers aloud and make any necessary changes. Also, your friend can provide useful feedback.
Practice interviews also allow you to have a friend observe your nonverbal communication, which is a significant part of the interview. For example, 33 percent of interviewers know within 90 seconds if they would hire an applicant, often because of the candidate’s nonverbal cues. By running a practice interview, you can get a better handle on how you present yourself and how you carry your body when responding to questions.
Check With the Recruiter Regarding Interview Dress Code
In interviews, presentation is everything. Check with your recruiter regarding the company’s dress code. This ensures you won’t be over or underdressed for the interview. When looking at dress code, there are two general categories that apply to most interviews. The first, business casual, typically means slacks or skirt, a shirt with a collar and a nice pair of shoes. The second, business professional, includes slacks or skirt, a button-up shirt, jacket, and typically includes a tie.
Interviews will always be stressful situations. With a little preparation, however, a job seeker’s stress can be significantly reduced. If you’re still uncertain about interview preparation, it’s best to consult a professional recruiter.
At New Era HR Solutions, we provide our candidates with the appropriate interview preparation and make sure they are armed with all necessary tools to succeed in the interview process. Check out our complementary Interview Guide for additional tips on effective interviewing.