The job-hunting process can be mentally and emotionally challenging. But for many people, interviews are the most stressful part. This is understandable because the interview is what stands between you and your dream job. Simply put: If you want to get the job, you need to knock your interview out of the park. A lot of it comes down to doing your homework, and these tips can help you prepare for a successful job interview.
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Consider Potential Interview Questions.
A good place to start in your preparation is to look up common interview questions. Find ones that you can expect to encounter, as well as those you should consider asking the hiring manager. For example, you should be prepared to explain things such as:
- Why the organization should hire you.
- Why you left your last job.
- What your strengths/weaknesses are.
- Where you see yourself in five years.
Also, plan to ask the hiring manager questions about the organization. This will not only prove your interest and curiosity, but it’s also a great way to clarify any possible concerns.
Research the Organization
Next, do some research on the organization itself. Get to know its history, mission statement, core values, and so on. The company website is a good place to start, but you’ll also want to look at their social media profiles (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, etc.), as well as their LinkedIn company profile. Along with learning their identity, look for any recent news that involves the organization. All this information could come in handy during the interview and help demonstrate that you care enough to do some research.
Look Into the Industry
While you’re researching, find out everything you can about the industry in which the organization operates. Look into any recent trends and see if you can pinpoint the role of the organization. Also, research any competitors that can have an effect on the organization’s success. In light of this information, think about how you could be an asset to the team.
Speak with Current/Recent Employees
Learning about company culture is essential for figuring out if you’re a good fit for an organization. The culture of a workplace covers everything from company values and expectations to work environment and goals. In short, an organization’s culture is its personality, and one of the best ways to learn about this culture is to ask current and/or recent employees about it. This is easy if you already know someone at the organization, but if you don’t, reach out to a few people and see if they’re available to talk for a few minutes. Sometimes you can gauge company culture by scouring the organization website and social media.
If you do your homework by following the previous steps, you should have good reason to be confident when it comes to the actual interview. Being prepared allows you to relax and be yourself because you know that you have useful knowledge about the organization and you’ve thought about how you can help move them forward. It also allows you to better engage the hiring manager by actively listening, responding to questions, and asking the right questions. Make sure you show interest and excitement for what the organization is trying to do, and don’t be afraid to be personable. Whether a hiring manager feels an affinity for the job candidate as a person can often determine whether or not the position is offered.
It’s hard to overestimate the importance of job interviews. That’s why it’s critical to prepare and give the best interview you can. Do your homework by rehearsing potential questions to answer/ask, researching the organization, and learning about the industry. Also, reach out to employees to get a feel for the company culture. Finally, walk into that interview with confidence knowing that you’ve prepared — and be yourself.
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