By the time you step into a room for an interview, nothing should come as a surprise. You should be familiar with the company, its strategic goals, the people you’re meeting and your own strengths and weaknesses. Like an athlete training for game day, the interview is a chance to show all your preparation and let your skills shine. To show up ready, here are six ways to prepare for your interview.
Research the company and interviewers
Prepare a scouting report for yourself. What positions do the people interviewing you hold? Check their LinkedIn profiles or get information from your contacts about them. Find out which issues the company is grappling with and identify the company’s top strategic objectives.
Bring supporting materials
Show, don’t just tell. Bring a portfolio of your work, even if you haven’t been asked to. If you are interviewing for a higher level position, perhaps you can also bring a draft of a 30-60-90 Day Plan. It must outline what you intend to do when hired, and demonstrate to the hiring manager that you are the best candidate.
Prepare answers to common questions
Some questions are asked by almost every interviewer you'll encounter. Here's how to answer the most common interview questions.
Polish your presentation
It’s not just what you say; it’s how you say it. Pay attention to how you are going to carry your body posture. If you don't display confidence and professionalism during the interview, you will lose a competitive advantage. Practice how you’re going to present eye contact, handshakes and even your listening.
Conduct a mock interview
Your answers may make sense in your head, but how do they sound when you communicate them? The career center at your college more than likely will have services to conduct a mock job interview. If this service isn’t available, rehearse your answers with a friend during each step of the interviewing process.
Finally, when interviewers give you the opportunity to turn the tables, don't waste it. Know in advance what you want to ask. Here are interview questions to ask hiring managers.
Preparing for job interviews includes knowing as much as you can about the company, as well as knowing what you have to offer to help it be more successful. Be prepared. Be confident. Be ready.