How to Prepare for Job Interview (11 Preparation Tips)

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INTERVIEW PREPARATION

Preparing for an interview entails thinking about your goals and qualifications in relation to the role and employer. To do so, conduct research on the organization and carefully read the job description to determine why you would be a good fit. Let’s take a look at how to prepare for an interview.



1. EXAMINING THE JOB DESCRIPTION

You should utilize the employer’s advertised job description as a guide during your preparation. The job description is a list of the qualifications, qualities, and background that the business is searching for in a potential employee. The more you can connect yourself with these aspects, the clearer it will be for the company that you are competent. The job description may also provide you with ideas for questions to ask the company during the interview.

 

2. CONSIDERING QUALIFICATIONS IN AN INTERVIEW

Before your interview, you should have a firm grasp on why you desire the job and why you are qualified for it. You should be prepared to explain why you’re interested in the position and why you’re the ideal candidate for it.

 



3. LEARNING MORE ABOUT THE JOB AND THE COMPANY

Researching the firm for which you are applying is a vital step in preparing for an interview. It will not only help you create a context for your interview interactions, but it will also help you prepare intelligent questions for your interviewers.

Doing as much research on the company and role as possible will offer you an advantage over the competitors. Not only that, but adequately preparing for an interview can help you stay cool and present your best self. Before you step into your interview, here are a few things you should know:

 

INVESTIGATE THE PRODUCT OR SERVICE:

Even if the position is unrelated to the company’s product or service, you want to be a part of the team. It is critical to learn everything you can about the product or service that the company manufactures and advertises. You don’t have to comprehend every detail, especially if it’s a technical product and you’re interviewing for a non-technical role, but you should have a fundamental awareness of the company’s core goods or services.

Request a sample of the product if possible to become acquainted with the customer’s point of view. The more you can inform them about the product from both a company and a customer perspective.

INVESTIGATE THE ROLE

It is critical to carefully study the job description and ensure that you grasp all of the criteria and obligations that come with it. This will not only enable you to ask intelligent, targeted questions about the role during the interview, but it will also ensure that you are actually qualified and ready to take on the responsibilities if you are hired.

If possible, investigate similar occupations and read reviews from people who have held those roles to get a sense of what the day-to-day duties will be. During the interview, ask for clarification or details about the role so you’re prepared if you get a job offer.

INVESTIGATE THE COMPANY CULTURE

Most modern businesses have social media accounts and blogs where they discuss their corporate culture and industry. This information can give you an idea of the company’s tone and personality, as well as what they value. No matter how fantastic a job appears to be, it is critical that you fit into the business culture and have comparable personalities and beliefs.



4. CONSIDERING ANSWERS FOR GENERAL INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

While you won’t be able to predict every question in an interview, there are a few typical questions for which you should prepare replies. You should also think about creating an elevator pitch that briefly outlines who you are, what you do, and what you desire.

Some occupations may require a test or evaluation during the interview process. If you are interviewing for a position in computer programming, development, or analytics, you may be asked to write or evaluate lines of code. It may be beneficial to check with colleagues in the sector for instances of tests they’ve been asked to prepare for.

Here are some examples of typical interview questions:

Why do you want to work here?

The best approach to prepare for this question is to learn about the company’s products, services, mission, history, and culture. Mention characteristics of the organization that appeals to you and connects with your professional ambitions in your response.

“I’d love the opportunity to work with a company that is making a difference,” for example. Finding a company with a great work atmosphere and beliefs that coincide with mine has been a focus during my job hunt, and this organization is at the top of the list.”

What interests you about this role?

Employers ask this question to ensure that you understand the role and to allow you to emphasize your relevant talents. Comparing the role criteria to your talents and expertise can be beneficial. Choose a few things you particularly enjoy or excel at and emphasize them in your response.

For instance, “I’ve been interested in user experience design for the majority of my professional career.” I was excited to discover that this organization uses Adobe products because I am very familiar with the complete suite. In addition, I am a strong proponent of using agile workflows in design. I believe it is the most efficient technique to tackle massive jobs. In my prior work as UX manager, I was able to successfully create and implement an agile methodology, and we witnessed significant benefits in project speed.”

What are your greatest strengths?

This question allows you to discuss both your technical and soft talents. When an interviewer asks you to describe your skills, qualities, and personal attributes, and then apply them to the role for which you’re interviewing.

“I’m a natural problem solver,” for example. It’s satisfying for me to delve deep and seek solutions to problems—like it’s solving a puzzle. It’s something I’ve always excelled at and like doing. Much of product development is about finding creative answers to difficult problems, which is what drew me to this field in the first place.”



5. PRACTICING BODY LANGUAGE AND SPEAKING MANNER

During the interview process, it is critical to generate a positive and lasting impression. This can be accomplished by using a confident, strong speaking voice and welcoming, open body language. While these may come naturally to you, you may wish to practice them with trusted friends or family members or in front of a mirror. Take special care with your grin, handshake, and stride.

 

6. PREPARING THOUGHTFUL QUESTIONS

Many companies are impressed with candidates who ask insightful inquiries about the firm and the role. Take the time before the interview to prepare several questions for your interviewer(s) that demonstrate you have researched the firm and are knowledgeable about the role. Here are some examples of questions you could ask:

  • What is a normal day like for someone in this position?
  • Why do you appreciate working here so much?
  • What characteristics do your most successful employees possess?
  • I’ve had a great time learning more about this possibility. What happens next in the hiring process?



7. PREPARING WITH MOCK INTERVIEWS

Practicing interviews, like public speaking, is the best method to reduce nervousness and boost confidence. Practice may be tedious, but going through the interview process again and again will make you more comfortable and help you make the appropriate impression.

If you have friends or family who can assist you, practice mock interviews as much as you can. If you don’t have a partner, practice your questions and responses aloud. When you speak, you may discover that an answer sounds odd or does not represent what you want, so this offers you the opportunity to polish your replies and commit them to memory. The more you practice your interview, the more assured you’ll be when the big day arrives.

 

8. HAVING HARD COPIES OF YOUR CV

Most employers want digital copies of your résumé as part of the application process, but they may not have easy access to it during the interview. Having copies to hand out to multiple interviewers demonstrates that you are well-prepared and organized. You should have at least three copies available for multiple interviewees, as well as one for yourself to use as a guide.

During your preparation, go over your resume and practice explaining any gaps or other anomalies that may surface. You may have taken time off work to care for a child or family member, changed careers, or had other acceptable reasons for employment breaks. Employers may be concerned about these, so it’s better to plan ahead of time.

You may also be asked awkward questions regarding your résumé. When dealing with them, it is critical to be truthful while remaining diplomatic. For example, you may have left a job due to a disagreement with your supervisor or management, or policies with which you disagreed, but you don’t want to speak adversely about a previous company. Consider these probable inquiries and prepare your responses ahead of time so you don’t say something you’ll later regret.

It’s important to prepare for these questions, like the rest of the interview, by taking notes and rehearsing your responses out loud several times before the interview.



9. PREPARING TRAVEL ARRANGEMENTS

Most individuals find job interviews stressful for a variety of reasons, but getting to the interview can be a problem in and of itself. If your interview is in an unknown location or even a new city, it might be stressful to find your way around and make sure you arrive on time.

To avoid being overly concerned about your travel, plan ahead of time to ensure that everything runs smoothly on the day of the meeting. Here’s how to do it:

 

Depart early: It may seem simple, but it is advisable to leave with plenty of time to get to your interview, even if it means arriving early. Even if you give yourself a few additional minutes to get there, tiny impediments like heavy traffic, accidents, no parking, or difficulty finding the building can cause you to be late. If you arrive too early, simply review your notes and mentally prepare for the interview.

 

Keep the following contact information for the interview: Even if you leave plenty of time for your commute, circumstances beyond your control can cause you to be late. If something comes up and you know you’ll be late, phone your interview coordinator and inform them of the issue. Most people are sympathetic to these situations and understand that some things simply cannot be avoided, especially if you notify them ahead of time and provide a solid explanation. In this case, the worst thing you could do is arrive late and try to justify yourself.

 

Pre-search the area: Most interviews are arranged days or weeks in advance, giving you plenty of time to investigate the location. If your interview is close enough, you can go to the venue for a day and check out the parking, traffic, and the suite or office where your interview will occur. If you have any concerns about parking or any other feature of the place, email your interviewer and ask for more information.



10. DEMONSTRATE YOURSELF (MARKETING FOR YOURSELF)

Selling oneself is one of the most difficult aspects of an interview. Most individuals are uncomfortable with this concept, yet accurately and positively presenting yourself does not have to seem like a sale. The truth is that you do have professional talents and experiences that may set you apart from other applicants, therefore acknowledging them to your future employer is both acceptable and required.

When preparing for a job interview, establish a list of your relevant skills and consider how your experiences and abilities might contribute to the department’s and company’s overall goals. Because your responses will be limited in length, you should select the most positive and relevant information.

If you have measurements or numbers to highlight your accomplishments or growth in past employment, they might assist you sell yourself during the interview. In your previous employment, for example, you may have raised sales by a specific percentage or increased social media engagement.

Whatever your accomplishments are, don’t be shy about mentioning them during your interview. Your future employer wants to know that you’ll be the proper match and that you’ll be able to contribute to the firm, so they’ll want to know all of the reasons why.

 

11. FOLLOWING UP AFTER THE INTERVIEW

Following your interview, you should plan on following up with the employer. This reminds the employer of your chat, demonstrates your genuine interest in the position, and allows you to bring up things you failed to address.

Here are some guidelines to consider while writing a follow-up note:

  • Mention the precise job title and thank your interviewer in the opening paragraph.
  • In the second paragraph, include the name of the company as well as a conversation point and/or aim that seems particularly significant to the person with whom you spoke. Connect that to your previous experience and interests.
  • Close by inviting them to ask you any additional questions in the final paragraph.



Finally, if you don’t know the answer to a question, it’s totally fine to pause for a bit and simply say, “Let me think about that for a moment.” The employer will appreciate you taking the time to respond thoughtfully. Wherever feasible, provide explicit instances. Putting in the effort to prepare for an interview will make you feel more calm and confident during the process.



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