Q: I am thrilled to have an interview for a new job. But, I want to make sure that I make the absolute best of the interview. Do you have some tips that will help me ace it?
A: Alison Green of US News writes, “Whoever said 80 percent of success is just showing up wasn’t thinking about job interviews.” Instead, she advocates for serious preparation before an interview – not only because you will perform better, but also because you will be significantly less anxious at the meeting itself.
The good news is that if you got the interview that means that the company is already interested in you. They wouldn’t spend precious time interviewing people they felt were not suitable for the job. Now, it’s your task to show them that you are the perfect candidate. Here are some steps to take in order to prepare yourself for the interview:
Get to know the employer. If you learn about the company or the person who will employ you, it will show a sincere interest in the job. It only takes about a half hour to find out information about the company through its website (if possible), discreetly talking to a current or former employee or asking friends who are familiar with the company. Coming in with this knowledge not only lets the interviewer know that you are serious about the job; it also helps you answer questions in a more relevant and knowledgeable manner.
Study the job description. Make sure you understand the responsibilities associated with the job. Think about how you fit the job description; however, don’t force yourself to match on every single level. Rather, see how it is suitable for you and the way that you can accommodate the demands of the job through your other strengths. Then, when the interviewer asks you questions about challenges, you will be better ready to answer.
Practice makes perfect. Ask someone you trust to play the part of the interviewer. Then, spend time rehearsing questions and answers with that person. The more comfortable you feel at the actual interview, the more natural and composed you will appear. This will make the interviewer believe that you are calm and cool under pressure, an attribute that all employers are looking for.
Pick out appropriate clothing. Not every job or company requires the same dress code. Some might be business casual, while others might be more formal. Find out before the interview the attire of the office. This way you will not show up to the interview with the wrong type of clothing. Feeling at ease in your own skin and clothing will only facilitate the interview process.
Breathe. Anxiety is not productive. Therefore, once you go through the four steps above, work on your breathing and your mind to make your anxiety go away. Tell yourself, “I am successful. They will hire me.” This positive, calm thinking will ultimately work in your favor. Good luck!