Ah, the desired interview! For most of us, receiving news about an interview opportunity is an exciting moment that goes hand by hand with feelings of stress and lots of “what-ifs”. Dealing with this emotional rollercoaster can be a tough task – we’ve all been there – especially when you have to prepare your professional posture and shine in the eyes of your possible future employers.
But all can be achieved with a little preparation and we’re here to guide you step by step through the how-to process! Below we’ve listed 10 top tips to help you cover every aspect of your pre-interview preparation, from getting to know your interviewer to preparing your interview must-haves.
1. Research the company – dig deep!
After visiting the company’s website, search online for material related to the company’s strategy, culture and actions. Case studies, news and press releases, client reviews and social media profiles will help you get the “big picture” of the company you’re interviewing for.
2. Review the job description in detail so you understand it inside out
Analyze the job description carefully and outline the levels of knowledge, skills and abilities the company requires for this position. Try to determine where this position fits within the organization and how your qualifications match the ones in demand.
3. Research the industry the company represents
Get ahead of the game and catch up on the latest news related to the industry that the company represents - what is going on in their respective market at the moment? Which are the factors of success for a company in this industry? You can also run a quick search on the company’s competitors and compare how they size up against each other.
4. Research your interviewers
Find out who you’re meeting with and write down their names, their role in the company and which department they work for. A quick Google search and some innocent LinkedIn stalking will help you get an idea on your interviewer’s experience, interests and area of expertise.
5. Treat this like a client meeting
Prepare some observations and questions about the company and, on the day of your interview, take a pad and a pen with you. At the beginning of the meeting you can politely inform your interviewers that you’d like to take some notes and ask some questions during the process.
6. Plan your journey
The night before your interview, check the distance between your home and the company’s headquarters and familiarize yourself with the route. Schedule an earlier arrival - 10 minutes should be enough.
7. Lay out your outfit the night before
Save yourself some time and the stress of having to look through your clothes the morning of the interview. Remember to pick something smart and polished (a suit, plain colors) and not something that will overpower the conversation and inspire a wrong first impression (piercings, strong perfumes etc).
8. Pack your bag the night before
Print some extra copies of your resume on quality paper and and bring with you a notepad and pen. You may also carry a portfolio with samples of your work, if relevant, a list of references and any kind of personal information (your ID for example) that you might need to complete an application.
9. Get a good night’s sleep
Don’t do any last-minute research before bedtime – do something you find relaxing and go to bed early.
10. Eat a good breakfast
You’ll need both emotional and physical energy to get you through your big day, especially when you don’t know how long this day might end up being. Prepare yourself a rich and healthy breakfast and don’t let hunger throw you off during your interview.
That’s it! Your interviewee’s suit of armor is ready, and you’re ready to make it shine. Go forth and conquer!