Get Your Dream Job with Some Interview Prep
Preparing for an upcoming job interview can be intimidating, but it doesn’t have to be. With some research and practice, and a job interview prep checklist, you can ace your next interview and get one step closer to your dream job.
Use this interview preparation checklist as a guide for all the steps involved in the hiring process, and you’ll be sure to impress the hiring manager.
50% of hiring managers believe that the way a candidate dresses and acts at a job interview can be grounds for elimination from consideration for the job. In fact, 20% said they would not consider someone for the role who sat with their arms crossed during a job interview, and 65% said they would not consider someone who failed to make eye contact.
Table of Contents
Your Job Interview Preparation Checklist
Research The Company
Research the Company: Before you can prepare for your interview, you need to know as much as possible about the company and position you are interviewing for. Knowing the company’s mission statement and values, recent news stories, and key players in the organization will help you create answers that appeal directly to the interviewer.
Research the Hiring Process: It’s important to know what kind of interview you will be participating in. Find out the number of interviews, the format (phone, video, or in-person), and the approximate amount of time it will take. You can ask the recruiter or try to find what you are looking for on glassdoor.
Review & Reflect
Review Your Resume and Cover Letter: Before heading to the interview, review your resume and cover letter to ensure that you can talk about all the accomplishments, experiences, and skills listed there.
Reflect on the Job Description: Make a list of the job’s key requirements and then recall times when you successfully demonstrated them. Be prepared to explain how your accomplishments match the needs of the position.
Reach Out to Your Network: If you know someone who works at the company, reach out for a chat or advice. This can help you get a better understanding of the company culture and environment, as well as give you an inside look on what to expect from the interview.
Prepare role-specific questions
Think of Questions to Ask: Interviewers often ask if you have any questions at the end of the interview. Come prepared with some relevant and thoughtful questions about the company, position, or next steps in the application process.
While every hiring process may be different it would be a rare interview experience that was not full of questions – practice answering questions you expect based on your own experience and the job description.
Look appropriate and professional
Prepare Your Outfit: What you wear can have a big impact on how confident you feel and the first impression that you make. Make sure your interview outfit is clean, pressed, and professional. Bring an extra shirt or blouse in case of any spills or wrinkles.
Prepare For a Video Interview: If you are interviewing via video, take some time to check your lighting and background. Make sure there is nothing too distracting in the frame, and test the audio on your microphone or headset beforehand.
Practice to Perfect
Practice: Rehearse your interview answers before you arrive for the big day. Get a friend or mentor to practice with you and ask questions that are commonly asked during job interviews. This will help you feel more confident on the day of the interview and be able to answer each question without hesitation.
Think about body language
Prepare Your Body Language: Your body language can make all the difference when it comes to an interview. Make sure you are making eye contact, smiling, and sitting up straight. This will show that you’re confident and engaged in the conversation.
Familiarize yourself with the STAR method
Familiarize Yourself With the STAR Method: The STAR method is a popular interviewing strategy that encourages you to provide examples from your experience and walk through the Situation, Task, Action, Result. When answering questions, this method can help you give clearer and more concise answers.
Perform in The Hiring Process
Jot down important numbers and details
Jot Down Important Numbers and Details: Before you leave for the interview, jot down important numbers such as the interviewer’s name, address or location of the interview, company number, contact information, etc. This will help you stay organized and make sure that you have all the necessary information when it comes time to follow up after the interview.
Take Notes: During your job interview, it’s important to take notes so you remember details afterward. This will also show the interviewer that you’re engaged and interested in the job.
Follow Up: After your interview, it’s important to follow up with a thank-you note or email to the interviewer. This is an opportunity to reiterate your enthusiasm for the job and make sure they remember you when making their decision. While the days of sending a handwritten note are mostly passed a well written email is always appreciated.
Stay focused and positive
Stay Focused and Positive: During your job interview, stay focused on the present moment. Don’t think about what might happen after the interview – just try to answer questions as best you can and stay positive. This will help ensure that you make a good impression and feel confident in yourself throughout the process.
Calm your nerves and/or get psyched
Calm Your Nerves: Before your job interview, it’s important to take time to relax. Take deep breaths and practice some yoga poses or other calming activities like meditation. This will help you stay grounded and feel more confident during the interview.
Get Psyched Up: If calming is not your style, try listening to upbeat music or doing a few jumping jacks to get your energy up before the interview. Doing this can help boost your mood and help you feel more confident when it comes time for the big day.
Remember to be yourself
Be Yourself: At the end of the day, remember that you are interviewing for a job that is right for you. Don’t try to be someone else or pretend to have qualities you don’t. Be yourself and show the interviewer why you are the perfect fit for the job.
Pre-Interview preparation checklist
You have read the job description and listed your interview questions, use this checklist to ensure your first interview is the interview experience you are targeting for this job search.
Go Deeper: More Interview Process Insights
What are the 3 C’s of interview?
The 3 C’s of interviewing are: Calm, Confident, Competent. Being calm and confident in an interview setting can help to showcase your competence, as well as demonstrate your ability to handle difficult questions. Achieving these 3 C’s can help you make a positive impression and stand out from the competition.
You can hit all the key points, nail the company’s dress code (almost always business causal!) and to really impress hiring managers with your interviewing skills make sure you keep the three C’s in mind.
What are the 10 most common interview questions and answers?
The 10 most common interview questions and answers are:
1. Tell me about yourself?
How to answer: Start by sharing a few sentences about yourself that demonstrate your qualifications and experience.
2. What are your strengths?
How to answer: Share examples of your top qualities, such as critical thinking or problem solving skills, and how you’ve used them in previous roles or projects.
3. What are your weaknesses?
How to answer: Share an honest but positive example, such as a skill you’re working on improving or a trait that is not essential for the job.
4. Why do you want this job?
How to answer: Talk about why the job interests you, such as its alignment with your career goals or its challenges that you are excited to tackle.
5. What is your greatest accomplishment?
How to answer: Share a recent example that demonstrates how you achieved success in a similar role or through a challenging situation.
6. Why should we hire you?
How to answer: Summarize the unique qualifications and qualities that you bring to the job and how they would benefit the employer.
7. What are your salary expectations?
How to answer: Research the industry and position to determine an accurate range for a fair salary, then share it with the interviewer.
8. Where do you see yourself in 5 years?
How to answer: Share how this job fits into your long-term goals and how you plan to continue growing in your career.
9. Tell me about a time when you faced a difficult challenge?
How to answer: Share a story about how you successfully overcame an obstacle or handled a difficult situation.
10. Do you have any questions for us?
How to answer: Yes! Come prepared with questions related to the job, team, or company. Show that you’ve done your research and are interested in the role.
By understanding these 10 common interview questions and how to answer them confidently, you can make a great impression on employers and increase your chances of landing the job.
Answering these 10 common interview questions well can help you stand out and make a great impression on the interviewer. The best way to answer them is to be honest, provide relevant examples from your past experience, and explain how they relate to the job position.
What type of questions should I ask during my interview?
During your interview, it’s important to ask questions that show you’ve done your research and are genuinely interested in the position. Ask questions about the company culture, growth opportunities, job responsibilities, and more. This will demonstrate to the interviewer that you’re engaged and eager to learn more about the role. Additionally, feel free to ask questions regarding benefits packages or career development opportunities. This will show that you’re serious about the job and want to make sure it’s a good fit for both you and the company.
By following the steps and tips above and following the interview checklist you can enter your interview with confidence and make a great impression on employers. Show that you’re engaged and have done your research by asking thoughtful questions about the company, benefits package, career growth opportunities, and more. Taking these steps will ensure that you stand out from the competition and have the best chance to land the job. Good luck!