Interviews are an integral part of finding a job. They can be intimidating, stressful, nerve-wracking, and at the same time give you a sense of relief. They liked your resume enough to bring you in! That means you have to knock your interview out of the park. I’m not an expert at interviews by any means…I have a lot to learn, but I have learned a few things that really help me stand out during my interviews. I’ve recently gone to a few interviews in search for a new position. Here are my top four things that I do to help prepare for my interviews.
1. Do your research.
After applying for a position you should know a little bit about the company already but after landing the interview is really when you need to buckle down and figure out what the company is all about. My favorite things to learn about companies are their mission statement and also what type of charities they support. I feel like I have a greater connection with the company if I find that they support local animal shelters. You can mention this connection during your interview too! Companies like to know why you want to work for their company, go deeper than just face value by really sharing how you align with the companies values.
2. Practice situational questions
These types of questions can be difficult to answer on the spot if you don’t practice ahead of time. My husband is really great at grilling me with questions they might ask during the interview, he also comes up with great answers if I get stuck! It always helps if you can practice saying your answers out loud with someone who can give you advice and critique your answers. Google searching "situational questions" is a great way to find sample questions related to the position you're applying for. The best thing to remember for these questions is they are looking for real life examples on how you handled a specific situation not how you think you would handle it.
3. Dress to impress
I know this sounds like a no brainer but you should show up to your interview professionally dressed. I get excited to dress up anytime a work related function comes up because normally you’ll find me in shorts and a tee. My go to outfit for interviews is black well fitting slacks, a nice collared blouse, and a fitted black suit jacket. You’ll want to feel confident and comfortable in your outfit but you will still want it to be super professional.
4. Make sure your resume is top notch
If you're like me and have worked at plenty of entry level jobs and recently graduated college you may feel like you are lacking in the experience department. Don't sell yourself short, chances are you have plenty of classroom, and outside career experience you can pull into your resume. Think of any volunteer work you have done or any relevant courses you have taken throughout your schooling career. For example, I took a business and professional speaking course where I was asked to come back the following semester as a team leader. I lead a small group of 6 people throughout the semester. I wasn't paid for the semester I was a team leader but I put it on my resume as leadership experience. If you're not sure what experience you have ask someone close to you! They might be able to tell you experiences you didn't even think of.
I wish you the best of luck as your prepare for any interviews you may have! It can be a scary yet great opportunity to learn from. These are my top four things that I do to prepare for interviews. What are yours?