How to Nail Your Interview Part 1: Before The Interview

Interview Tips
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This week’s Tip Thursday is all about the inteview! We’re breaking it up into three parts so stay tuned next week for two more posts detailing what you should be bringing to the interview, and what you should do after. Today is all about what to do to prepare prior to the interview. Whether you’re a seasoned pro or a newbie at interviewing, give this list a look and let us know what you think. Is there anything else you do before an interview to prepare?

  • Research the Company
    • Be prepared to answer why you want to work for this specific company or what you’ve heard about the company recently. If you’re interviewing for a company the idea is that you would like to work for said company, so make sure you show that by doing your research.
  • Prepare questions for the interviewer(s)
    • Make the interview a conversation. Showing up with prepared questions such as “what do the first 90 days on the job look like” or “what is the potential for growth inside your company” will show the interviewer that you are seriously considering this position as an option and want to learn more.
  • Dress for success
    • This one is a big one. First impressions matter. The first thing an interviewer will see about you is your physical appearance. Dress neatly and professionally. Remember, it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. If you’re nervous about what to wear, ask your recruiter, or if you know someone already working for the company, ask them. A suit, for both men and women, is always an easy choice. Make sure your clothes are free of holes, rips, stains, and wrinkles.
  • Know where you’re going and plan to arrive early
    • This one is probably the most important point. Make sure you know the address of the facility and leave more than enough time to get there. If you’ve never been to the area try to do a dry run, if possible do it during the same time of day that you would have to leave for your interview so you can see how traffic is going to be. If you’re familiar with the area and know the traffic patterns, make sure you leave time for traffic. All in all, be familiar with the directions and leave enough time to get lost. Even if you are someone who is very good at directions, you never know what can happen. If you’re taking public transportation, have a backup plan in case of delays or cancelations, and leave PLENTY of time for things to go wrong. Murphy’s Law is in full effect with public transportation, anything that can go wrong will go wrong.  Plan to arrive 15 minutes prior to your scheduled time. If you arrive early, go inside and let them know you are there, they may have an opening and let you in earlier, and worst case scenario you sit and wait in the designated waiting area.
  • Review common interview questions and practice them
    • Questions like “what are your biggest strengths” and “where do you hope to go with this position” are questions commonly asked in interviews, make sure you know the answers to these and have practiced them!  Check out this article about how to answer 31 of the most common interview questions.
  • Turn off your cell phone
    • There is nothing worse than a great interview being disrupted by a cell phone ringing. If possible, leave it in the car so there is 0 possibility of any disruptions. If that is not possible, or you took public transportation, turn the ringer off and turn your phone completely off before entering the interview.
  • Prepare for behavioral interview questions
    • The new wave in interviewing is behavioral interviews. These types of interviews will ask questions directly related to your experience such as “describe a time you had to make an unpopular decision” or “describe a situation in which you disagreed with your supervisor or boss about a course of action.” Answers to these questions help interviewers understand your past work experience better as well how you cope during certain situations. For more information on behavioral job interviews and how to nail them, check out this article.

Now that you’re prepared for the interview all you need to do is show up, right? We’ll have two more posts coming up to teach you exactly what to bring to an interview, what to say during an interview, and how to finish off an interview! Make sure you check back soon for the rest of our tips. Have questions? Comment below or give us a call and we’ll be happy to help!

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