5 Steps to Prepare for an Interview

Congratulations! You made it to the interview phase for a position for which you’re interested. Now what? If you haven’t had an interview for some time, you will want to know how you can be prepared to ace it. Here are five tips for preparing for your interview:

  1. Do your homework – the more you know about the company and industry where you’re interviewing, the more confident you will be. The internet makes this easy, but you want to make sure you’re thorough in your research. Some items to look up are:
    1. Company statistics, such as size, locations, and revenue
    2. Press releases, articles or blogs written about the company
    3. Financial statements, acquisitions, history and roadmap information
    4. Industry information, including their largest competitors and industry issues
  2. Research the Interview Team – it’s ok to ask your recruiter for the list of interviewers ahead of time. Take some time to look them up on social media, especially LinkedIn. See if you share any common history, such as school, groups, associations or previous employers. Also check to see your common connections. It’s nice to establish what you share in common to build rapport when you meet them.
  3. Prepare for the questions – be sure to study the job description well before your interview. Jot down some accomplishments which you’ve had in relation to things they are requiring for the position. For example, if it is a leadership role, make notes about how many people you’ve managed, what some of your challenges were, and how you achieved successful resolution of the challenges. Also use the job description to anticipate what the interviewer will ask you, and think through some of your answers.
  4. Write your own questions – inevitably each interviewer may end the interview with “do you have any questions for me?” Prepare your own list of questions and have them handy. They will like that you took the time to do this prior to the interview. Here are some easy questions in case you get stuck:
    1. How long have you been with the company?
    2. What do you see as the biggest challenge for this role?
    3. What do you like the most about the company or department
    4. Where do you see this position going in the future?
    5. What advice would you give the person you hire on their first day?
  5. Be physically ready – you’ll sleep better the night before the interview, if you are also prepared physically. What does this mean? Here are some tips:
    1. Map out the location of the interview and plan to leave much earlier than you normally would. If you’re not familiar with the traffic patterns for where you’re going, add extra time. You can always grab a coffee if you are too early but you will set your whole interview off if you’re late.
    2. Plan your wardrobe. This sounds like a no-brainer, but having your clothes planned and ready to go, will give you piece of mind. You can ask the recruiter ahead of time if there is an expectation. Some trendy start-ups will not like it if you wear a suit to their casual environment and some more professional companies won’t like it if you’re too casual.
    3. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep and eat a healthy meal before your interview. Feeling good physically will give you confidence and the ability to think clearly.

Most of all, remember that people are people. They will respond to enthusiasm, sincerity and honesty. You got this!

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