I wish there was a superfood or magical drink I could recommend that would calm your nerves during an interview. Unfortunately, scientists haven’t invented it yet. However, there is one sure fire way to walk into an interview with confidence and walk out of it feeling even better – PREPARE.
I can GUARANTEE that if you adequately prepare more than just the day before the interview, you will exude confidence and leave those pre-interview nerves in the trash. But telling you to prepare is kind of vague, so let me break it down for you.
PLEASE. I beg you. Do NOT go into an interview without researching the company and its employees. Here are some ways you can research any company.
- Website – Read the company’s website. I don’t mean look at it or check out the home page. I mean READ the website. Go to every page and read the content from top to bottom. Look at their most recent blog posts and think of ways you can mention them in the interview.
- Search – Do a Google or Bing search of the company and look for articles written about them recently. Identify achievements or groundbreaking work they are doing. These are great things to bring up in the interview and will show your genuine interest in the company, not just the job.
- Social Media – Find the company on social media and look at what they post about. You can go one step further and engage with some of the posts. You never know, the social media manager may be present during the interview and recognize your name from the notifications.
- LinkedIn – I separate this from social media because LinkedIn allows you to see who the employees are for a company and connect with them. If you really want to show interest in joining the company, send connection requests with the employees listed on LinkedIn. If they accept your connection, scroll through the content they’ve shared. These could be great icebreakers.
Doing your research isn’t enough. Just like with anything you want to excel at, you need to practice. But practice what? Here are some things to frequently practice at least a week before you interview.
- Answers – All interviews are intended to gather information, so most of the questions are similar no matter the position. Practice your answers to some of the most common interview questions (Tell me about yourself. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Why did you leave a previous position? How will you be an asset for our company? What makes you different than other applicants?) There is nothing more nerve-wracking than being asked a question and sitting there in silence for minutes while you try and pull together an answer.
- Questions – You may think that an interview is a chance for the recruiter to interrogate you, but it is a chance for them to get to know you and you to get to know the company better. Prepare some questions about the company and the position you are interviewing for.
- How would you describe the office environment here?
- Why is this position available (Is this a new position or did someone leave it? Why did they leave?)
- How will you measure success in this position?
- What opportunities are there for growth within the company?
- Basics – This may seem childish, but practice introducing yourself and your handshake. From the moment the recruiter calls you back to the conference room for the interview, you can show confidence. Your handshake is a sure-fire way to start the interview with confidence. Practice standing up and shaking someone’s hand. Get your friends and family to help you. Don’t wait for them to extend their hand to you. Reach your hand out first and show that you mean business.
If you want to add an extra WOW factor during your interview, put together a leave behind. Learn more about that by clicking here to read last week’s blog post!