The Job Interview: Preparation
Practice, practice, practice! It is amazing how many people will practice for a neighborhood championship where only bragging rights are on the line but will “wing” a job interview without practicing when a job is on the line.
An invaluable way to prepare for an interview is to practice interviewing and solicit feedback. Many job networking groups offer interview workshops.
Having the practice interview filmed by a job search coach will allow you to see how you come off in the interview. How is your body language? Do you forget to smile out of nervousness and come off as negative? Do you wildly move your hands about while talking? Do you talk too much? Practice your interview; find out what you do well and areas to improve.
Network into the company. Even though you have the interview scheduled, it’s not too late to use your contacts and LinkedIn network to network into the company. It’ll help you stand out if people in the company approach the hiring manager and say they heard you’re interviewing, that they know you, and are impressed with you. That’ll help you stand out from the other candidates. Your contacts are also a valuable source of information to have before walking into the interview.
Get inside information. Conduct informational interviews with current and past employees to understand the best aspects and the not-so-great aspects of working for the company and the hiring manager.
Research the company. You need to know everything that is on the company’s website and you need to know more than that. Check out the company’s financials. Check out the company’s competition and check out all of the news articles that have been published about the company. You may also want to check out chat rooms and blogs to see what is being said about the company by disgruntled customers and former employees.
Formulate your questions. Develop a list of questions you need answered. During your aptitude assessments and inventories you determined the type of environment in which you will flourish. You determined the style of manager you work best with on the job. Ask questions about the company, the department, the position, the manager and how the current economy has impacted the company. Show you’re discerning about where you work.
Drive there. Unless you are very familiar with the location, drive there ahead of time so you can discover anything unexpected about the route (ex. construction). You can also checkout the layout of the property and parking. Remove that from your stress the day of the interview.
Pray. The best preparation you can do is to pray. Pray for peace and calm so you can get a good night’s sleep. Pray for wisdom and, if the job is not right for you, pray that doors will be closed.
The better you prepare for the interview, the more confident you will be during the actual interview.