Five Things You Should Do to Prepare for an Interview

Job interviews can be nerve-wrecking. You may start asking yourself: “Am I the perfect candidate? Do I even qualify? What kind of people are they looking for?” Being uncertain of the employer’s expectations can make you question if you’re ready for the interview. As a staffing firm, we’re familiar with the interview process. We constantly see simple mistakes made before the interview even happens.

Here are five tips to prepare for your interview.

Research the Company

Before you even apply to a company, research it. Gain as much information as possible to prepare yourself for the interview. Go to their website. Read their mission statement. Learn their goals. Find recent articles concerning the business. You may discover special events the company has sponsored or participated in. Such news could lead to interesting conversations with the interviewer.

Some common questions interviewers ask are:

  • “What about our company piqued your interest?”
  • “What about our company piqued your interest?”
  • “Are you aware of our current goals/mission?”

You want to be as prepared as possible for these types of questions. Interviewers like seeing candidates who have shown interest in their business. You could also research the interviewer themselves, possibly creating a personal connection. It also gives you a chance to ask them questions about their business.

Ask yourself, what value can you bring to the business?

After researching the firm, you may have found challenges the business is facing. If so, develop solutions. Show the company the value you bring to the table by presenting your skill sets. An important key when going through the interview process is selling yourself. Using this information will help you look like a long-term asset.

Relate your skills to the job description and the company’s needs. Become completely confident in the skills you present. Your resume provides the interviewer with a set of expectations. When presenting a solution, make sure you can explain and clarify it simply. Show them valuable numbers. Quantify your previous work, whether you’re showing the profits you contributed to, or how your work was able to cut costs. Positive numbers will prove your value and give you an advantage in the interview.

Print out a copy of your resume

When going to the interview, print out at least three copies of your resume. One for yourself, and two to share with your interviewer(s). Make sure your resume is updated and relevant for the job to which you’re applying.

Your resume can be an outline for the interview, and you can use it as a guide for questions. We recommend following our free resume guide. This template/guide has some helpful tips and recommendations from our recruiters.

Dress for success

Too often, we see candidates go to interviews dressed inappropriately and unkempt. Get a haircut and put on your best suit. Shave off or shape up your beard. A clean look will give you an upper hand. Since it’s your first time interacting with the employer, you want to make an excellent first impression. Not only should you wear the proper clothing, you also should wear the proper expression. Look excited and smile. Show the interviewer you are enthusiastic about the opportunity and that you have a positive, approachable demeanor.

Practice, practice, practice

Take the time to practice! You may be asking: “How can I possibly practice an interview?” It’s pretty simple. Look up common questions that similar companies ask and try answering them yourself. As you answer these questions, try to be as creative as possible. Write down the first answer that comes to mind and then rewrite it. There’s a chance the interviewer will be talking with other candidates. Establish yourself as a problem solver driving a memorable conversation.

Expert advice: Glassdoor and LinkedIn provide information from past candidate interviews, including questions and tips on interview style. Take advantage of these posts to get a head start with your interview.

Practice your elevator pitch. Can you present yourself as a quality candidate in 30 seconds or less?

As a quick recap:

  1. Research the business you are interviewing for.
  2. Establish yourself as a problem solver who can add value to the company.
  3. Bring at least three copies of your resume.
  4. Dress for success!
  5. Practice answering common questions for your interview.

Go in with confidence. With these tips, you’re already ahead of the game.

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