No matter how much you bring to the table, interviewing for a new job can be a stressful, intimidating experience. Luckily, with the right preparation, you can improve your performance considerably, increasing your confidence and ultimately, your chances at getting the job. Remember, being asked to interview is an achievement on its own that deserves to be recognized. I often tell clients, “Once you have the interview, the job is yours to lose.” Here are five key areas to know inside and out that will ensure you give the most polished interview leading to the best outcome.
It is imperative that you know your own resume and more importantly, which version you submitted to a potential employer. Many of my clients who are job searching end up writing a few different resumes, each customized slightly to the specific role. As long as what you do write is authentic to you, there’s nothing wrong with using several versions at once when applying for different jobs. However, forgetting which resume you submitted to a company can create problems if you respond to questions with answers that may be more in line with another version. Do yourself the favour and be very clear with not only the information you provide, but also, the phrases you use to describe yourself and your accomplishments.
The Position You Are Applying For
Whether it’s speaking with someone who works in the company directly or researching online about expectations, you need to know the job that you are applying for inside and out. A job description is a great place to find this information. Phrases that are repeated often demonstrate the key priorities associated with a job. Knowing these elements and how your skills match is a valuable asset going into an interview.
Learn about the company above and beyond what’s provided on a website. Find who they are involved with in terms of charities and use LinkedIn to read profiles of their current executives. This research accomplishes two things: it shows that you actually took the time to learn about the company and secondly, it provides insight into the types of questions that you should ask to ensure you are comfortable with the company. Remember, it’s no longer just about a company interviewing an employee. In the modern job market, it’s also about the potential employee interviewing the company.
Who Is Conducting the Interview?
Learn about the actual interview process. Find out if you will be questioned by a panel or speaking one-on-one. Is the HR department involved or will there be a representative from the department you may be joining? If you know someone who currently works for the company, ask about interview style, is it behavioural based or something else? These details are great to find out and asking is a perfectly acceptable practice and will help you more effectively prepare.
How You Will Answer Basic Interview Questions
Finally, familiarize yourself with the standard interview questions and prepare answers that are thoughtful and meaningful. Committing answers to memory isn’t necessary (and not recommended as it comes across as inauthentic), but do be sure to have some idea of how you will formulate answers and the main points you would like to emphasize.
Getting the interview is an accomplishment all on its own. Taking time to prepare with some information ahead of time will ensure you present the best version of yourself.