How to prepare for a job interview.


Preparing for an interview primarily means taking time to thoughtfully consider your goals and qualifications relative to the position applied and the potential employer. To accomplish this, you should perform research on the company and carefully review the job description to understand why you would be a good fit. Below are the steps to preparing for an interview;

  1. Carefully examine the job description
    During your preparation work, you should use the employer’s posted job description as a guide. The job description is a list of the qualifications, qualities, and background the employer is looking for in a suitable candidate. The more you can align yourself with these details, the more the employer will be able to see that you are qualified. The job description may also give you ideas about questions the employer may ask throughout the interview.
  2. Consider why you are interviewing and your qualifications
    Before your interview, you should have a good understanding of why you want the job and why you are qualified. You should be prepared to explain your interest in the opportunity and why you are the best person for the role.
  3. Perform research on the company and role
    Researching the company you are applying to is an important part of preparing for an interview. Not only will it help provide context for your interview conversations, but it will also help you when preparing thoughtful questions for your interviewers. Researching the company and role as much as possible will give you an edge over the competition. Not only that, but fully preparing for an interview will help you remain calm so that you can be at your best. Here are a few things you should know about the company and the role before you walk into your interview;
  • Research the product or service:
    Even if the role is not directly related to the company’s product or service, you are still looking to be part of the team. It is important to learn all you can about the product or service the company produces and promotes. You don’t necessarily need to understand every detail, especially if it is a technical product, and you are interviewing for a non-technical position, but you should have a basic understanding of the main products or services the company offers.
  • Research the role
    It is important to read the job description carefully and make sure that you understand all the requirements and responsibilities that go along with it. This will not only prepare you with thoughtful, targeted questions about the position during the interview, but it will ensure that you are truly qualified and prepared to tackle the responsibilities if you get the job.
  • Research the company culture
    Modern companies usually have social media accounts and blogs that discuss their company culture and industry. This information can give you an impression of the tone and personality of the company, as well as what they value. No matter how good a job seems, you must fit within the company culture and share a similar personality and values.
  1. Consider your answers to common interview questions
    While you will not be able to predict every question you will be asked in an interview, there are a few common questions you can plan answers for like describes who you are, what you do, and what you want.
  2. Practice your speaking voice and body language
    It is important to make a positive and lasting impression during the interview process. You can do this by practicing a confident, strong speaking voice and friendly, open body language. While these might come naturally to you, you might also want to spend time performing them with trusted friends or family or in front of a mirror. Pay special attention to your smile, handshake, and stride.
  3. Prepare several thoughtful questions for the interviewer(s)
    Many employers feel confident about candidates who ask thoughtful questions about the company and the position. You should take time before the interview to prepare several questions for your interviewer(s) that show you have researched the company and are well-versed about the position. Some examples of questions you could ask include:
  • What does a typical day look like for a person in this position?
  • Why do you enjoy working here?
  • What qualities do your most successful employees have?
  1. Conduct mock interviews
    Just like public speaking, practicing interviews is the best way to relieve anxiety and improve your confidence. The practice may feel tedious, but repeatedly experiencing the interview process will make you more comfortable and help you give the right impression. If you have friends or family to help, conduct mock interviews as much as you can. If you do not have another person, practice your questions and answers out loud.
  2. Print hard copies of your resume
    Most employers ask for digital copies of your resume with the application, but they may not have easy access to it during the interview itself. Having copies to present to multiple interviewers shows that you are prepared and organized. You should have at least three copies to provide for multiple interviewers, plus one for yourself to follow along. During your preparation, read over your resume and rehearse explanations for any gaps that may appear or other oddities.
  3. Prepare your travel arrangements
    Job interviews tend to be stressful for most people for many reasons, but getting to the interview can be a challenge in itself. If your interview is an unfamiliar area, it can be a source of anxiety to find your way around and make sure that you show up on time. To avoid becoming too anxious for your commute, prepare yourself to ensure everything goes smoothly on the day of the meeting.
  4. Sell yourself
    One of the biggest challenges in an interview is selling yourself. Most people are uncomfortable with this idea, but presenting yourself accurately and positively doesn’t have to feel like a sale. The truth is that you do have professional skills and experiences that may set you apart from other applicants, so it is acceptable and expected for you to acknowledge them to your potential employer.

Leave a Reply