“I will prepare and some day my chance will come.” – Abraham Lincoln
1. Prepare for your interview a little bit each day. Set an allotted chunk of time each day to put your thoughts together. After this allotted time has come to an end, stop! Allow yourself to return to normal life events and functions.
2. Do not over prepare for an interview. This can allow for nerves to increase due to putting pressure on yourself to sound perfect. Over-preparedness can cause you to sound robotic, unnatural, and rehearsed. You want your thoughts and responses to interview questions to sound intelligent and flow naturally.
3. Remember, interviewers are people, too. They have gone through this process to acquire the jobs that they have now. Do your best to think of it more as just a conversation with interviewers. This will lessen the feeling of being interrogated and it will feel less like a question-answer format.
4. Be prepared for trick questions. Hiring committees throw in questions to determine more about your personality. Never answer in such a way that throws yourself under the bus, underestimates yourself, or allows for the interviewer to see weakness. For example, if an interview asks questions such as “What is your biggest weakness?” or “Have you ever had a plan that has flopped?” answer in such away that shows your reflective and problem-solving work ethic. No one is perfect, but how you go about embracing opportunities for improvement is most important.
5. When an interviewer asks, “Do you have any questions?” do not say no. Beforehand, compile a list of about three questions that allow for you to gain more information about the company and demonstrate interest in working for them. However, research the company thoroughly before stepping foot into an interview. You do not want to pigeon-hole yourself because the answer to the question could have been found in their mission statement, for example.
6. Before an interview, do something that you enjoy that allows for you to feel relaxed and get your mind off the daunting feeling of an interview. Do yoga, go for a hike, or listen to your favorite music that enhances your mood and confidence.
7. Be yourself! Individuals in the hiring process want to learn you for you and can easily determine whether you are not being true to yourself. Be confident, but don’t boast!
8. Do not be afraid to not know the answer to a question. Offer your best answer, but be open to learning more about this aspect of the job or engage in further research to gain more information.
9. Of course, to state the obvious, get enough sleep, and eat a balanced breakfast. Give yourself plenty of time to get ready for your interview. Pick out your outfit in advance, drive to the interview location to get a sense as to where you need to be and amount of time it takes to get there. Get to the location early enough to not feel rushed. Try not to overthink the interview at this time or rehearse questions.
10. After an interviewer asks a question, do not answer immediately following. Take a few seconds to think about the questions and briefly prepare your responses. When you are nervous, impulse kicks in. Let yourself be reflective.
Take these steps and you’ll be on your way to getting the job in no time. Do you have any favorite interview preparations? Let us know in the comments below!