Whether you’re getting ready for a video interview or the old-fashioned (and still quite common) in-person kind, you’ll want to be prepared. It’s essential that you make a good impression during this crucial stage of the hiring process. There is more to getting ready than just deciding what to wear and entering an address into your GPS. There are a few pretty important steps you should take to prepare.
1. Research and reflect on the mission.
It’s not difficult to research a company’s mission ahead of time. In fact, these days, you risk coming off as unprepared if you don’t. So, spend some time online. Learn about the mission and philosophy of the company. Reflect on them. Demonstrating that you have an understanding and attachment to the heart and soul of the company could help you connect and make a good impression.
2. Explore any and all connections.
Sometimes we find ourselves interviewing for a position, or with a person, that we have some kind of connection to. For example, if you came across this opportunity through someone in your professional network, be sure to touch base with them before your interview. Reaching out to your contact could help you feel more prepared, but it’s also just courteous. Thank them for any way in which they facilitated the connection, and tell them you’re looking forward to the interview. Even if the conversation simply ends there, you’ll know you’ve done the right thing by following up with someone who helped you.
It’s tough to know exactly what you’ll be asked during your interview. But, you should be ready for a few likely questions. Know how you’ll respond to inquiries like “tell me about yourself” or “why do you think you’d be a good fit here?” It will help you feel prepared. You don’t want questions like these, ones you can anticipate, to throw you off.
4. Attend to practical matters.
Before the day of your interview, be sure that you have all your ducks in a row. Know where you’re heading and how long it takes to get there. Consider heading down to the location once beforehand, if you need to. This way you won’t have the added stress of trying to find your way for the first time the day of your interview. Also, polish up your resume and print some fresh copies. Gather business cards or whatever else you’d like to bring with you in advance so that you’re not hustling around at the last minute. The more you set things up for yourself in advance, the less you’ll have to worry about right before your interview.
5. Be positive.
It’s normal to feel nervous before your interview, but allowing your mind to linger on these fearful thoughts won’t help you. Instead, focus on the positive. List your accomplishments and all the steps you took that helped you meet those goals. Go over your strengths. Think about all the wonderful things you’d like to do next, and how much fun you’ll have doing them.
Preparations are important, yes, but there also comes a time to let it all go and relax. Be sure to leave time the night before your interview for some down-time. Take a bath, or read a book. Do something calm and peaceful to help quiet your mind. Also, go to bed early so that you’ll be well-rested the next day. All the work you’ve done to get ready should help you settle down and rest easy. Allow those preparations to raise your confidence and lower your stress levels. Relax. Doing so will help you put your best foot forward the following day.
7. Know that it’s not over when it’s over.
Be sure to keep in mind that your work here isn’t done once the big day has come and gone. There are a few things you should do after your interview that could help you land the job. Be sure to record some notes as soon as you’re done, for example, so that you can send personalized thank-you notes to the people who met with you. Attending to all the details, at every step of the interview process, could help you stand out as a strong and capable candidate.
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