No matter how long you’ve been in the workforce, interviewing for a new position can be one of the most nerve-racking experiences for any professional. While every person’s interview journey is different, successful candidates typically make interview preparation a top priority no matter how confident they may feel. A few strategies to keep in mind:
1. Prepare the essentials the night before.
When preparing for an interview, there’s a lot of value in getting your clothing and other necessities ready ahead of time so you’re not scrambling on interview day. As simple as it may sound, picking out your outfit and packing your purse or briefcase can save you a great degree of stress and aggravation the morning of your interview, when you may already be feeling nervous or anxious. Some of the items you’ll want to bring with you to the interview include a few hard copies of your resume and references (don’t assume the interviewer will have them); a pen and paper in case you need to write anything down during or after the interview; and some basic grooming items, such as a hairbrush or pocket mirror
2. Do your research.
Researching the company before your interview will give you the necessary background knowledge to answer questions in an informed way. Thorough research involves more than simply reading about the company and the position; it means learning about the company’s mission, values, and culture. Going into an interview with this knowledge allows you to speak about your interest in the employment opportunity in a more thoughtful and comprehensive manner, especially as the position pertains to your own career goals. The more acclimated you are with the organization, the more comfortable and confident you will feel throughout the interview.
3. Ask questions.
Candidates often fail to ask meaningful questions during the interview. Remember, an interview serves as a two-way street. It provides an opportunity for an employer to learn about you, as well as a chance for you to ask questions about what you can expect from working at the company. Coming prepared with a few questions will show you have a genuine interest in the position and the company at large. It will also allow you to truly assess whether the job is the right fit for your qualifications and professional goals.
Neglecting to adequately prepare for interviews can affect your confidence levels and possibly result in failing to receive an offer of employment. Following these practices can be a major game-changer in positioning you for greater success as you navigate your job search.
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