Interviews are stressful! The best way to alleviate some of that stress and put your true (and best!) self forward is to be prepared.
Make a Plan
- If your interview is in-person, know where you need to go, how long it will take you to get there and arrive early. Never be late.
- Have your outfit ready and a backup in case something happens. You never know when you’ll spill coffee on yourself on the way out the door!
- If you’re having a telephone interview, try to use a landline so you have the clearest sound. Other than that, make sure your cell phone is fully charged and you’re in a quiet area. (I’ve heard toilets flush and dishes being washed in the background of interview calls. True story.) If you’re chatting on Skype or Facetime be sure to test it ahead of time and that you’ve got a clean, professional looking spot to chat from. If you’ve got dirty laundry on the floor we’ll notice it!
Do Your Homework
- Read the job posting and make notes on what excites you about the role and maybe what concerns you about it. It’s common place for a candidate to be asked what they think about a role and why they think they’d be great at it.
- Know the company by checking out their webpage, LinkedIn Groups, Twitter, etc. There are so many ways to gather information and get an understanding of what’s important to a company and its employees: if its values align with yours then you’re off to a great start!
Do a Dress Rehearsal
- It might sound ridiculous, but practicing your answers in front of a mirror really does work. We communicate a lot through body language and facial expressions. It’s okay to take a moment to think and have a brief pause.
Treat EVERYONE You Meet with Respect
Whether the door is held open by a janitor or you’re waiting in the lobby with a receptionist: always be courteous, friendly, polite and professional. You’d be surprised at how many times the way a candidate behaved when they didn’t know we were paying attention affected our final choice.
Remember, this is YOUR interview and you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. Embrace the opportunity, prepare for it, enjoy it, continuously learn from it, and before you know it… you’ll ace it!