You’ve been called for interview — congratulations! Now you begin the task of preparing yourself — emotionally as well as intellectually — to make your best impression …
Remember that, during an interview, you are there to sell yourself to your prospective employer by interviewing like an expert. You need to market yourself as effectively as possible as you field answers to tough interviewing questions that may come up.
Do research on the interviewing company
It’s vitally important to gain as much expert knowledge as you can about your prospective employer before the interview. You’ll be much better able to match your skills and expertise to their needs in your interview answers if you have gained some background knowledge in advance:
- go online and visit their website: you’ll probably find a good deal general information, including the names of key personnel and their job titles
- look for pages that show free samples of their work or products
- do a search to see what interesting references come up
- look the company up in any media files and read relevant articles
- visit the local area around the company headquarters
- telephone the company and ask general questions, without referring to yourself as a potential employee: you may find out new information about promotions, recent staff news or other key developments
Know your interviewing contact
When called for an interview, make sure you know who you will be meeting. Find out as much as you can about the interviewer. Learn what they do for the company and try to get some examples of their work or achievements.
If you know what department you would be working in, you might wish to find out the names of potential colleagues and managers. You’ll have the opportunity to refer to this information in the course of your interview and show the extent of your interest and enthusiasm for the job as well as your professional expertise.
Practice your interview technique
To help you overcome interview nerves, it’s a good idea to anticipate some of the key areas that you will be discussing and practice answering some tough questions.
Think about your non-verbal communication skills. Practice answering interview questions with a friend and ask his or her opinion about your delivery and gestures. If you’re feeling brave enough, you can even tape a practice interview! When you replay the tape, try watching it with the sound turned off so that you can focus on the effect of your body language.
Dressing the part
Choose what you’re going to wear the day before you are interviewed to make sure that your clothes are clean and ready. Pick an outfit that best suits the type of job that you are applying for. If you are going to work in an office setting, aim to dress conservatively. Other working environments may allow you to dress a little more casually, but err on the side of caution.
Make sure that all of the things that you will need for the interview are ready the day before – make a checklist if you need it.
Ensure that you have an extra resume to hand during the interview, as well as pen and paper to take notes if needed. If you use a business card, keep a stock prepared: it will make for easy contact later and will convey a professional image.