One of the signs that a job hunt is going well is getting calls for interview. When you first submit a job application, you don’t hope for nothing more than getting an interview. That’s why your résumé and cover letter must be written with that objective in mind. Now when you do receive a call for an interview, you are working toward your next goal which is getting the job. Getting the job is the purpose of the job interview. That is why you must carefully prepare your job interview so it does its job-getting you the job. In this article, I go over three things that I consider absolutely essential in preparing a successful job interview. Remember, a successful job interview is one that gets you the job.
The first thing you need to do in preparation for your job interview is to have a good understanding of the position you are going to interview for. There is nothing worse than giving your interviewers the impression that you don’t understand the position for which you have applied and are seeking to be hired. This did happened to me once. After I sent out many applications, I received a call for an interview for the very next day. Because of a combination of both excitement and stress, I only asked for the address where the interview was going to take place and the time. Nothing more. I also failed to go through all my applications to figure out which job I am scheduled to interview for. I can tell you that when I showed up for the interview, my confusion was obvious. It became clear immediately to my interviewers that I was not sure why I was there. The interview did not last very long and it certainly did not go over very well.
Once you are scheduled for a job interview, take time to review the job description. Do it carefully. Pay close attention especially to the tasks and responsibilities involved. Visit the company or the organization’s website, if it has one. Read its mission’s statement, vision as well as core values. Try to have a sense of what it is like to work in that environment and be associated with that company or organization. And as much as it is possible for you, present yourself as someone already working there. For example, try to dress the way you think employees are expected to dress there. Get into the mindset of the place. Having said all this however, never try to put on a persona that is definitely not you. Remember, the job interview is not a drama. It is a real and genuine conversation with real people.
The second essential to a successful job interview preparation is to anticipate the questions you will be asked and think of your answers ahead of time. Based on the company and the job you applied for, you may be able to think of the kinds of questions you will most likely be asked. Write down these questions as well as your answers to them. Do that carefully. As you may already know, some questions are almost always asked during job interviews. For example, there will almost always be a question asking you to introduce yourself. Be sure to rehearse your answer to that question. Also, most often than not, you will be asked why you want to work for the company or organization in question. Again, make sure you have a solid answer to that question. Also make sure that your answer reflects how you will be a great fit for the position. Again, remember to be genuine and honest.
The third thing to consider during the preparation of your job interview is to plan to be on time. You already know how important a good first impression is. You can be certain that you will not make a good first impression if you are late for your job interview. To avoid being late for your job interview, double-check the address and the time. Make sure you know very well how long it will take you to get there. If it is possible, take a trip to the area where the interview will take place ahead of time. That way, you will be sure that you are not mistaken about the address and you certainly know how to get there. On top of all that, on the day of the interview, plan to arrive about 15 minutes earlier. This will allow you the time to get relaxed and maybe briefly meet and have a casual chat with someone before the interview.
Being invited for a job interview is a great opportunity. It must not be wasted. It means that your résumé and cover letter are among those which stood out. The job interview is your turn to stand out as an individual. Your job is to prove the impression already made by your résumé and cover letter. Plan not to disappoint your interviewers. Do not take it for granted. A good job interview is one that is carefully prepared. And a successful job interview preparation hast three essentials: being acquainted to the job for which you will be interviewed, anticipating the questions you will be asked and planning how you will answer them, and planning to be on time.