Remember when you had a big test in high school or college, and it was super important to your grade? And for whatever reason, you waited until the night before the test to study. Do you remember the stress you felt the next day during the test and the anxiety you had, wondering if you had done well?
Many people approach interviewing for a job in much the same way. I had two candidates recently that decided to start preparing the night before an interview, although they had the date set for over two weeks.
Now that they started preparing late certainly doesn’t mean they didn’t have a good interview. But I don’t believe they allowed themselves enough time to give enough attention to preparing so they could go in with confidence and hopefully be more prepared than their competition for the position.
For most positions in the job market, you need a great resume. Note that I said great instead of good because a great resume is what gets noticed and stands out from the crowd. A great resume also leads to the opportunity to interview, and great interviews get job offers.
But there are times when a good resume shows qualities that an employer might like, and they also get invited to interview. And the candidate with a good resume might have a great interview because they put in the time to prepare. We see this all the time during the interview process where the candidates with the best resumes and who seem to be the most qualified don’t get the job because they don’t interview either. Many times that is due to a lack of preparation.
For a majority of candidates interviewing, they do prepare more and get started a few days in advance, so they don’t have that cramming for a test feeling the night before. However, I consistently hear the same game plan when preparing for interviews – read the job description to be clear on the requirements and check out the company’s website.
Both are good ideas but let me add a few tools to your interview preparation to give you confidence and help you be better prepared than most.
-Read the job description and be prepared to give examples of how your experience and skillset match those requirements. If you have examples to show, you will want to take them to the interview.
-View the company’s LinkedIn page and their information on Google Finance if available, and learn something about the history of the company.
-View the company’s website, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube channels. You will want to learn about the company wherever they have an online presence. Finding one exciting tidbit to discuss during the interview can go a long way to separate you from others.
-Review the LinkedIn profiles of anyone involved in the interview process. Do you have anything in common with anyone? Is there anything that could make a quick connection when you meet?
-If the position has anything to do with a product, go into multiple stores to see how the product is displayed, note who the competition of the product would be, and you might want to take photos that could be used as examples if needed.
– Google recent news articles about the company. Find out what is buzzing about them financially, their products, recalls, possible sales or mergers, etc.
There are thousands of articles, videos, and classes about interview preparation, and these are just a few of the tips that I would suggest to take some of the anxiety out of interviewing and have more fun and success.