An interview can be a nerve wracking experience. What should I wear? What should I say? What questions should I ask? As a Corporate Recruiter and Senior HR Specialist I've seen some of the best and the worst of interviews. From my experience I've found that there are three main areas that people should focus on when preparing for an exceptiona interviewing experience.
Always start any job search with research. Once the job interview is landed, this becomes even more important. Read about the company history, culture, recent news and any other insights you can find. You should also review the job description that you've applied to. Be prepared to ask and be asked questions about the company and the job. Next, you'll need to do some research on yourself. Sound a bit strange? Well, I'll explain what I mean by this. Do you know what skills and/or knowledge you will bring to the company? Do you remember the kinds of projects you've taken on in the past few years and how they've prepped you for the role you are applying to? Do you know and understand everything you've listed on your resume? (Interviewers use resumes often to prepare additional questions)
There is also another form of research you should do. Get knowledge from people directly. This can come from online company reviews from sites like Glassdoor and Indeed. It can also be finding out who you know that works or has worked at the company and reaching out to hear from them. Check out your Facebook page or LinkedIn page to get an idea of who you know. It can go a long way to know first hand a few tidbits about the company. Folks may even have things to share about the interviewing process. For example, they may know if the company does behavioral based interviews or gives certain assessments. The more you know, the better the interview will be.
Studies have shown that most people typically bomb their first interview. I wasn't too happy when I heard this, but it does make sense. This has to do with the fact that interviewing well takes practice, just most other things. It really is a skill. Some are naturally better at it, but all should practice. My advice? Practice talking about yourself! This sounds easy, right? Talk your background, experience and interests. Do mock interviews and and, even better, snag more interviews to gain direct practice. You'll better your odds at getting a job and may end up with multiple job offers.
3. Get comfortable
Practice not only makes perfect but also makes you confident. In addition to this, you should relax! You now will have done your research, have practice with interviews and the next step is to make sure you are comfortable with interviewing. Some of the worst interviews I've seen, were terrible solely because the person was nervous. They were nervous and said or did the wrong things. I've seen an interviewers that literraly start shaking and freezing up and others that begin sweating profusely. Be sure to do things to make yourself at ease. Take the time you need to dress your best and do whatever makes you feel well prepared and calm.
Well that's all I've got folks! These are the things that should be looked at to make for a great interview. Are there other things you can do? Well, sure there are. However, they will all fall under the buckets of researching, practicing and getting comfortable for the interview. Now go get 'em!