Depending on how much experience you have at it, interviewing for a job can be a nerve-wracking endeavor. Most people find they are uneasy about the idea of “selling” themselves and feel apprehension over potentially unexpected questions. Not to worry, here are some interviewing tips that should prepare you and keep you relatively calm.
Research the company and find connections
Gather as much information about the company, the position available and the person or people conducting the interview.
- Visit the company website – review the mission statement, history and products and services offered. Focus on the department where you are interviewing.
- Use LinkedIn – look at the company profile and then see if you have any direct or indirect connections with anyone who works there. Look for your interviewer’s profile to get an idea of their background.
- Touch base with any connections you find – besides LinkedIn, also check the company Facebook, Google+ and Twitter pages to see if there is anyone else you know. If you are a recent graduate, check with your Career Center to see if any alumni work there. Then email, or call those connections to ask for any insight or assistance.
Practice interviewing at home and prepare answers
Ask a friend or family member to help out, otherwise just stand in front of a mirror or try to record yourself answering some basic interview questions to make your responses more fluid.
- Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes and anticipate the questions they will ask. As you come up with answers, link them to specific examples from prior events in your career.
- Focus on a crisis or two in your prior jobs or challenges you faced in classes you took and how you responded and learned – this reveals how you have developed your current skill set.
- Craft an introduction that naturally weaves in any common ground you discovered while doing research. This connection will make both of you feel more comfortable right away.
Everyone wants to find the perfect job the first time out, but it rarely works that way. In fact, it is better for you in the long run if you apply and interview for jobs that are not a 100% match.
- There are times when applying for a “not-quite-right” job turns into a surprisingly interesting opportunity. A strong interview could result in a referral by that hiring manager to another job better suited to your background.
- It will strengthen your network of contacts because you will meet people who may have connections to more people within your industry which will benefit you long term.
- Practice in a real setting is even more valuable than in front of the mirror so going on interviews for any job will fine tune your communication skills and overall comfort level.
With practice, and preparation you should feel confident approaching any interview.