When you’ve got a job interview looming, it can feel like the pressure is too much to take. There’s so much to think about; is your interview technique sharp enough? Do you have the right clothes? Is the job even the right one for you? Happily, there are things you can do in order to make sure you’re well-prepared for even the toughest and most grueling job interview.
By coming to the interview prepared and confident, you’ll stand a much better chance of snagging the job. Here’s how you can prepare for a job interview and increase your chances of scoring the position of your dreams!
Get some cash together if you can
While a job interview doesn’t inherently cost anything (and if it does, then it’s probably a scam of some kind), there are a surprising amount of expenses involved in interviewing. If you don’t own any smart clothes, for example, then you’re going to need to buy some; this can be expensive, even if you opt for a low-cost suit or dress.
If you’re short of cash, don’t be afraid to look into personal loans for the sake of the interview; even if your current interview doesn’t pan out, you can use what you’ve bought on subsequent interviews, so it’s always worth it.
Research the company
Researching the company with which you’re interviewing is one of the most important things you can do for a job interview. Showing up without any knowledge of the company and its operations is a surefire way to guarantee that someone better-prepared gets the job.
Search for the company online; you won’t be expected to regurgitate their entire history, but any information relevant to the position you’re applying for will only stand you in better stead.
Read the job description
You’d be amazed by just how many job applicants don’t actually fully read the job description before they apply for a job. We’ve all been there; sometimes, we’re applying for jobs en masse, and we don’t have time to carefully read every single description as we apply.
If you’re lucky enough to score an interview, though, you should have the job description committed to memory. You’ll inevitably be asked why you think you’re a good fit for the job, and if you know the description inside and out, you’ll be better able to answer this question.
Try to predict questions
In most job interviews, there will be standard questions you’re likely to be asked. These include what your best qualities are (as well as what your worst ones could be), why you think you deserve to take the job, and where you see yourself in five years.
It’s worth having responses ready for these questions; if they’re not asked at this interview, they could be asked in a future interview, so having answers ready means you’ll always be prepared. Obviously, you can’t predict all the questions you’ll be asked, but even being marginally prepared is better than nothing on this front.
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In preparation for your job interview, it’s a good idea to get as much practice in as you possibly can. Enlist the help of your friends and family if possible; get them to act as your interviewer and run through as many of the potential questions you could be asked as possible.
Don’t let them take it easy on you; the interviewer won’t, so they shouldn’t either. Ask the generic questions we outlined above, but also try to incorporate some specific questions you might be asked about the position itself; anything you can anticipate will help you prepare better for the real thing.
Ready questions for your Job interviewer
Interviewers like it when you have questions for them. It shows that you’re engaged with the process and not simply going through the motions. You can ask questions like what a typical day at the job will look like, where the company sees itself in five years (it’s fun to turn that question around!), and how it plans to adapt to a changing market.
These are all great questions, but you can also come up with your own, of course; which questions you should ask will depend entirely on what position you’re going for and who your interviewer happens to be.
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Research your route beforehand
It’s definitely not a good idea to throw caution to the wind and assume you’ll be able to find the location of your job interview without researching it first. Look into how exactly you’re going to reach the interview; check platforms like Google Maps and create yourself a route using public transport or driving (whichever you’ll be using).
It’s also a good idea to create contingency plans in case your main travel plans fall through; having several ways to reach the interview all but guarantees that you won’t be late and you won’t leave a bad impression as a result.
Group Job interview? Stand out
Many interviewees hate group interviews. It makes sense; some people function much better on a one-to-one basis, while others thrive as part of teams. However, if you do happen to find yourself in a group interview for a job you really want, the most important thing you can do is to try and stand out.
Try to communicate your unique personality and skill set to the interviewers in every task you’re given; do your very best with each task, and put your all into answering questions and participating in group work. Everyone else at the interview will be doing the same, after all!