I’d have to say that one of the most important aspects in prepping for an interview is to make sure you give yourself enough time. Time is everything. In order to have everything prepared – head on straight, your research done, questions and responses all sorted out, and you feel confident and look sharp-you need to put in the time.
Throughout the prepping stages for an interview, consider the following tips: Do your research. Be cognizant of what it is the company does, how they do it, the mission, the goal, the product, the atmosphere, the culture, the people, and everything and more. Know your company well, check out the company website, read up on recent articles about the company, and research them on the Internet. As a result, you’ll be able to speak the language once you are in the interview and prove you’re invested.
Furthermore, know the role you are interviewing for. What is the job? What are the responsibilities? Why would you be a solid fit with that company? What have you done previously that is going to correlate? Essentially, what do you have to offer to this company? Also, take advantage of your resources. Go on Linkedin and find out who works at the company, what their backgrounds are and get a basis on who it is you’ll be working with. What are the similarities of employees? Do they have a mixed bag of backgrounds? How will you fit in with the team there? You may be surprised by how many people you are indirectly, and directly, connected with in the company. Find your connections and utilize these sources to gain some insight. It’s always a plus to have some inside scoop on the company or role before the interview.
Another crucial element for prepping is to figure out what you’re going to wear and look presentable. I know this may seem silly, but especially for men – it’s not enough to just wear the suit. Make sure you comb your hair, shave, trim, and look clean and put together. Try to stay classy and wear something nice. Even the most laid back companies notice the small stuff like when you don’t clean up your beard; so girls – don’t show up in a school-girl outfit, and men – don’t overdo the cologne.
Show up with questions. If you do your research and you are unsure of something, write it down or remember to bring it up in the interview. If you don’t know something and you’re asked about it, don’t lie because a hiring manager will see right through it. If you are going to work your butt off preparing and researching, you may as well respond honestly. This shows that you are coachable and adaptable, which are huge leadership qualities. Be curious and interested and this will provide for a discussion, rather than a person asking another person questions.
On the flip side, do not OVER prepare. There is a certain point before the interview that you will know as much as you can know. Chances are that you will not be able to understand absolutely everything about this company beforehand. You don’t want to go in burnt out on preparation. It helps conversation flow when you are accepting and open to learning new things from your interviewer. Concluding any interview at any company, you will be asked if you have any questions, and this opens up the table. There’s nothing worse than strolling into an interview and coming off as a “know-it-all.” Don’t try to show off how well prepared you are because this will leave little room for further questions and engagement.
Overall, understand that an interview is one of the few places where it’s a certain that you will be judged. That’s just how it is. Although this may be nerve-racking and make you anxious, it’s part of the process. Therefore, make sure you are well rested, and that you have a 30 sec pitch on the company, and on yourself-be able to talk yourself up and portray confidence in your abilities and successes. Profound questions are appreciated and say a lot about your investment in the potential position.
Seeing the broader picture, a sports team practices five times a week for one game. They prepare and spend the time needed to be ready to perform. By and large, GIVE YOURSELF THE TIME, and only you know how much time you’ll truly need to prepare. And always call your recruiter.