By Christine H.
One of the most nerve-wracking experiences anyone can go through is a job interview. Unfortunately, if you’re in the job-searching process right now, you might be in for quite a few interviews before you land the right job. What’s nice to know is that you can get better and better at job interviews with some practice.
One of the most important things to do is to prepare effectively. With the right preparation, you quickly realize that you’re interviewing them just as much as they’re interviewing you. Here are 5 important things to do before an interview in order to get the most out of it.
Know the Industry
What we’re most scared of in a job interview is making a fool of ourselves. This is where the research comes in. It’s your responsibility to go into an interview already having learned as much as you can about the industry in which you plan to work. Even if you’re starting fresh in a new industry, you should know the lingo. For example, if you’re getting a job in marketing, you should know phrases like “SEO” and “target market.” If you’re getting a job in a warehouse, you should know terms like “dimensional weight,” etc. If you’re a newbie in the area, do some reading beforehand so that you can communicate effectively during the interview. It will help you to ask intelligent questions, and anticipate the kind of questions that they’re likely to ask you.
Know the Company
A good rule to follow in job interviews is to show as much interest in them as you hope they’ll show in you. Before an interview, you should learn what you can about the company. What do you like about it? What do you think that you can contribute to it? What will the culture and values be like, as far as you can tell from the outside? If you were referred to the job by someone who works there, you can also plumb them for details. Why do THEY like working at the company? What can they tell you about the person (or people) who will be interviewing you?
The more you know about the company, the more you’ll be able to ask effective questions and anticipate what spending every day there will be like.
One of the most difficult things about interviews is that space of time when you’re simply waiting for the appointment. You’re there early, you’re prepared and dressed, but you’re given just about enough extra time to completely psych yourself out before meeting with the interviewer. Instead of letting yourself get nervous and self-conscious, use power poses to boost your confidence. Research shows that simply holding a position that makes you feel strong will alter your hormonal balance to be more assertive. Additionally, it encourages you to convey confidence through your body language during the interview, which can have a powerful impact on how people view you. Sit straight in your seat, and take up as much space as you want. You can even pop into the bathroom to do a Wonder Woman pose for a moment.
Come with Questions
Coming with questions shows that you prepared and that you’re really thinking through the benefits of this particular job, instead of just looking for any old position. It also shows that you’re measuring them as well, that you have options and that you’re not asking for any favors here. Knowing the background of the company and industry will help you to ask effective questions. For example, if they can ask you where you see yourself in 5 years, you can ask them the same thing! Will there be opportunities for growth within the company? What are the most important aspects of the new employee they’re looking for?
Dress for Success
One important thing to remember about how you dress for a job interview is that it’s not just about being formal. In fact, in some company settings formality won’t really be a selling point. More and more work environments are casual, and you might just end up feeling out of place if you’re the only one sitting there in a suit. So, while you still want to go for professionalism, follow these three rules:
- Pick something you know you look good in. Also pick something that you’re comfortable in, so that you’re not distracted wondering if your skirt is doing anything strange. This will help you feel more confident, no matter how the interview goes.
- Echo the aesthetic of the company. While you do your research, see if you can tell how formally everyone there dresses on an everyday basis.
- Wear transitional clothes. It’s always nice to have a jacket that you can take off so that your formal look is downgraded a bit.