Updated: Jun 22
We often spend the days before a job interview filled with dread and anxiety. We search our brains for the best ways to prepare, scrutinizing over what they will ask and what we should wear, and fantasize about everything that could go wrong. Having a plan of action helps to reduce this anxiety and enhances your chances of having a successful job interview.
Develop a plan and walk into your job interview with confidence by Following four simple steps; research the company, review the job application and develop key talking points, practice answering common interview questions, and prepare your outfit in advance.
Research the company you are applying to:
When preparing for an upcoming job interview, one of the first things you should do is research the company hiring for the position you are applying for. Taking the time to look into a company shows a potential employer that you are willing to take the initiative and are interested in the organization. Conducting research also provides valuable insight, allowing you to understand the organization's mission and identify the values they may be looking for in a potential candidate. Knowing this information and using it to tailor your interview responses makes you look like a good fit for the position.
In addition to enhancing your desirability as a candidate, reviewing the background and fundamentals of an organization may also help you determine if a position is a good fit for you. Researching a company will allow you to identify its merits and better understand the working environment. If you find that the company's ethics don't correspond with your morals, or if it feels like you may not be comfortable in this place of work, it may be a sign that you should continue searching for other employment opportunities.
2. Use the job application as a tool to help you identify what you should highlight in the interview:
After researching the company, the next step is to review the job application, identifying the requirements and responsibilities that are being looked for in an applicant. Then, determine the skills and experiences you plan to call attention to during the interview, using the application as a guide to ensure your responses fit the position's specifications.
Using the job description and requirements to tailor the information you include during the interview will help you stand out and ensure that the interviewer sees you as a good fit for the position. It shows that you not only fit the job requirements but also have skills and experiences that would make you an asset to the organization.
3. Practice answering common interview questions:
The third thing you should do to prepare for a job interview is practice and prepare for common questions that you will likely be asked during the interview. One of the most common interview questions that you will inevitably face is being asked to describe yourself or explain who you are. Although this question may be phrased in various ways, it is typically asked at the beginning of a job interview.
Developing a formulated answer to this question prior to your interview will help to ensure that you begin the interview on a positive note, and create a positive first impression. When answering a question like “tell me about yourself”, you should begin by explaining who you are, and what your background is. You should include information like your educational history and what you do in your current, or most recent position. Then, it is important to create a connection between the background information you have shared about yourself and your work experience to the position you are applying for.
The third thing you should do to prepare for a job interview is practice and prepare for common questions you will likely be asked during the interview. One of the most common interview questions you will inevitably face is being asked to describe yourself or explain yourself. Although this question may be phrased in various ways, it is typically asked at the beginning of a job interview.
Developing a formulated answer to this question before your interview will help ensure that you begin the interview on a positive note and create a positive first impression. When answering a question like "Tell me about yourself," you should start by explaining who you are and your background. You should include information like your educational history and what you do in your current or most recent position. Then, it is important to connect the background information you have shared about yourself and your work experience to the job you are applying for.
During a job interview, you may also be asked questions that require further explanation. An example of a question like this that you may be asked is, "tell me about a time you overcame a challenge". One way to prepare to answer questions like these, which ask you to reflect on past actions and experiences, is by using the STAR method. The STAR method is a helpful technique that can be used to answer behavioral interview questions concisely and effectively. STAR is an acronym for Situation, Task, and, Action.
How to use the STAR method to answer the question "Tell me about a time you overcame a challenge":
Start by setting the stage, creating the scene, and explaining the situation that you faced and what the challenge was.
Then, explain your role and the tasks you were responsible for.
Next, describe the actions you took to overcome the challenge you faced and how you completed the tasks at hand.
Share the results your actions led to and the skills you gained from the experience. Even if the effects were undesirable, highlight the positive within it. Explain how you rose to the challenge or developed skills from the knowledge that you can use in the future.
4. Pick a formal outfit that is appropriate for the job interview:
Deciding what to wear can be one of the most challenging parts of preparing for a job interview. You may have spent hours rummaging through your closet, fretting over which outfit looked the best, wondering if your clothes were suited to impress a potential employer. To reduce this stress, pick out your outfit well before your scheduled interview, and use the company's atmosphere as a cue to help you determine what attire is appropriate.
When attending a job interview, dress your best and wear formal attire that will make an excellent first impression. However, this doesn't mean that you need to dawn a suit and tie or put on a pants suit; it means you must dress for the part you plan to play. There are three different types of attire that are appropriate for a job interview.
These three types of attire include business attire, business casual, and casual attire. All three of these forms of apparel may be appropriate for different job interviews, depending on the position and company atmosphere. Although other forms of clothing may be appropriate, generally, you will want to dress in business attire to ensure that you are putting your best foot forward. Business attire includes a pair of tan or black slacks with a button-down shirt and tie or a pair of dress pants with a blouse and blazer.
If the atmosphere of the company you are applying to is more relaxed, dress it down and go for a business casual look. Business casual attire includes outfits like a pair of dark-colored jeans paired with a button-down dress shirt and dress shoes. While business and business casual attire is formal, casual attire is clothing you would wear to your everyday job or even run errands around town. Casual attire includes worn or washed-out jeans, open-toed shoes or sneakers, tee shirts, and hoodies. Casual attire is informal and should generally be avoided in professional settings like a job interview; it is best to dress to impress and put your best foot forward to ensure success.
Chyann Klahs is a recent graduate with dual bachelor's degree in Communication and Journalism. She has a passion for writing articles and poetry that leaves a lasting impact. Her goal is to educate and empower others through her writing and promote change!
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