People spend huge amounts of time preparing for upcoming events, finals in college, big presentations at work, or planning for a wedding. But when it comes to preparing for an interview for a position they will be spending at least a third of their lives every week at, most people take little time to prepare for their interview and end up with whatever job is offered or available.
Although looks do matter and non-verbal first impressions play a strong role when interviewing, proper preparation for an interview dramatically increases your chances of impressing an employer and landing the job. When employers and potential employees are asked the same question, “Are the applicants effective or good at interviewing?” Most applicants would say “yes” while the employers say “no”. Imagine the advantage you will have being prepared for your interview, that alone will get you noticed and keep the attention focused on you as a position candidate.
How do you prepare for interviews and increase the odds in your favor? Preparation Practice More Practice!!! I can’t be stressed this enough. Like a test, ball game, or any activity the more you prepare the better you will perform. How one practices is how they will play the game so give your practice efforts 110% .
Become familiar with the company. Do research on the company; discover where they are now and where they are headed. What are they looking for? What the work atmosphere is? Once you are familiar with the corporate goals you can use your experiences and skills and relate them specifically to what the current needs of the company.
Make a list of questions that will be asked of you at the interview. When I am preparing my clients for an interview we work on both the easy and tough questions. Remember to answer honestly, ease negative responses by explaining how you turned a situation around or learned something valuable from the experience. Try not to talk negatively about current or past employers, focus on positive experiences, relationships, accomplishments and share that. And again, as I tell my interview clients, you must Practice Practice – Practice!
Have a friend, coworker or possibly a family member help you with a mock interview. Practice before you begin, think out and even write down your answers. It usually takes several tries before you are comfortable and confident at answering all the questions. Taping yourself is probably the most effective training tool seeing your verbal and non-verbal communication style helps to understand how you are perceived. Keep what works and changes things that don’t.
Interviewing usually isn’t a comfortable experience for anyone. You will increase your confidence; and increase the employer’s confidence in you by sounding confident and having a well thought out answer. Being prepared will help you to provide relevant powerful information when you know before hand how you will answer questions. People tend to ramble on when they get nervous and that can be dangerous. Interview preparation and practice in key!