Under-preparing for interviews – it’s one of the most common mistakes that job seekers make. It makes perfect sense, since we devote so much time to honing our skills, preparing resumes, and researching companies. But interviews are unlike any other situation. Focusing some of your momentum on the actual interview is vital to scoring the job of your dreams.
1. Know yourself
The biggest mistake that candidates make is that they look at their résumé only at the time that they write it. You must review your résumé several times a week. Remind yourself of your accomplishments. You are the only person who has the capability to toot your own horn! Know the difference between confidence and arrogance. Being confident in your skills is desirable, but being arrogant about your abilities is not. It’s okay to talk about yourself — as long as you know when to stop.
2. Be accountable
Make sure to be responsible for any time that is not listed on your résumé. Use this to showcase ways that you have kept your skills sharp. This will reflect that you are a leader in your field and you take initiative.
3. Consider the pay
Be aware of their compensation requirements and yours before the interview. Understand what the salary band is for the position. Know the difference between your needs versus market trends and value. Be very specific and develop your interview around demonstrating ways that your skills will bring value to the company.
4. Show quantifiable results
Every hiring manager is thinking about budget during the interview. Be prepared to discuss ways that your background will drive revenue and increase profits or save money. Share ways that your previous contributions have supported the accomplishment of your employers’ corporate goals and objectives.
5. Know your limits
Understand all the details of the position for which you are interviewing. Be prepared to share your accomplishments as they pertain to the requirements in the job posting. Stay focused and don’t try to oversell your capabilities.
6. Research the company
Research the company and know why you want to work there. Understand the backgrounds of the people with whom you will be meeting. Be ready to discuss the company’s products or services. Monitor the About Us and News/Press sections of the company’s Website. The Website may also show important information like market presence, trends, and corporate values.
7. Arrive early
Show up to the interview location early. Watch people as they come and go to and from the office. Observe their body language and their pace. A company that fosters a healthy corporate culture will have people who love their job. This will be obvious as you observe the employees.
8. Bring extra copies of your resume
A good rule of thumb is to bring two more résumés than you think you’ll need. In other words, if you are scheduled to meet with three people, bring five copies of your résumé.
9. Prepare emotionally
You are under evaluation from the time that you arrive until the time you leave. Be mindful of your surroundings and the people around you. Your cell phone should be turned off. Your appearance and demeanor should be friendly and focused on the interview and “closing the deal.” Smile a lot and be personable and engaging.
10. Have patience
Schedule your time accordingly. Expect to wait. Sleep well the night before your interview and never yawn during the discussion!
If you do your homework well, you will be extraordinarily successful in your interview. It will become easy for you to open new doors of opportunity toward building the career of your dreams!