May 31, 2024

How To Prepare For Any Kind Of Job Interview

A few weeks ago, we provided tips on answering the toughest interview questions. Mastering those responses will give you greater confidence during a job interview, but leaving a great impression on a potential employer also depends on what you do before the interview itself. Here are a few ways to make sure you are prepared for whatever the big day throws at you. 

General preparation: 
  • Read the potential employer’s website and current market information. Consider information about their history and growth throughout the years.  
  • Note key statistics. Carefully read the job description to mold your background and speaking points most effectively to their needs.  
  • Practice verbalizing your answers to common questions.  
  • Prepare a few questions for your interviewer. Be prepared to present questions to each interviewer focusing on responsibility-related issues rather than “what’s in it for me” questions. 
Preparing for an on-site interview: 

These days, on-site interviews are slightly rarer, especially in the initial stages. While they can be more intimidating and require more planning, on-site interviews are a great way to show your enthusiasm for the position and your chemistry with the potential employer. 

  • Arrive 10 minutes early and give yourself plenty of time to find parking, get to your interview space, freshen up, and catch your breath. 
  • Dress professionally. It’s best to dress one or two degrees more formally than the organization’s dress code. For example, if you happen to know that people in this company often wear jeans, do not take this as an invitation to wear jeans as well. 
  • Do not bring your cell phone into the interview or turn it off completely.  
  • Allow the interviewer to establish the tone. They will likely engage in small talk before beginning the formal interview, so allow them to lead the transition between introductions, chat, and interviewing. 
Preparing for a phone interview: 

While phone interviews make preparation easier, they may make establishing chemistry and enthusiasm more difficult. Here are a few ways to set yourself up for a successful phone interview. 

  • Set the stage. Distractions can diminish your chances of a potential job offer. For an intelligible phone interview, maintain a quiet place, turn off the television, and inform others in the house of your interview.  
  • Uphold phone etiquette. Be sure your phone has ample charge. Phone interviews should be conducted where reception will be clear and dependable. Unless there is an emergency, do not put your interviewer on hold to answer another call.  
  • Know the plan. Make sure you know who will initiate the phone call: will they call you, or should you call them. Usually, they will call you. 
  • Use resources. Phone interviewing allows the use of ample notes and resources. Take advantage of this by keeping your updated resume, a list of questions you want to ask, and all pertinent notes and company information near you for reference.  
  • Know your motivation. Be sure you have and can articulate a clear reason for your interest in leaving your current job. It is more difficult to communicate your enthusiasm over the phone, so having a clear way to articulate it is extra important. 
Preparing for a video interview: 

A video interview offers the convenience of a phone interview while allowing more of the expression of an on-site experience. They can often require technology you are not familiar with, so planning for video interviews is extremely important. Here are a few things to remember:  

  • Area Preparation: Find a quiet, private, well-lit place, free from possible interruptions. Eliminate potential for background noise by silencing your phone notifications, closing windows, and notifying anyone in your household that you will be on a video call. To make sure your computer runs smoothly, close any unnecessary web browser tabs and applications, turn off notifications, and make sure everyone else in your house is minimizing Wi-Fi use.  
  • Have a pen, notepad and copy of your resume available to view. You will still want to take handwritten notes, as your interviewer may be confused or distracted by your typing.  

Interviews require preparation. Thinking through each of these points and having a plan in place for any format of interview will help you relax and represent yourself well. Remember to follow up with your recruiter after the interview and let them know how it went! 

Jessie Miller

Jessie Miller

Jessie Miller is the Marketing & Media Specialist at ThinkingAhead. She supports the recruiting team in a variety of ways including managing social media, generating...

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