We all know that a good interview is a necessity in order to get the job you are seeking. It is not enough to have had a great job previously or if you graduated at the top of your college class; you need to be able to present yourself in a way that shows what a valuable asset you will be to the company. One of the keys to preparing for any job interview is to plan in advance. Give yourself plenty of time to prepare in the following ways:
Exercise, or participate in another form of stress relief. Preparing for and going through job interviews can be very stressful. So it is important to get adequate exercise during this time, and participate in other stress relieving activities. Do not stay up agonizing the night before. Get some exercise at least 3 hours before your bed time, eat a healthy dinner, and get a good night’s sleep. All of these things will help you to stay calm, and look and feel your best the day of the interview.
Watch yourself in a practice interview. Do you have a nervous habit, such as wringing your hands, clearing your throat, or frequently saying the word “um”? Chances are that you could have one of these habits and not even know it. Because of this, it is a great idea to watch a practice interview video of yourself ahead of time. It doesn’t have to be anything elaborate. Just ask a friend or family member to make up a few mock interview questions to ask you, then record him or her asking you the questions, and your responses, with a web cam or other recording device. Now, watch yourself and provide a (not too harsh) self critique. This can help you to identify and eliminate those nervous habits before your interview.
Dress to impress. Regardless of what you say, you will not ace your interview unless you dress well for it. This includes a dark colored suit, dark dress socks, a light colored button up dress shirt, and a silk tie with a stately tie knot. All of your clothing should be clean and pressed. For more details on what to wear to an interview, visit my blog titled ‘what color to wear to an interview’.
Pay attention to the little things. If you were interviewing someone, and he was chomping on a piece of gun the entire time, you would probably have a hard time focusing on anything else, right? For this reason, it is important to pay attention to a few little details before your interview. Trim your fingernails, remove any excess jewelry, go light on the cologne. And definitely spit out that gum.
Memorize your resume. You should be totally familiar and comfortable with all of the information on your resume. This way, when the interviewer asks you about one of your past employment experiences, you can answer with ease. Think about how the job you’re interviewing for relates to your past experiences and how you can communicate the assets you’ve developed through your work experience. And although it may be tempting to exaggerate your work history, stick with complete honesty. Try to avoid clichd answers and what you think your interviewer wants to hear in favor of being straightforward. Be sure to also bring a few copies of your resume to leave with them.