Jobs are scarce and competition is fierce. There have been many people who have sent out hundreds of resumes only to get one or two interviews – even those with a college education. That means you might only get one shot. You’ve got to make that one shot count. You may only get one opportunity to impress the interviewers and show them you are the right person for the job. Interviewing is a skill that can be learned. Let’s take a look at how to prepare for an interview.
Do not “Wing it”
If you plan on wining your interview you can forget about getting the job. You might as well just show up and tell them to hire someone else. Winging it conveys laziness, a lack of urgency and that you just don’t care about the job or the organization.
Look up commonly asked questions
Although it is difficult to know exactly what questions you are going to be asked, there are typically some questions you can prepare for. Common questions include:
• Tell us about yourself
• Why should we hire you?
• What are your strengths?
• What are your weaknesses?
• Why do you want to work for us?
The best way to go about this is to look up these questions and memorize an effective response. Type out your answers and read over them – memorize them. That way when you are asked, you will not hesitate and can answer the questions with confidence.
Research the organization
It’s easy to focus on yourself during an interview, but you have to remember that they are looking for someone to come in and contribute to the organization. With that said, you need to do your homework and learn about your possible employer. Take some time and study the firm’s mission statement, history, current projects, and important data.
And don’t just start rattling off this information. Weave it into your answers. For example, if they ask you about why you want to work for them you should mention that you are impressed that Company XYZ increased profit by 40% during the 4th quarter and that you are impressed with their new project of developing Product XYZ.
The most common (and incorrect answer) to “Do you have any questions?” is no. That shows the interviewer(s) that you haven’t given any thought or that you just don’t care. You should also never say that you don’t have any questions “because everything was covered in the interview” that makes you appear very passive.
Always ask intelligent questions. This is your chance to learn more about the position and appear very interested. No matter what questions you ask be sure to ask for their contact information and end it the interview by asking them what the next step is.
Write a thank you letter or email
After you get their contact information, be sure to write a thank you email as soon as possible. In your email, mention things from the interview that excite you about the position and why you are the best person for the job. This is often a step that is neglected. It will really set you apart from the field.