A job interview is usually an interview consisting of a conversation between a job applicant and an individual or a panel meant to represent the employer. It is done to evaluate whether the applicant’s suitability for the job being advertised. Job interviews are one of the most popular devices used for employee selection.
For many prospective job hunters however, job interviews can be nerve-wracking experiences which shouldn’t be the case.
Here’s a few tips on how to prepare for a job interview.
Dress to Impress
My motto, when it comes to interviews, is this: it’s better to be over dressed than under dressed.
Most of the time, the Hiring Manager will specify the appropriate attire for the interview, which is usually business professional or business casual. Some companies with a more laid back culture (e.g., Advertising and Creative Agencies) will actually encourage potential applicants to come as they are but it’s most probably more advisable to save the flip flops after you’ve signed on the dotted line.
Best to err on the side of caution.
Come on Time
This goes without saying: don’t be late.
Ideally, you should come in 10-15 minutes before your appointment to give you the time to relax and put yourself in the proper state of mind in preparation for the interview.
If it can’t be helped and you are going to be late (or won’t be able to make it all), have the courtesy to reach out to the Hiring Manager 15-30 minutes before your schedule appearance and give him/her an estimated time of arrival or an alternative schedule so as not to waste time.
Practice makes Perfect
Yes, practice does make perfect and that includes interviews.
Prepare a list of questions that will most probably come up (and a few potential unexpected ones) and practice answering them. Even better, get a friend to help you out by pretending to be the interviewer. Have him/her grill you and provide you feedback on how you did.
This will help you become less nervous during the actual interview because you’ve already run through the scenario before and have come prepared.
Bring your Documents
Print out your cover letter and resume and make sure you have two copies. You may need ’em or you may not (some Hiring Managers insist that you won’t need them because they already have them on file) but if you do end up needing them you’ll be glad you printed them out.
It will help give you a more favorable impression as a potential candidate for the job.
Printing out your portfolio (if you’re a Graphic Designer) will definitely can be expensive especially if you have a lot of work so it’s probably best to showcase this through your phone or tablet.
By being prepared, you’ll have less things to worry about, be less stressed, and have a better chance of shining in your interview.