WASHINGTON, August 4, 2017 – In today’s competitive job market you have to be extremely diligent in your job search and preparation. If your resume is good enough to land an interview, the last thing you want to do is blow your opportunity by showing up unprepared.
The interview is a time for both parties to determine if they want to proceed and is an extremely important piece of the process. Here are a few tips for preparing for your next round of interviews:
Dress the Part
One of the easiest and most obvious things you can do to prepare for an interview is dress nicely and take care of yourself. A recent study found that over 41 percent of employers will promote a person because of professional dress. Your dress, hygiene, and maintenance will say a lot about you and how seriously you take the opportunity to interview.
You’ll want to have a clean, neutrally colored, and ironed outfit. You’ll also want to groom your hair and fingernails. Try to keep makeup and loud colors to a minimum so you give off a professional and well-groomed appearance.This goes a long way and helps you make a positive first impression.
Do Your Research
Research is an extremely important part of the interview process. Almost any career coach will offer this advice. It helps to go into the interview understanding the basics of the organization(key leadership, competitors, recent successes), but it also helps to understand the company’s challenges and current industry trends. You’ll want to research the company inside and out and go into the interview as if you’re already an employee prepared to offer new ideas and strategies. Armed with this information, you’ll be well prepared to speak eloquently about the company and will immediately demonstrate your ability to contribute in a positive way.
Align Your Experience
You probably have a litany of professional experiences and skills, but you’ll want to think critically about your skill set and determine where to focus during the interview. For example, you may have a ton of experience in research and data analysis, but if you’re applying for a client-facing role you may want to focus on skills like interpersonal communication or time management. Prior to your interview, thing through your professional career and highlight some of your most relevant experiences.
Bring Supporting Documents
Bringing supporting documentation shows initiative and the ability to anticipate problems. Both of these skills are important to an employer, so you’ll already be demonstrating your ability to make an impact. Plan to bring a few extra copies of your resume, a list of references, and any other creative documents that might help your case. With a little negotiation training and preparation, these documents can help you land the job. Documents to consider include: a six month plan, a personal profile, or a gift to help tell your story. Get creative and you’ll be sure to wow your audience.
Prepare a List of Questions
As mentioned earlier, the interview process is a time for you to get to know the company as well. While the company wants to know if you will be a good fit for them, you’ll also want to make sure the company will meet your expectations of an employer. In fact, studies suggest that Millennials list a cultural fit as the single most deciding factor in the hiring process.
Prepare a list of questions and have them handy during the interview. At the end of your time together you can ask a few of them and get a better feel for the company and whether or not their vision and values align with your personal goals.
These are just a few of the many ways you can prep for your next interview. This will enable you to have an effective dialogue with your prospective employer. Regardless, you can’t wing it. Make sure you spend time researching and preparing your answers. You’ll be glad you did!