As far as universally stressful experiences go in the professional world, job interviews are surely at the top of the list. While there are several factors that dictate how the interview will go, all of them require a level of vulnerability from the interviewee that’s generally uncommon in the professional world and nerve-wracking for many. To convince a stranger of your worth and competency in a short amount of time is a skill that requires strategy and confidence to develop. While what transpires during the interview mostly depends on chemistry, the part of the process you have control over is preparation. Here are some interview preparation tips that will help you feel confident and give interviewers a convincing glimpse at your worth as a worker.
3 Bullet Points
A job interview can veer off in many unpredictable directions, so you should always have a way to refocus the conversation. One way to do this is to prepare and rehearse three bullet points that highlight your strengths and provide a brief but comprehensive argument as to why you are the right fit for the job. The three talking points should be simple enough to recall during a stressful moment but descriptive enough to make a valid point. For example, your three bullet points might be that you strive to meet deadlines, you are a skilled storyteller, and you are always productive. No matter what curveball the interviewer throws your way, you can pivot back to your three bullet points to further make your case.
Do Your Research
You could be the most qualified candidate for the position the interviewer will see, but if you haven’t done research about the position and the company beforehand, it will be uncomfortably clear and little else will matter. You should not be learning critical, potentially decision-altering information about the company during the interview, and if you are, then you haven’t done enough research beforehand. Make sure you pay a visit to the company’s website and carefully read the “About Us” section to learn about the company’s founding values and how it stands out from similar companies in the industry. Learning about the company’s mission and the specific responsibilities of the position will allow you to formulate your own questions for the interviewer. Remember that the questions you ask the interviewer are as important as your answers to their questions because it demonstrates a level of earnest engagement.
While thoughtful answers to tough questions will surely help you make your case, the interview really boils down to whether the interviewer likes you and can picture happily working with you. How do you make the interviewer, simply put, like you? The only way is to confidently be yourself. Before the interview, practice positive self talk to remind yourself of your best qualities that inform your self-worth and the various reasons people in your daily life enjoy being around you. Practicing self-love is something that comes in handy all through life, but it can be especially useful when you have a limited amount of time to make an impression on someone. If you’re able to demonstrate that you’re your own fan — without being conceited or presumptuous of course — the interviewer is more likely to become one too.
If you’re feeling especially nervous about an interview, it’s never a bad idea to do a few trial runs with a friend or anyone else willing. This gives you an opportunity to vocalize some of the interview strategies you’ve been thinking about and rehearsing answers to interview preparation questions before heading into the real thing. You and your friend can conduct several versions of the interview, including an ideal one, in which you come off as confident, articulate, and competent, and a trickier one where your mock interviewer throws some curveball questions at you and perhaps feigns general disdain or rudeness. By the time you head into the real interview, you’ll have prepared for a slew of possible situations.
Rest Up and Pick Out Your Clothes
Last but not least on your interview preparation checklist is to make sure you’re well rested and feeling fresh for the big day. A good night’s rest will often give you the extra boost in confidence and energy you need for an interview. Get to bed at a reasonable hour, perhaps an hour before you usually do. In addition, pick out what you’re going to wear the night before to avoid scrambling at the last minute. And remember, you got this!