Crushing An Interview: Phase I, Prepare

Making a bad  hire is an employer’s worst nightmare. While there is no perfect solution for the unknowns you may face in a job interview, prepare for 4 aspects of the interview to get a practical edge as well as to boost your self confidence. Your goal is not just to get the job, but to build a long-term relationship with the interviewer. So, cover these 4 aspects in your preparation:

  1. Prepare yourself. The clothes you wear are the first best indicator of your own good judgment and your goal here is to reassure the employer that you’re a good hire and that you have good judgment. Wear a tie if it’s appropriate to the culture. You’ll feel prepared if you know you look prepared.  This will help calm you and slow you down. This, in turn calms them. Preparing yourself means giving some thought to the clothes you wear and deciding what message is most important to send to the interviewer.
  2. Prepare the other. Do some research on who’s sitting on the other side of the table. Try plugging their name into www.instantcheckmate.com or ask a good friend to do a little on-line research on the interviewer. Even if you don’t use the information you find, you’ll feel the edge of having prepared if you know a little about them. Do research on the company, too, and what direction the company may be going.
  3. Prepare your message. No matter what questions the interviewer asks, plan on answering that question, but also have a message to send. For instance, if you are asked about your own strengths and weaknesses, which is a standard question to be asked, answer that question in the context of sending a message. If the message you want to send is that you could help with a social media ad strategy, say your strength is doing on-line research and that you study internet marketing in your spare time. Then, ask what the company’s social media advertising approach is. This communicates a message and then puts you in a position to listen, which is always powerful.
  4. Prepare for the venue. Do a dry run to wherever the interview will take place. Know the route you’ll take and how long it takes to get there. If it’s in a public place, go check out the room, the tables, the seats you may sit in. Since you know you’ll be nervous at the interview, do a few dress rehearsals. This is one more form of preparation that will help you feel more comfortable mentally.