What To Do Before Your Job Interview To Prepare

Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz

Professional Human Resources (PHR) Certified

You just got the call and landed an interview for a job you think you’d be perfect for. You’re excited and a little nervous! Your mind probably starts jumping right to the interview itself and wondering what questions they’ll ask you.

How you perform in the interview isn’t the only thing hiring managers are paying attention to. It’s important to prepare yourself well enough to leave a lasting and positive impression.

Do Your Research

Hopefully you’re aware of the company you’ll be interviewing with since jobs aren’t just what you do but where you do them. It’s important to do your due diligence when it comes to researching information on the organization. Spend a significant amount of time taking a look at the company’s website and trying to collect information from there.

Pay specific attention to their mission statement or core values if they have them. Being able to recite some of this information in casual interview conversation will be very impressive.

A company’s culture should be a significant factor when considering the opportunity. If you know people who have previously worked there, reach out to them to ask their experiences. You can also find some general “reviews” on the company by using websites like Glassdoor. Seeing how others have rated the organization may clue you in to any issues there might be.

Don’t walk into an interview without knowing the appropriate salary you can command in the market. Salaries will vary based on location, experience, education, supervisory experience, etc. You can do some basic internet searching to see what other similar positions are offering as starting salaries.

Get Fashionable

Once you have an interview scheduled, start thinking about what you’ll wear. That might seem like a foreign idea to many men or women, but you should always dress professionally to an interview. You’ll need to be sure you have the time to get clothes dry cleaned or pressed if they’re in need of some sprucing up.

If you don’t have the right thing to wear, you need to make sure you have the time to buy something. If you’re going through your closet and find yourself saying “this will work”, maybe look harder.

Plan Your Route

There a few things worse than arriving late for an interview due to something you could control. Whether or not you’re familiar with where the company is located, make sure you use a map application to input the directions at least a day before the interview. Many online maps also allow you to put a date and time of arrival so you can see what traffic patterns are typically like around that time.

Give yourself plenty of time to arrive at the location once you’ve determined the best route to take. Always plan for the unexpected on the road. Know the surroundings of your final destination so you have somewhere to go and pass the time in case you arrive too early. Walking in the door for your interview more than 20 minutes early isn’t always welcomed.

Know Your Resume

Don’t get caught surprised in the interview if a hiring manager cites parts of your resume. This is your work history and a document you should be very familiar with. You need to be prepared to speak on all the experiences you have listed as well as provide additional details if asked.

Read through your resume immediately after being contacted for an interview. Make sure it accurately reflects your experience and there are no errors you originally overlooked. You can always bring an updated resume to the interview, but it’s best to make sure your resume is an accurate representation of you when you first apply.

Practice

Practice makes perfect, right? In interviews, it certainly helps. Create a response to some basic interview questions like “tell me about yourself” or “why are you interested in the position” and practice them out loud.

Pay attention to whether you use “filler” words (um, like, uh, etc.). If you notice that you do (or others have pointed it out in the past), practicing your responses will help you in staying calm under pressure.

Prepare Questions

A candidate who asks absolutely no questions at the end of an interview about the job, company, process, etc. comes off as a very disengaged applicant. With all of the information you’ve been provided in the job posting, you should be able to prepare at least ten really solid questions for your interviewers.

Fully utilizing the opportunity to ask questions will also help you determine if this is the right company or position for you. Take advantage of their willingness to offer information.

When you arrive...

Make a good first impression! When you walk into the company, introduce yourself to the front desk attendant or receptionist and let them know why you’re there. Believe it or not, your very first impression is often to this person. If you’re quick, gruff, or even rude to him/her, you can bet it will be known.

Take a deep breath and relax as you await your interviewers. You’ve done the prep work needed to have a good chance at landing the job!

About The Author

Robin Schwartz
LinkedIn

Robin Schwartz

Robin Schwartz is a PHR certified HR professional with a broad range of expertise including recruitment, performance management, employee relations and talent management. She leverages her years of experience in HR to bring functional change to organizational leadership and direction to management structures and employees. Robin aims to empower the employees and managers she works with by providing coaching and counseling services.

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