Preparing for an interview can go a long way toward making a good impression on an interviewer.Below are seven things to do before your next interview, including questions to help prepare you for an interview. You may also want to check out these steps to Landing Your Next Role.
1. Do your homeworkRead everything you can about the organization, especially as it relates to the role you’re applying for. Research the company through its website and LinkedIn. Learn about your interviewer on LinkedIn as well.
While doing your research, you may discover things you have questions about or want to learn more. These are great things to bring up as questions to the interviewer and will go a long way in showing that you have done your homework.
2. Think of questions to ask the interviewer
Come prepared with questions to ask the interviewer. Use this as an opportunity to get answers to things you weren’t able to learn about during your research. Examples of topics to ask about include the manager’s communication style, professional development for employees and opportunities for career growth within the company.
For more ideas of questions to ask the interviewer, check out these finance interview questions and treasury Interview questions.
3. Practice answering interview questions
Interviewing is just like any other skill; the more you practice, the better you get at it. There are some interview questions that are likely to come up in every interview. If you think about your answer to these questions ahead of time, you’ll have an easier time conveying your thoughts clearly during the interview.
You can’t anticipate every interview question though, so it’s a good idea to practice your approach to answering questions as well. Follow a structured approach, such as STAR (situation, task, action, result), to ensure that you communicate all of your key points.
Start with the situation to set the background and scene. Explain the highlights, the actions you took, and the rationale behind your decisions. And explain the short- and long-term impact that your actions had on the organization.
Make a list of your accomplishments, then highlight the ones you want to share. Practicing weaving them into the interview. Be careful not to make it sound like you’re reciting a script. Consider recording yourself as you practice using the camera on your computer, so you can see how you look and sound.
5. Know your values
The interview is a two-way conversation. The interviewer is vetting you, but you are also vetting the company. Know your values and non-negotiables. Use the interview to help you determine if the company is a right match for you.
6. Know where you’re going
Being on time is one of the most important things you can do during an interview. If you can, block off extra time in your schedule before the interview, so you have a buffer in case you run into delays.
If you’re doing the interview in person, look up the location of where your interview is taking place, as well as the route to get there. If you’re doing a virtual interview, make sure you know how to use the platform the interview is going to be conducted on and that your equipment works. Test your audio, video and lighting, and conduct a speed check to ensure that your upload speed is fast enough to prevent lags.
For a virtual interview, also decide ahead of time where you will be taking the call. Try to find a spot that is minimal and neutral. If you need to use a virtual background, pick something simple such as a blurred background or a virtual office, so your background isn’t distracting during the interview.
7. Bring your authentic self
Bring all of yourself to the interview. You want the person that shows up to work every day to be the real you, so make sure that person is there at the interview as well. Be confident in who you are, and share how your unique combination of qualities can contribute to the organization.
Additional Resources for Interview Preparation
Jennifer Acosta, Manager Director at J.P. Morgan, shares her advice on how to prepare for an interview.
Get more tips to help you move from candidate to new hire.