5 Simple Interview Preparation Tips
- February 3, 2019
- Posted by: h1c0nsult1ng
- Category: Blog
Congratulations! You’ve been selected for an interview. Now, the difficult task of preparing for the interview. Don’t worry, I’ve put together some helpful tips to guide you through the interview process.
Research the Company
Hopefully, you did a little research into the company before you applied. If not, now is the time to really focus on exploring the services or products the company offers, who is included in the executive team, and the company’s history.
Spend time digging through every part of the website to learn as much about the company as you can. Take a break, and visit the website a few more times before interviewing. If you have any questions about the company, it would be wise to make note of them and bring the questions with you to the interview.
Read the company blog. There is a lot of valuable information in company blogs, and sometimes you can get a good sense of the company’s culture.
Visit the company’s social media sites. LinkedIn and FaceBook are great places to learn how a company interacts with the public.
Google the company and read through the search results. Has the company been mentioned in the news? Are there reviews of the company? This information can provide insight to the health and growth of the company, as well as provide culture ques.
The Perfect Interview Attire
In most cases, appropriate interview attire is considered to be business casual. This means, blouses, button-downs, sleeves, skirts, slacks, dresses and suits. The clothing you select for your interview should be representative of your personal style, while remaining professional.
Always err on the side of being overdressed. I promise, you will never be sorry you wore the suit jacket, but you might be really sorry for showing up in trendy jeans.
Most importantly, your clothing should be neat, clean, and wrinkle-free. It is worth taking your clothes to a cleaner if you are short on time or don’t own an iron. Lastly, make sure the clothes fit you well and that you are comfortable wearing them.
Avoid wearing flip-flops or athletic shoes, jeans (especially jeans with holes), short skirts or dresses, low cut tops, busy patterns, and overly bright colors.
For more advice about interview attire, check out Careerbuilder’s what to wear for different interviews based on the company.
What to Bring to the Interview
- Two printed copies of your resume. Always be prepared with extra copies of your cover letter, resume, and letters of recommendation. Sometimes, a potential employer will have you email your resume prior to the interview. However, technical issues may arise, so it is best to come prepared. Additionally, having a copy of your resume for yourself as a reference during the interview comes in handy more often than you might think.
- Questions for your employer. Show that you have prepared for your interview by coming up with five to six questions about the position or the company. *hint* At the end of the interview, it is always good to ask, “What is the next step in the interview process?”
- If you have prior work experience, bring a few samples of your work. MNSCU Careerwise has a great list of suggested work samples depending on the position for which you are applying. This is your chance to show your off your quality, and it’s a chance that you don’t want to miss!
What to do After the Interview
Have a pad of paper and a pen ready in the car. Make a few quick notes about your general thoughts. Did you like the culture? Do you feel like you connected well? Is there anything that was said that you want to remember clearly? Making these quick notes while the memory is still fresh will help you later, even if you are not offered the position.
After you have interviewed, you should visit the interviewer’s LinkedIn profile. If you feel comfortable, reach out to them to connect. Send a message thanking him or her for their time and the opportunity. If you prefer, sending a follow-up email is a nice touch too.
It’s okay to be a little “old school.” I always follow up my interviews with a handwritten thank you card. You don’t have to say much, just thank them for the opportunity to interview and that you look forward to hearing from them. This is a really great trick that makes you stand out among the other candidates.
Lastly, since you asked about the next steps in the interview process, follow up at the appropriate time via email or phone.
Don’t Sweat if You Don’t Get It
Anytime that you have the opportunity to interview, take it. Interviewing is a skill that needs to be practiced. If you’re not offered the position, look at that interview as good practice for the next one. *hint* Make a list of take-aways to use for the next time.