Updated: Oct 6, 2021
Just about everyone gets nervous before an interview. It’s likely the unknowns that stress us out more than anything. What kind of questions will you be asked? Who will you interview with? These are some of the many thoughts that run through our minds. Preparation is key for the interview process, so here are some things to think about when preparing for your next job interview.
Your mindset. Being in a solid place mentally is the best foundation for pulling off a successful interview. In fact, Pearson.com says goes so far as to say that interviewing is “all about your mindset.” A few tips they share is to value your talents to boost your self confidence, prepare for anything they throw at you, and to remember that it’s just a conversation. The interview is a two-way street. You are interviewing each other, so walk into the room remembering that.
Hard skills. Hard skills are the more tangible strengths you bring to the table, such as software knowledge, computer skills, or being multilingual. Before you go into an interview, make a list of your hard skills and how you’ve used them in previous positions. If you’re lacking in these areas, you can work on getting certifications and take online courses before you start job seeking. During the interview, they may also give you tests (like a typing test) that will directly demonstrate your hard skills to your potential employer.
Soft skills. On the other hand, soft skills are less tangible. They include qualities like being a good leader, a team player, or demonstrating flexibility. Just like with hard skills, make the same list for where you excel in your personality type and work style. Expect to answer some questions about your organizational skills, time management, and how good you are at problem solving. Know that when an employer is asking a question, they are many times indirectly asking you about your soft skills.
Applied technical questions. If you’re applying for a more technical job, there are a few extra things to keep in mind. During the interview, be prepared for questions that specifically focus on technology and your experience using it. According to Skillcrush.com, a few questions you may face are, “What kind of tech projects do you work on in your spare time?” and “What technologies could you not live without?” On top of those more general questions, be ready with technical problems you’ve solved so they know you have the applied skills they are looking for.
Knowledge about the company. Finally, always do some research about the company where you’re applying. Be ready to answer questions about why you applied to their company (like how your values resonate with theirs) and what you know about their company’s culture. One way to really learn about the ins and outs of a company is reading about what other employees say about their experiences there. You can do this through websites like Glassdoor where employees rate and review companies.