Updated: May 23
If you’ve been in a job search for a while, you’re likely relieved to finally have an interview scheduled. But as the interview date approaches, you may find yourself getting nervous. Like with most things, if you break this process down into manageable parts and prepare, you’ll likely do a great job. Following are some tips for being ready to impress that potential employer.
Practice your answers.
You’ll stand out in an interview if you have some polished answers ready to go. Because interviewees are nervous, it’s not uncommon for them to stammer through answers to questions. However, interview questions are often predictable, so you can at least prepare yourself to answer those types of questions. Be ready to talk about your strengths and weaknesses, why did you leave your last position, and why you want to work for them.
Describe your plan.
One important piece to cover in your interview is how you plan to help the organization in your new role. A clear and easy way to describe what you intend to do is through a 30-60-90 day plan. Start by researching the organization through employee interviews, online reviews, or other articles written about the company. If you know someone personally at the organization, be sure to ask them about the unique challenges they face. Then, at the 30, 60, and 90-day marks, describe what you think you could do to help them overcome their challenges. This shows an organization that you really care about helping them achieve their goals while you achieve your own.
Why should I hire you?
At some point in the interview, you may be faced with addressing why the company should hire you over another qualified candidate. This is a great opportunity to tell your personal story. Think about situations and accomplishments in your history that are different than your competition. Bring it back to how you would add value to the organization and find elements of your story to share that are compelling.
Remember that at the same time a company is interviewing you, you are interviewing them. Look online and find what makes their company culture stand out and be ready to ask questions about it. Know what other peers are doing in a similar role and what tasks are challenging to them so you can intelligently talk about your future in their position. Ultimately, a good fit is a two-way street.