job interview panel

The Job Hunter Checklist: Preparing for a Job Interview

Most of the best job hiring process hunting tips involve job interview preparation. After resume crafting, the interview is a significant element in any job hunting process. It is therefore, only right to prepare for it. You can check out all the interesting statistics about job interviews and find that there are things you can totally prepare for. There are actions you can take to increase your chances of leaving a good impression and possibly get hired. Below is a checklist of some of the best practices you can apply to prepare for a job interview:

Review the job description

The first and probably the most important thing you need to do for your job interview preparation is to review the job description. After all, you need to know what you are applying for. Reviewing the job description lets you note down relevant keywords to include in your answers to possible interview questions. 

Do a rerun of the job post and note down the skill, knowledge, competencies, and values that the company is looking for in an applicant. Once you have your list, you can move on to the next tip.

List your assets

Now that you know what the company is looking for in an applicant with your list of keywords, it is time to take a look at yourself and your key competencies. Which of the keywords from the job posting do you think you can live up to? Do you happen to be well-versed in the particular skill that they are looking for in an applicant?

If you happen to match all of your assets with all of their requirements, that would be perfect. However, such is not the case for most people. There may be certain items that you cannot match, such as a specific skill or software that you are not familiar with. The good news is that you can easily offset this with a skill or asset that is above and beyond their expectations. Do you have certifications or a degree that comes useful to the job? Or what about your tenacious drive for learning?

Research about the company

Aside from learning about the job itself, doing some research on the company who posted it is a wise job interview preparation habit. This move could give you a good head start as well. Learn about their products and services, their core values and culture, and whether or not you are a good fit for them. Knowing as much as you can about the company not only prepares you to answer the interviewer. It also enables you to ask questions at the end of the interview.

You can find out a lot about a company through its website. Take a peek at their “About Us” page and read through a handful of company reviews. If you happen to know people who work there, you can ask them a few questions like what it’s like to work there.

Look up common interview questions

If you look up job hunting tips and you get to the part that tackles job interview preparation, a lot of them will tell you to look up common interview questions and how to answer them. This tip appears over and over again in job interview preparation articles for a good reason. It is a solid fool-proof tip that can make your interview go smoother and feel more natural. Luckily, there are a lot of resources for common job interview questions such as this article from Inc

Finalize your look

A major part of job interview preparation is your appearance. Psychology dictates that looking good has a positive impact on how you feel. And if you feel good, you are more likely to perform better in an interview. Looking sharp for an interview is also important because it creates a good first impression. It also shows the interviewer how much of an effort you are willing to exert to impress them.

Try on some formal or smart casual looks -depending on the company and position you have applied for. Mix and match items in your wardrobe and include simple accessories that will take your outfit a notch higher. Do this a few days ahead of time so you won’t be scrambling to find clothes on the day of the interview. For female applicants, practice your makeup and hair at least a day before. Aim for a natural look that will accentuate your best features and make you look fresh and alert.

smiling job interviewee

Brush up on interview etiquette

To come off as snobbish, brash, or prideful is a major turn-off for most interviewers. Even if you are not the social and outgoing type, make an effort to greet the people you come across on the way to the interview room. That includes the guard, the receptionist, and up to the interviewer. Once you meet the interviewer, make eye contact and smile. Give a firm handshake and wait to be prompted to sit.

During the interview, it is essential to pay attention to your body language and actually pay attention to the person speaking to you. Don’t come off as bored or lost in the conversation. Keep your posture straight, your gaze forward, and your hands and arms in front in an open position. Crossing your arms may make you seem close-minded or resistant. Most of all, try your best to be as sincere as you can when answering questions.

Watch out interview red flags

You are in the position to be the one to please everyone during an interview. However, take note of the interview red flags that you should be keen on for your own safety. Things like conflicting values and presenting an image that openly contradicts your experience during the interview. Or maybe a lack of company vision or a display of bad leadership. These could be telltale signs that you might need to take a step back and consider other options.

The aftermath

When all is said and done, remember to thank your interviewer for giving you the time and opportunity. Sending him or her a thank-you note expressing your gratitude and reiterating your interest in the position. Think of it as your follow-up letter -the last opportunity, so sell yourself.

If you feel like you still lack the confidence in facing an interviewer, try out this online course for job interview success by SkillSuccess. It takes on a unique approach to job interview preparation with the use of unconventional techniques like acting.

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