A little planning can help you shine at your next job interview
Getting a job interview is great news. It means the employer liked your resume well enough to want to meet with you in person. This is your chance to show the employer why you are the best candidate for the job. It’s also your chance to find out if the employer is a good fit for what you are looking for in your career.
Here are 3 simple tips to use when getting ready for an interview. And remember, start preparing as soon as you can. It takes some time to get everything ready.
Tip 1: Research, research, research
As soon as you get the job interview scheduled, start learning about the company or organization. Read their website, find out about their mission, learn about their history, and read about their leadership. Try to find a financial report that shows the company’s budget and number of employers. Search Google News for recent news stories about the company. These are all great ways to go into an interview armed with an understanding of the employer. It will also help you be able to ask more informed and intelligent questions.
Tip 2: Write a list of questions
Interviewers will want to know that you’ve done your research and are taking the interview seriously. Come prepared with a printed list of questions that you want to ask. This way you will have a chance to learn more about the job, and you will come across as organized and thoughtful. Some sample questions might be:
- What are the traits that make someone successful in this job?
- What are the top priorities and responsibilities for someone in this position?
- Who would I report to in this position? What is the organizational structure?
- How do you see things changing in this department in the next five years?
- What do you like most about working at this organization?
Remember, this is not the time to ask about salary, benefits, or time off. Save those topics for after a job offer is made.
Tip 3. Practice, practice, practice
If you go to a college or career training school, there is probably a Career Services department with skilled professionals who can help you prepare for a job interview. Take advantage of this service. Schedule several mock interviews. Mock interviews are an excellent opportunity to get better at being interviewed. They are low-stress interviews that give you a chance to get constructive feedback from a professional.
For those not in school, you can still practice. Ask a trusted friend or mentor to help you prepare. You can use sample questions such as:
- Why are you interested in this job?
- What experience do you have that qualifies you for the job?
- How up-to-date are your computer skills? What systems have you used?
- Tell me about a problem you had in your past job and how you solved it.
- Where do you hope to be in your career in the next five years?
Extra tips: what to bring to your interview
Once you’ve learned all you can about this prospective employer, it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty of what to wear and what to bring!
- Bring at least 3 copies of your resume
- Bring a printed list of references
- Bring your list of questions
- Figure out what you’re going to wear, and avoid these wardrobe errors!
- Plan out how to get to the interview site. You might want to make a dry run the week before. You should arrive to the interview about 10 minutes early. So plan your drive carefully!
Remember, it’s never too soon to start preparing for your next interview. We hope this guide will help you go into your next interview with the skills and confidence you need. Best of luck to you!
The Salter School of Nursing and Allied Health presents weekly blog articles for people who may be interested in pursuing a new career. Check our blog often to see what’s new!