Table of Contents
- A. Interview preparation tips for the week before
- B. Interview preparation checklist for the day before
- C. Interview preparation worksheet for the hours before
You have just received an email invitation for a job interview. Congratulations! You have drawn the recruiter’s attention with your well-written resume and cover letter. Now, it is time for you to prepare and outshine the competition in the interview.
Preparing for an interview can be a strenuous process. You need the right knowledge, body language, and attitude to stand out from the crowd. In this article, we will discuss some effective tips to help you prepare for your upcoming interview.
A. Interview preparation tips for the week before
The week before the interview is crucial. About 93% of candidates have claimed to experience anxiety during the hiring process. So, how do you tackle it? The golden rule is to “prepare well”. The better prepared you are, the lower anxiety you experience! Here is what you can do:
1. Analyze the job description
Even though it might seem strange, a job description can be a map leading to the final offer. The requirements, duties, and responsibilities enlisted in the job description reflect the ideal candidate profile. Demystifying this profile will help you develop your unique selling proposition and be the embodiment of the desired candidate.
Begin with identifying the required hard and soft skills and align these with your own experiences. For example, if the job ad mentions stress management skills as a must-have, identify a situation when you successfully helped someone cope up with stress and make a note of it. By repeating this for other relevant skills, you will create your Unique Selling Points (USPs) that will boost your interview performance. You do not need to fulfill 100% of the requirements. You will be a top candidate even if you satisfy at least 75% of these requirements completely.
You can also identify valuable information from the duties and responsibilities indicated in the job ad. This will help you come up with relevant examples from your experience and present yourself as an ideal candidate. We strongly recommend you be honest with the interviewer and avoid presenting any fictional facts as this is a red flag.
Pro tip: The STAR technique will help you structure and remember your answers during the interview.
2. Prepare for interview questions
As discussed in the previous section, job descriptions can help you position yourself as an ideal candidate. You can also predict some questions that may be asked during the interview based on the requirements. In fact, the job description is the key to answer the most popular interview question which is “tell me about yourself”.
To answer this question, structure your response in a way that aligns naturally with the job description. Narrate how your past experience has equipped you with the right skills needed for the job — but avoid mentioning this directly. By doing this, you present yourself as the perfect candidate and at the same time, answer the “why should I hire you” question.
Analyze the responsibilities and requirements, and change them to a question form. This will give you a glimpse of the questions that may be asked. You must also remember that you may be asked to demonstrate your skills on a whiteboard, even in a virtual interview. We also suggest teaming up with a friend to help you conduct mock interviews and provide feedback on your answers. However, if you want to increase the chances of getting hired, we recommend booking a free consultation with our team of experts. They will prepare you for interview questions, improve your answers, body language and help you succeed.
3. Research company and interviewers
Even if you are an ideal candidate, the interviewers will consider the lack of knowledge about the company as a red flag. All employers look for a cultural fit with their candidates. This means that if you are a lone wolf and the company is looking for a team player to join them in an open workspace, you probably wouldn’t be a good match for the role.
While you usually review the company culture and its products and services before applying, this information adds value at this stage too. To effectively prepare, go through the company’s website and note down their values, vision, and mission. Look for something that you genuinely admire about them and identify any improvements or suggestions. You can also ask questions about the company but be careful not to ask anything that is already addressed on their website. We also suggest researching Glassdoor for employee reviews and salary insights and G2 or Capterra for product/service reviews and rates.
Apart from the company, you should also do research on your interviewers. Run a google search of their names and check out their LinkedIn profiles to familiarize yourself with their work before the interview. This will make you feel more comfortable and confident and ask questions that could lead to an interesting conversation.
Pro tip: Avoid highlighting your research unnecessarily during the interview. It may have a negative impact on you.
B. Interview preparation checklist for the day before
After a long week, you are finally a day away from your final interview. It is essential for you to revise all the important stuff for the big day. We have gathered a quick interview preparation checklist for you to do this effectively.
1. Create an interview cheat sheet
Note down all the keywords that briefly describe your comprehensive notes in a new sheet. For instance, write down the keywords or acronyms to map your answers for the prepared questions. This will help you remember key points.
2. Get ready for a virtual interview
If you are interviewing remotely make sure your set-up is complete a day before. Find a well-lit place to sit, tidy up your background, and test your webcam and microphone. Most importantly, notify your friends and family about the time of the interview to avoid any interruptions.
3. Plan the journey for a face-to-face interview
If you have a face-to-face interview, plan your journey in advance and inquire about any commute disruptions. Choose a professional attire and get your resume/CV printed or sent via email. Make a quick snack or lunch to have before you leave and pack your stuff in advance.
4. Get some good sleep
Lack of sleep causes several performance issues. Make sleep your ally by resting at least 8 hours the night before the interview. Now, if you have a racing mind that doesn’t allow you to fall asleep, you can try some sleep meditation.
C. Interview preparation worksheet for the hours before
The clock is ticking louder as you get closer to the interview. Here is what to do the hours or even minutes before meeting your interviewers:
1. Boost your mood
The best thing to do at this point is to get into the mindset of a winner and have positive thoughts. Talk to a trusted person, listen to your favorite music, and meditate. If you are still at home with your pawfriend, spend some time together as this will decrease the levels of stress in your blood.
2. Review cheat sheet
Get a glimpse of your interview cheat sheet, but keep it short. This will help you refresh some key points to mention and remind you of the questions you want to ask. You can have it by your side if you are participating in a video interview.
3. Mute your phone
Unless you are expecting an important call, turn off all the alarm clocks and mute your phone. Otherwise, it is best to let the interviewers know you expect a call at the beginning of the discussion. We recommend this practice, as it poses you as honest, mindful, and able to communicate.
4. Take a deep breath and remember you’ve got this
You have done your homework so there is no need to doubt yourself. Now it is time to jump into that interview and do your best. Just take a deep breath and remember “you’ve got this”.
It is a fact that the better you prepare, the more chances you have of landing your dream role. If you have an interview with your target employer soon, you might want to consider consulting with the experts to help you assess and boost your performance. If you found our tips helpful and wish to speak with our team, you can book a free consultation here.