One of the most intimidating steps of searching for a new job is the interview process. You are being evaluated by another person, asked pointed questions, and scrutinized on several levels to determine if you are the right type of person to fulfill the available role. It is critical that you have the right mindset when entering your interview so that you are not overwhelmed, but also so that you do not over-present yourself.
When approaching the interview process, keep the following guidelines in mind. They will help prepare you for the experience so you can handle it in the most effective manner possible.
Do your Prep Work
Just as being an athlete requires constant, vigilant practice every day, advancing your professional career is an act of will. You must not only be prepared to do your best during the day of the interview, but also in the weeks leading up to it. Get to know the company and the people you are interviewing with as much as possible before your interview. Practice answering interview questions with a friend and fully research the industry to which you are applying. Make sure to come into the interview with full confidence and a deep understanding of the role requirements.
Now is not the time to sit back and wait for someone else to make glowing statements about you. The interview step in the hiring process is your chance to market yourself as the ideal candidate for the position. You shouldn’t oversell yourself or make false claims, but it is critical that you present yourself as positively as possible.
Don’t Overstretch Yourself
You may want to get a job as fast as possible, and think that applying to as many jobs as you can is the way to guarantee that you will get a job quickly. This, however, is not the case. If you simply slow yourself down and focus on the specific positions that you truly want you will give yourself the opportunity to perfect your applications and resume so that they are the most effective they can be.
Remember to Interview Them As Well
When you enter into the interview you know that they will be determining if you are a good candidate for the position, but you should also remember that you are interviewing the company as well. You want to make sure that you truly do want to work for that company—meaning you agree with their policies and philosophies and like the way that the current employees seem to feel in the context of their jobs.
Focus on the Big Three
There are dozens of things that you could try to focus on when going into an interview, but there are three core concepts that you should pay very close attention to presenting to the interviewing manager: A) You will solve the problems of the company B) You are the best candidate for the job, and C) You will fit in with the culture of the company.
It would be amazing to get the very first position for which you apply, but chances are that isn’t going to happen. Most people apply for several positions before they actually start a career, which means it is important that you remain persistent. This means that you are going to have to have a lot of courage to face the rejection, learn from the experiences, and be better prepared for the next interview that you attend. This also applies to other activities within the career search such as professional networking, building a strong reference list, and finding out about the positions that are available.