Keep calm and ace your job interview
Being prepared is key to getting through your nerve-wracking job interview. Here’s how to prepare for a job interview so you totally nail it!
Tips to Prepare for a Job Interview
It doesn’t matter whether you’re attending your first or your tenth job interview: you’re always going to be at least a little bit nervous.
However, if you follow these tips to prepare for a job interview, you’ll feel much calmer and ready to tackle the most difficult questions they can throw at you.
1. Do Plenty of Research
Rather than taking a cursory look at the company website, take some time scouting for detailed information about the company.
Look at the last few years of business performance. Track any news articles – good and bad – and make notes about how the company has changed (or not) in recent years. You can use this information to draw on when giving examples of how you’d fit in as an employee.
2. Wear Something Comfortable
You’ll probably need to wear a suit or smart clothes – but that doesn’t mean you need to be uncomfortable. Find shoes that you can easily walk in and won’t give you blisters; avoid shirts with too-tight collars.
Being uncomfortable in the interview adds to your nerves. It also stops you projecting a true picture of yourself, as you’ll feel restrained by your outfit. Find something to wear that makes you feel good and at ease.
3. Prepare Questions to Ask
Interviews go two ways: you need to make sure the company is the right fit for you, too.
Write a few questions down to ask your interviewers. This may be about the role, the company culture, the future of the organisation, or even what the interviewer themselves like about working there.
This’ll help you relax and avoid an awkward silence when you’re asked if you have any questions, too.
4. Write Things Down
It’s perfectly acceptable to bring a notebook to your interview. Use it to remind yourself of your research notes when answering – or asking – questions.
You can also jot down bullet points to remind yourself how to answer the most common interview questions like, “Why do you want this job?” and “Why should I hire you?”.
Make sure to write down your list of questions to ask your interviewer, too. What if they answer all the questions naturally in the interview anyway? When they ask if you have any further questions, flip to this page in your notebook. Take a minute to review your questions and tell them they’ve answered everything.
It’s a small technique, but shows you have done your homework and were prepared to ask questions.
5. Avoid Too Much Caffeine
Even if you drink coffee by the pint every day, today is not the day to mainline caffeine.
You want to get a good night’s sleep and avoid nervous jitters during your interview. So, cut out caffeine from at least 8pm the night before and try to wait until after your interview to have some. It’ll help keep your blood pressure low and reduce anxiety.
6. Rehearse With a Friend
Ask a friend to conduct mock interviews with you. This’ll help you prepare stock answers that you can draw on easily, reducing the stress you feel when you’re put on the spot in the interview.
Make sure you practice your ‘why’ statements, too. Interviewers love it if you can explain why you want the role, or why you chose your degree: show your purpose with your answers instead of giving a basic chronology of your work history.
7. Know the Job Description in Detail
Make sure you know the job description inside out before you head into the interview. This helps you understand what kind of candidate they’re looking for – and you can refer back to it when talking about your relevant skills during the interview.
8. Don’t Panic
If you’re still not convinced you won’t melt into a nervous wreck before your interview, don’t panic! Check out our other interview hints and tips to make sure you’re relaxed, prepared, and ready to take on the hardest interviewers ever.