Yes – you can google how to prepare for an interview. There are tons of articles about most common questions and such. I had the opportunity to be on both sides of the equation, as interviewee and interviewer, and in this post I am summarizing the key tactics to have very high chances of landing the job you are looking for.
What’s your main goals during the interview?
To prove everyone that is meeting you that: you are more likable than all the other candidates (presence); you want the job (knowledge of target company) and you are the perfect fit for the role (technical skills)
So to help you get prepared, I have prepared a list of my best pre-interview tips.
Goal is to feel confident enough on your routine so you have no distractions but to nail the interview.
Face To Face Meetings:
Check traffic and make it in there with plenty of time. If you are flying in, be in town the night before. If you can, drive before and learn the way.
Print 5 copies of your resume and bring them to you in a folder or envelope. Keep notepad and a good pen ready.
Find a quiet place to take the call.
Check voice/data/wifi connection. Have bluetooth earphones working and ready.
No distracting backgrounds (video calls only)
Have your resume file handy and ready to be shared. Keep notepad and a good pen ready.
Likable – Master Presence:
We all know by now about having the right (modern, clean) outfit for the interview. When in doubt, overdress – you can’t go wrong with a suit. While others might think that is okay to match to the current employee’s outfits, I always think that better than average is the right approach in this case.
To me, it’s all in the details. Shoes, belt, nails, haircut, clean shaven (you can grow your beard again later), white teeth (don’t drink coffee before going in), don’t smoke or go to a smelly food joint before showing up either.
Have the right attitude – practice your smile. When you smile, don’t abruptly stop, it will look fake. Also practice looking at people in the eye (while smiling). If you are doing a video interview, keep your eyes on the camera and screen, and don’t be distracted by your background.
Practice your voice tone – great for phone screens!
You Want the Job – Learn about the company:
Spend a few hours learning everything you can about the company—from as many sources as you can. The usual, social media, wikipedia, google, etc. My best source of information about companies is quarterly earnings reviews. That’s where the juicy details are.
Culture is the next thing to learn – get a sense of “who” the company is and how to embody a similar personality during your interview. If they like buzzwords, then… learn them. Start by reading the company’s blog and Facebook page—the tone of the company’s content on these sites will speak volumes. Or, try reading individual employees’ blogs to figure out what type of people work (and excel) there.
No matter what role you’re interviewing for, you should always use the product before your first interview (and ideally, a few times). If hired, your goal will be to create value for the people who use that product, and being a user yourself is the first step.
Check out Glassdoor for company reviews from current and previous employees—but take them as a guide, not fact.
Before your interview, get a list of the people you’re meeting with from the company. You can always use Linkedin to know more about them.
You are the perfect fit for the job:
it’s critical to spend time thinking carefully about what skills, accomplishments, and interview answers will resonate with your interviewers most. Your management abilities? Your creativity? The examples you share will probably be slightly different everywhere you interview.
You have to be able to tell a story, focusing in three big qualities that will make you land on that job. Keep key figures in mind when explaining your accomplishments.
While it is very difficult to have all the skills required for the job, you can always enhance the ones you have by telling great stories.
Use bullet points to draft our the answers you want to give to specific questions.
Prepare a few smart questions for when it’s your turn to ask. Make sure they’re thoughtful ones that show you’ve been paying attention and have done your homework when it comes to researching the company and the specific job you’re after.
Last but not least – It’s all about the energy we radiate. Get some sleep, look and feel rested. You mind will be clear and in the game.
What are your best prep-interview ideas? Leave a comment below!