17 Tips to Prepare for Your Next Interview

One of the best things you can do to make the best use of an interview is to make sure that you are prepared.  But what kinds of things should you do to prepare yourself?

Check out these 17 tips and you’ll be sure to ace that next interview.

3-4 Days Before the Interview…

1. Make sure you have researched the company you are interviewing for a position with.  You should know what products and services they offer, who their target market is, where they have locations, a bit about their history, and any other key info that you can find.

2. Find out who their biggest competitors are and what the differences are between the companies.

3. Make sure you have concrete examples of your skills that pertain specifically to the company you are interviewing with.  You should be able to talk about them confidently.  Practice answering questions where you could use these specific examples.  Be ready to make comparisons between your skills and the needs of the position that you have applied for.

4. Know your weaknesses and strengths.  You will likely be asked about your weaknesses so try to find a way to turn them into a positive.

5. Have at least a few questions ready that you can ask.  Not having questions to ask when they say, “Do you have any questions?” make you appear to be unprepared.  Having questions make you appear sincere and interested.

6. Pick out an outfit to wear to the interview.  Make sure that it fits properly and is clean.  If you need to make adjustments or get something new you will still have time.

One Day Before the Interview

7. Confirm the time and date of your interview by calling the office. If you don’t know already, try to find out the name of the person that will be interviewing you.

8. Make sure you know how to get to the interview.  You can check for directions on Google Maps.  If it is in a location that  you are unfamiliar with you might want to do a trial run.  If you are driving, find out where you can park.  If you’re travelling during rush hour remember to give yourself some extra time.

9. Get your interview outfit ready.  Double check for snags or wrinkles.  Don’t forget shoes and accessories like a tie or belt.

10.  Get a couple extra copies of your resume and cover letter ready, just in case.  A back up copy won’t hurt.  If you are interviewing with several people, the head interviewer might be the only person with a copy of your resume.

The Day of the Interview

11. Make sure your brain is properly fueled by eating a good breakfast.  If your interview is right after your meal, skip heavy amounts of carbs since they tend to make you feel like having a nap.

12.  Start getting dressed early so you don’t have to rush.  Don’t forget to brush your teeth and check for lint and cat hairs on your outfit.  First impressions count a lot!

13. Put your copies of your cover letter and resume in your bag.  Make sure you have something to carry them in that will protect them from getting wrinkled.  If you have a portfolio, bring it with you.

14. Give  yourself lots of time to get to your interview.  If you get their more than 15 minutes before you are scheduled, go for a walk or drive around the block.  DO NOT have a smoke before you go in if you are a smoker!  Gum will not cover the smell.

15. When you enter the building smile. Shake hands when you are introduced to someone.

16. RELAX!  You’re prepared and you are going to do great!

After the Interview

17. Send a thank you letter to the person who interviewed you.