Does a job interview seem to be as painful as going to the dentist? Or perhaps you prefer the dentist.
Really, this should be pain-free experience… because a job interview is just an exchange of information; a conversation between two people with a common goal.
Of course, there is a lot riding on how well you do. When you think of it that way, however, you may be creating undue anxiety. Take the stress – and the pain – out of the interview process by getting as much information up front as possible!
I don’t like surprises and my hunch is, many of you don’t either. Call me a control freak, but I need to know the who, what, where, when and why’s before I do something. It makes me feel “safer.” These are the questions you need to get answers to BEFORE the interview so that you can feel far more confident when you get in there!
Who will you be meeting with? Ask this question of the person coordinating the interview! Learn everything you can about all those you will be meeting with by researching them and their background. LinkedIn is the best place to start!
What will the format of the interview be? One-on-one, panel, group? Armed with this information, research online how best to handle either of these types of interviews. Your approach for success will differ depending on the interview type.
Never assume you know the location. Ask if there are any special parking restrictions you should know about or if there is a specific entrance you should use. If at all possible, do a drive-by so you know EXACTLY where you are going.
Of course you know what time your interview is scheduled. But don’t forget to ask how long it will last! Again, the “never assume” rule applies here! And, of course, show up 5 to 10 minutes before the official “when”.
This is a question you should ask during the interview: Why is this position available? Their answer will help you understand what is going on in the company or department- growth/expansion, turn-over, restructuring, new management…feel free to ask intelligent follow-up questions, too.
The motto of the boy scouts is “Be Prepared!” These are some must-take steps to prepare for your interview.
- Get a copy of the most current and/or in-depth job description (Hint: the internal job posting may have more detail)
- Prepare a STAR story for each of the job requirements. (What is a STAR story, read more here)
- Prepare and practice out loud, your answers to the toughest questions you’re likely to be asked.
- Craft your opening statement to “Tell me about yourself” and “Why should we hire you”
- Research the company using their website, LinkedIn and on sites such as Glassdoor and Yahoo Finance. Also ask all your friends, family and past co-workers what they know about the company (before you have the interview!)
A job interview need not be painful… you just need to be prepared!
For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Career Sherpa!
About the Author: Hannah Morgan is a career sherpa, guiding new job seekers through the treacherous terrain of job search. If you are looking for no-nonsense advice, check out her site Career Sherpa, and follow Hannah on Twitter for the latest job search news and trends!