Are you feeling nervous or anxious before an interview? You are not the first person to feel that way. It’s a completely normal feeling but you shouldn’t let it overwhelm you. Chances are you interviewing for your dream job or just a job to have a source of income. And the fear of failing can become so much that you become a wreck.
The key to approaching an interview with confidence is preparation. Remember that saying that prior proper preparation prevents poor performance? You have some work to do before the D-day and adequate preparation can be the difference between getting the job or coming back home disappointed.
Your interview preparation starts the moment you receive the interview offer and how long you have to prepare depends on the interview date. Even if you have enough time before your interview, don’t procrastinate and start preparing right away. Time has a way of sneaking up on us and before you know it, the interview you thought you had three weeks to prepare for is only days away.
Below, we discuss simple and practical steps you can take to prepare for an interview and maximize the chances of getting the job. Here we go.
- Research, Research, Research
Thought your research days are over the moment you completed your final year thesis? You couldn’t be more wrong. The most important part of the preparation process for an interview is research and there’s no better time to put your research skills to use.
Like many people in your situation, the main reason behind your fear of your upcoming interview is based on not knowing what to expect. It feels like you are heading into a wilderness, into uncharted territory. But you can change that by researching about the company or firm you are interviewing for, the open position, and potential interviewers. You can always ask the company about your interviewers and use the information provided to find their roles in the company.
It’s important you know the kind of interview to expect. Is it a one-on-one interview with a recruitment officer or senior leader, an interview with multiple interviewers at once, a virtual interview, or an interview presentation. Knowing this beforehand allows you to adapt your preparation to the kind of interview planned for you. Your research should also include common interview questions and answers.
- Prepare All Necessary Documents
The single most important document for most interviews is your resume and you’ll need to have several copies of it when going for an in-person interview. If you are to be interviewed by multiple people, each interviewer will want a copy of your resume.
Familiarize yourself with your resume as your interviewer may have questions about your qualifications or past experiences. Taking the time to prepare for this beforehand means you can explain your resume clearly with little effort.
Your future employer may also require you to come with copies of your diploma, degrees, or other certificates. Even if these documents aren’t requested, there’s nothing wrong with having copies of them in your folder. Some companies may request for copies of your certificates during the final documentation process, especially if you’ve been offered the job.
In case you can’t find your diploma or other certificates, you may need to buy a fake diploma. The same applies if your documents are damaged. As long as you actually graduated from your high school or University, you have nothing to fear from fake diplomas or degrees as your institution will confirm your graduation should your employer contact them.
- Your Outfit Matters…A Lot
Famous American designer, Edith Head, once said, “You can have anything you want in life if you dress for it.” Want to nail that interview and get the job? Then you need to dress for success.
Whether you admit it or not, your outfit matters and creates an impression on everyone you come across. So, it’s in your best interest that you dress well and look your best during your interview.
Most interviews require you to wear an official business outfit. Browse through your wardrobe and pick an appropriate outfit. If you can’t find one, you’ll have to get new clothes. Whether you already have an appropriate outfit or just buying one, make sure it’s ready well ahead of time and is properly ironed or steamed.
If you don’t have an appropriate outfit and can’t afford a new one, check for thrift stores in your area. Depending on where you live, you may also find services that lend interview clothes for people for a small fee.
- Pack Well Ahead Of Time And Figure Out Where You Are Going
Find a backpack, carry bag, or briefcase spacious enough to contain your documents, stationery, and everyday essentials. Ensure all items are packed and secured in the bag at least a day to the interview.
If you are going for an in-person interview, find out how to get to where you are going. It’s important you arrive early for your interview so you want to know about your route and plan ahead for traffic or transit delays.