Interviews are nerve-racking, no doubt about it. Most likely, the people interviewing you are strangers, you’ve never been to the building before, or you’ve been out of practice. People often think preparing for an interview means researching the company and thinking of thoughtful questions to ask, but here are some additional tips to help ensure your interview will go smoothly.
Map Your Route
Although it might seem obvious, many people don’t think to map out routes from their home to the site of the interview. They rely on their GPS or navigation app on their phone to guide them when the day comes. But what if you hit a detour? Or the GPS takes you to a different location? Even mapping it the night before to familiarize yourself with the route would be beneficial. Always have a second route prepared in case of an accident or detour. If driving, make sure you research parking, either by finding a garage in the vicinity or seeing if the office has spots for visitors to park. The last thing you want to do is be late to an interview because you had no idea where to park your car.
Have a Contact Number
So you finally make it to the building, but the door is locked. Security left for lunch and there is nobody to let you into the office. Now what? It is crucial to always have a way to contact the office if something like this happens. Whether it be a number they provide, or a number off an email they sent, don’t be afraid to call it. Before you leave, make sure to save a number in your phone for emergency purposes.
Research the Company
There’s a simple way to avoid the awkward silence after they ask you the “So what do you know about our company?” question: look up the company! If you really want to do well in an interview, you’re going to need to know the basics of the company you’re applying to work at, including the parts you like about it and how it aligns with your career path. Basic information like when it was founded and the CEO are certainly important, but try to focus more on how the company could help you as a professional and how you can help them as an employee. That way, when questions like, “How would you be an asset to our firm?” are asked, your answer can combine your knowledge of their company with your unique skill set.
As the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. Recruit a family member or friend to run through typical interview questions with you so you have a chance to plan out your answers. The more you get acquainted with the questions, the less nerve-racking they will seem. Just be warned, there might be a few unique questions thrown in, depending on the position you are applying for. Although difficult to practice for these questions, it is important to remember that not every employer has a script. You might not be able to anticipate every question, but expecting a few curveballs will eliminate the element of surprise.
Getting called in for an interview should be exciting. Don’t let your nerves get in the way of a great opportunity. Knowing that you are prepared for multiple situations will let you breathe easier on the day of the interview. Just remember, there’s no better way to be prepared than by being yourself.