How to Get Ready for an Interview
The best way to get ready for an interview is to be prepared, get organized, and do your research to know the company. When you have an interview lined up, you usually will experience a little stress and anxiety. This is completely normal. Having a few notes handy and practicing your interview answers will ease your fears and have you sounding like a pro.
Here are a few tips to give you everything you need to be well equipped and gear you up to ace the interview and land the job.
Getting Ready for an Interview
How should you prepare for your interview?
- Research the company. One of the easiest and most overlooked practices before an interview. Starting with the website is best, understand their mission, cultures, values, and history. However, dig deeper, look for news articles (past and recent), ambitions, and causes. Find out what their employees are saying.
- Research the position. If you have never held a role like the one you are applying for, this is a must. What does the position do? More importantly, what does this position do at this company?
- Prepare your questions. Most times, hiring managers will allow you to ask questions. This is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate the research you have done to show you are serious and prepared. Ask thoughtful questions. Questions that avoid being generic and pertain to the role are always best. Intertwine insights from your interview if you can, in addition to your research.
Check out our Most Common Interview Questions guide; use our guide to help you optimize your preparation time.
Tips on how to have a good job interview
- Do the basics. Be on time, be prepared, be well dressed, and be ready.
- Practice. Have a friend, parent, or colleague ask you questions. If it is a video interview, practice over video. Do the simulation in what you will wear to the interview; make it as real as possible.
- Have an approach to responses. When we are nervous, we can either ramble on, going off-topic, or we can talk too fast, leaving the question only partially answered. To handle this, people use approaches like STAR (Situation-Task-Action-Result), to help guide them through an answer. Use this method when you’re practicing to get ready.
Preparing for an Internal Interview
How to interview for a promotion
The best thing to do is to prepare when interviewing for an internal promotion is to treat it like any other interview. In most cases, you will be up against other external candidates, who are taking it seriously. It is best if you prepared for the interview with the same diligence and thoroughness as any other interview.
Promotion interview tips
As part of your preparation, identify thoughtful ways to distinguish yourself against external candidates. If this is a standard promotion, you can highlight your contributions and accomplishments in your current role. If it is a lateral promotion, highlight how your contributions have helped the entire company.
Internal interview questions and answers
In addition to answering the standard questions of the interview (e.g. ‘tell me about yourself…’), also be prepared to answer questions that may pry at your motivation. From the Balance Careers, this could include:
- Why do you want to leave your current job?
- Why do you want to get promoted?
- Would your manager recommend you for this position?
- What is it like working for your supervisor?
- What don’t you like about the job you’re in now?
How to Prepare for an International Interview
International interview questions and answers
If you’re trying to get an international job, there are a few additional considerations that you should be prepared for. GoAbroad.com, a site offering insights and opportunities abroad, provides some selected international interview questions (they provide example answers as well);
- Tell us about your international experience.
- What key skills and experiences can you bring to this job?
- Tell us about a time when you worked with people from different cultural backgrounds.
- What skills do you have that would help you adapt to working abroad?
Preparing for an Internship Interview
What to bring to an internship interview
- Extra copies of your resume, cover letter, and a business card (if you have one). Have them prepared and ready to distribute with ease.
- Examples of your work. You may not get an opportunity to pull them out, but in some internship interviews, an example to help demonstrate your skillset and experience can go a long way, leaving an image of your work in the interviewer’s mind.
Internship interview tips
- Be prepared. Dress professionally. Be on time. Practice your responses. Be cordial and make a good first impression.
- Be yourself. It sounds easy, but we can all get caught up in trying to impress others and lose sight of what we are after. Furthermore, a good interviewer will pick up on this and be distracted by what they may perceive as over-eagerness or even worse, boasting. One great technique is to take it slowly, take breaths, pause before you respond, and try to give the interviewers an accurate depiction of who you are.
- Understand how to demonstrate your skillset. Similar to your resume, you want to be able to articulate the results of your accomplishments for them to resonate with the listener. Take a few examples of your accomplishments and rehearse several responses that can be adapted based on the question.
Maria Gold is a Content Manager/Writer for Empire Resume. She is dedicated to helping educate and motivate people with the latest career articles and job search advice. Her interests range from writing to programming and design. She is also passionate about innovation, entrepreneurship, and technology.