There’s nothing worse than being unprepared for an interview. It’s like walking into class not knowing you had an exam that day. But what if you knew the answers before you started? When you’re planning to be interviewed for a job or internship position, there are a few things to know before going in. Whether you’re a newbie to the game or you’re a seasoned survivor, here are five things you should do to be totally prepared for your interviews.
1. Update your résumé
If you didn’t already know, a résumé reflects what you’ve accomplished over the course of your academic and professional career. It also allows you to record the things you’ve done over the years that make you look good to your potential employers.
A solid rule you should know when updating your résumé: if it happened more than five years ago, it probably doesn’t need to be showcased. The things you did in high school do not apply to what you’ve accomplished in your college career, so you can go ahead and get rid of that 10th grade honor roll achievement. It’s in the past.
2. Go to bed early
If you know you have an interview scheduled for 8:00 am, don’t think you can watch two seasons of Shameless until 3:00 am and not pay the price for it in the morning.
If you turn in early, you’ll get a good night’s sleep, then you’ll wake up feeling refreshed and ready to start the day. You’ll also wake up early enough to catch a hot Mocha Light Frappuccino to really get the ball rolling for your interview.
3. Practice your elevator speech
There’s nothing scarier than when an interviewer asks you to tell them about yourself. You have a moment of panic like, “OMG WHO AM I?!” Have no fear! Stay calm and remember these three things: who you are, what you're looking for in the job/position, and how you can be a benefit to the company or organization.
I typically start with my education level, major, and any experience I have that is relevant to the position I’m being interviewed for. The rest is up to you! Find out what your best qualities and skills are and make them known.
4. Prepare follow-up questions
Of course, with the interviewers questioning you, you may not think to ask any questions of your own. But asking questions at the end of an interview shows that you’re really interested in the position and you’re clearly eager to learn more.
It’s obviously not smart to ask questions you already know the answers to, but you could ask for a clearer understanding of the job. You could ask things like, “How did you feel when you were in this position I’m applying for?” “What can I expect to take away from this job?” or “Is there anything I need to do while waiting for your decision?” The responses you receive may be beneficial in the long run.
When you have everything prepared, relax. Show up to your interview with confidence and pride. You now have the proper tools to impress the interviewers and hopefully come out with a job!
How do you prepare for a big interview? Share your strategies in the comments!