This is an exciting time of the year for several of you since graduation is coming up and you’ll be en route to the reality of working and paving the path for your dream career.
But first, you need to get through a few tough interviews. Oh how we all dread interviews – initially, we feel nothing, but excitement, then those feelings turn into sleepless nights, shoot up our stress levels, and bring on the nerves – nothing good at this point. However, I can assure you that one thing will give you the confidence needed to ace that interview and that is: Preparation!
So how does one go about preparing anyway?
The best way to prepare is to find a list of questions relevant to the industry and employer you’re interviewing with and jot them all down – I recommend having at least 10 questions ready. Next, you need to formulate well-thought out answers to those questions and write them down. I emphasize writing them down so that you won’t forget and so you can refer back to the situations and examples you’ve already used.
Your answers should focus on what you can bring to the table in terms of the position and employer and most importantly, you should be able to provide very specific examples to backup the skills you’re selling. Also, think about how your responses and examples can be manipulated to answer different questions in case you’re not asked the ones you were expecting. I recommend avoiding statements you’ve already made on your resume or cover letter since you would just be telling the hiring manager what they’ve already read. I assume your resume is a masterpiece in itself, which is how you landed the interview in the first place.
Since the actual interview is your spotlight and really your time to shine, make sure you have plenty of strong examples and comments that add value to the paper you’ve turned in.
I’ve had people come to me for advice constantly wondering how I’m able to formulate eloquent answers in such short timeframes during interviews and I can assure you that I’m definitely not a natural. However, I work very hard in preparing myself until the last minute. This means I have no
problem walking into a room with a notebook opened filled with notes (i.e. my answers) and glancing down at them if I need a refresher. Anyone should feel confident enough to do the same if it helps them.
Doing the things above will get your thoughts moving and allow you to remind yourself of the accomplishments you’ve had thus far. This enables you to relax and speak confidently about what you’ve achieved. Just remember that the more you interview, the better you get at them and the more prepared you are, the better off you’ll be. And finally, don’t forget to ask appropriate, meaningful questions as well.
Image Source Credits – Visual Optimism