Nine Prep Tips to Ace Your Job Interview

Congratulations! You just got a call from the employer whose job posting seemed like a perfect fit, and they want you to interview next Wednesday. You’ve got a little less than a week to prepare to ace your interview. Here are nine prep tips to take:

1. Your Research. Use the Internet to research several key areas in which you’ll need to gain a solid level of knowledge:

a. The employer – visit their website to learn their history, management, lines of business, and their pressroom page to note their recent announcements.

b. The market(s) they serve, including the key competitors, and

c. The specific individuals with whom you will be interviewing – start with LinkedIn to view specific profiles.

2. Your Attire. Unless specifically instructed otherwise, clothes should be traditional business professional and are neatly pressed; the outfit is color coordinated, and polished shoes in good repair. Minimize jewelry and accessories. Be clean, well-groomed and scent-free. Hair should be neat, clean and out of your face.

3. Your Questions. Consider your audience and prepare questions in advance on a single sheet of paper. Your questions should reflect your interest in and research of, the employer and its markets and competitors. Best to prepare six to ten questions, though some will be answered in the interview and you’ll likely only have time for a few that were unanswered.

4. Your Answers. Prepare to asked questions that can be answered with an example or two of how you evidenced certain qualities in past situations. Sometimes it is helpful to review a list of ‘most likely to be asked’ questions and think through how you’ll answer with examples to support your answer. Do expect some curves to be thrown your way.

5. Your Body Language. Even before you open your mouth to greet your interviewer, your body language will have told a story about you. Think about appropriate body language for the interview: a confident smile, sitting and standing up straight, walking confidently, a firm professional handshake, positive eye contact, etc. and view yourself in a mirror or ask others to give you feedback about how you are doing.

6. Your Portfolio. This includes all of the materials you need to bring with you to the interview. Use a professional-looking leather portfolio or padfolio in good repair, Include original copies of your resume (bring three more than the number of people with whom you are scheduled to interview). Bring original letters of recommendation, awards, examples of “A” work all in protective plastic sleeves, with several crisp photocopies of these. Bring a sheet of relevant references. Bring business cards. Make sure you have a datasheet with all the details to complete a job application (if required). And bring your questions and your research on the employer and interviewers. Include a professional pen.

7. Your Phone. Don’t bring it into the building with you. It is a distraction at best. Your focus should be on your interview alone. Use waiting time to glance over the materials in your portfolio.

8. Your Arrival. Get directions in advance and confirm the location. Plan on arriving to the employer’s parking lot at least 15 minutes early. Be in the waiting room ten minutes early ready to go.

9. Your One-Minute Introduction. This is a crisp, naturally-delivered one minute introduction of who you are and why you are interested in meeting with this employer. Often called an elevator pitch, it should include your top three strengths and how you are looking to put them to work for your next employer.

Boyer Management Group works with universities, employers and job seekers alike to help them become more successful. For job seekers and universities, we offer the world’s first assessment to measure an individual’s knowledge and awareness of current and emerging career search best practices, along with the educational programs to support higher ed curriculum, career coaches and individual job seekers. For employers, we offer world-class talent acquisition and onboarding tools and programs. To find out more, please visit us at www.boyermanagement.com, email us at info@boyermanagement.com, or call us at 215-942-0982.

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