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Top tips for preparing for your next job interview

Two men in business attire shake hands while sitting in plush chairs, about to start an interview

Job interviews can be intimidating and stressful, to say the least.

One of the best ways to beat those pre-interview jitters is to feel prepared. But you’ve already read the job description about 50 times, and you know your resumé inside and out. What else can you do?

Don’t fret! We’ve got four tips to help you prepare for your next job interview.

 

1. Confirm who you will be meeting with

If the meeting was set up by a hiring manager or someone from the HR department, don’t just assume you’ll just be meeting with them. They will likely be joined by someone else on the hiring team and/or the head of the department looking to fill the position.

Check the company’s website for heads of departments, or fire off a quick email to ask who you will be meeting with.

 

2. Check the interviewer’s LinkedIn and Twitter profiles

Once you know who you’ll be meeting with, take some time to try and find out more about them.

LinkedIn is a great place to start. You can check out their previous roles and see how long they’ve been with the organization. But keep scrolling to the bottom. If there are any endorsements or recommendations, these can give you a good idea of what your prospective boss is good at.

Twitter can also be a handy resource. What articles are they sharing? Are their tweets opinionated or casual? Are they more serious and formal? This can help give you a bit of an idea of your interviewer’s personality, interests and values.

 

3. Rehearse your “about me” answer

Chances are, one of the first questions you’ll get is some form of “Tell us a little about yourself.”

Plan your answer using a few quick bullet points to keep things short and to the point.

As Glassdoor’s Isabel Thottam recently told Fast Company, this is all about making a good first impression so try to avoid a long rambling backstory.

“Skip your personal history and give about two to three sentences about your career path and how you ended up in this interview, applying for this job,” she said. “You don’t need to be too detailed, there are plenty more questions coming. You just want to leave enough curiosity that the interviewer becomes excited to learn more about you throughout the interview.”

Take a few minutes to map out what points you want to make and commit it to memory – loosely, no need to memorize it word for word.

 

4. Come up with one great question to ask

At some point near the end of the interview, you will likely be asked if you have any questions.

To avoid an awkward silence while you try to think of what to ask, come prepared with one good question.

What that question is might depend on where you are in your career. Some suggestions include opportunities for career advancement, how performance is measured, expectations of the role or even looking to dig deeper into the company culture.

Psychologist and talent expert Tomas Chamorro-Premuzic suggests asking qualitative questions like, “Why do you see X as important?” or “How do you see Y changing in the future?”

This will show your interviewers that you’re thinking ahead and considering how the role fits into the organization overall. But it also shows something more fundamental – curiosity. “Just being curious is a marketable job skill,” Chamorro-Premuzic wrote in a recent column. He describes curiosity as “the precursor to learning faster and better, and thereby adapting to change rather than succumbing to it.”

Exhibiting curiosity shows the interviewer that you’re actually interested in the job. And that could be the thing that helps you stand out from the pool of potential candidates.

 

Published on June 11, 2021.
Last updated June 15, 2021.