Are You Ready for Your Interview?

It seems like a silly question. Of course you are, right? Maybe not. Each time you schedule an interview, you need to do some prep work.

1) Research the company that is interviewing you

Nothing is more annoying to the interviewer than the consultant knowing nothing about the company with which they’re interviewing. Make sure you know some of the more important things about the company. If they’ve been in the news, be up to date on those events. That basic knowledge may impact your success.

2) Research the role you’re interviewing for within that company

Not only is it important to review the company, it’s also very smart to learn about the role you’re interested in. You should be able to apply your experience or passions from your resume and detail how your past will work with that company’s future needs.

3) Find some practice scenarios online

There are plenty of resources online for inteviewing. Just “google it,” and you’ll find a plethora of tools to help hone your answers. Be sure to cover the basics — your strengths, weaknesses, and areas of improvements. Make sure you know your stuff: You should know correct terminology and represent your abilities reflected in your resume.

3) Have your 30 second,  two and five minute “elevator” speeches

You’ll be prompted to provide a “who you are” statement. This is your opportunity to summarize who you are and what is on your resume. It’s always smart to have a quick version and a longer one.  They will always want to know details about you and your resume. Be sure to be able to speak to this and how it applies to that company very quickly.

4) Work with someone

When looking for a new job, it’s always good to practice your answers with a person. Take someone to lunch or out for a drink and have them ask you questions. It doesn’t really matter the question so much, but your ability to think on your feet and respond appropriately. I’ve been in situations that I’ve felt like someone was pushing me to see how I’d react. When I felt the questions were not important or inappropriate for the role, I pushed back. Yes, I landed that job.

5) Stand up and smile

Most first interviews are on the phone. Be sure to stand up for these — the interviewer can sense a different “presence” from you even on the phone. I will often take interviews in an office with a mirror. That way I am always making “eye contact” and keeping a positive physical presence. This makes a big difference.

How do you prepare?

2 Responses to “Are You Ready for Your Interview?”

  1. Excellent reminders for things I often forget. Thx.

    How do I prepare? Make sure I know the names of the people I will be talking with, especially if it’s a group interview. Review my own resume to ensure that I know the sequence of jobs since the interviewer will often jump around. Of course, this is easy since it’s *me*, but it gets me in the mode for an interview.

  2. re: 5) Standup and smile

    Skype (and others) allow visual. You will be seen, or not, standing rather than sitting, which would not work face-to-face, I suggest dressing smartly, sitting up straight and looking at the camera as you would a person.