We’ve all heard the famous quote “If you fail to plan, you are planning to fail.” This is especially true when it comes to an interview. Interviews can be nerve-wracking, which is why I wanted to share a few pointers on how to put your nerves at ease by preparing for your next interview.
Practice makes perfect
Most first-round interviews revolve around basic questions that should be relatively easy to answer because you get a chance to talk about yourself. What motivates you? What are your strengths? What’s your biggest weakness? Describe a difficult problem you’ve encountered and how you’ve handled it? These are standard interview questions and there’s a high probability you’ll get asked most of these in your next interview, even if it’s a technical interview! Write down your answers and practice saying them out loud. You can take this one step further and practice in front of someone or in front of a mirror. This is a chance to share your professional experiences, so in your responses, do it in a way that showcases your accomplishments and shows off your personality. These are both important as it confirms whether you’re a culture fit.
Be specific in your responses to questions, especially if they’re technical questions. They want to learn more about your background and see how you’d handle certain situations. Avoid being too vague or short in your responses. If the interviewer is asking a ton of follow-up questions to your answers, you’re probably being too vague. On the flip side, avoid rambling. You want to keep them engaged and if you’re taking too long to get to the point, they’ve probably stopped listening. Find a happy middle ground, most questions shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to answer.
Come prepared with position and company-related questions
Not only does it show you researched the company and have an interest in the position, but it can help you decide whether this will be a good fit for you. Yes, you’re the one getting interviewed, but this is a chance for you to understand more about them as well. Try to envision yourself there and if this isn’t fit, you got some interview practice in!
Find out who’s interviewing you
Knowing who you’re interviewing is crucial. Look them up on LinkedIn and find a way to sneak in something personal during your interview. Relating to your interviewer helps them picture working with you. If you went to the same college or share some of the same interests, bring them up! It makes you stand out and shows your interest in a memorable way.
At the end of the day, we’re all human. Interviewers expect you to be a little nervous and to have a fumble or two. Preparation is key and the more you prepare, the better you’ll do in your next interview. Good luck out there!