Interviews can be stressful and nerve-wracking for students, as there are multiple steps required to prepare for one. As important as it may be to show that you are qualified for the positions you apply for, lack of qualification isn’t always why you won’t get a job. While you might not be right for certain positions, sometimes a rejection is a sign that the position wasn’t right for you. Preparing for a job interview means knowing what you are looking for just as much as knowing what a company is looking for.
To prepare for an interview, you should research the company, study your resume and look over the job description before practicing interview questions. Researching the company takes time, but it can give some insight into what they offer to their employees and how to answer their interview questions. According to Indeed, “Researching the company you’re applying to is an important part of preparing for an interview. Not only will it help provide context for your interview conversations, but it will also help you when preparing thoughtful questions for your interviewers.” If the company sells products or offers services, then you should learn about them to understand why you might want to work there. If possible, you can also request a sample of the company’s products or services to educate yourself and perform better in the interview.
Likewise, it’s important to research the culture and values of a company, as this information can help the hiring manager determine if your values align with those of the business. You can typically find this information on a company’s social media accounts or blogs. Furthermore, you can look at the “About” section on their website to learn more about their mission, values, history and culture. Hanne Keiling, a writer for Indeed, states, “No matter how good a job seems, it’s important that you fit within the company culture and share a similar personality and values.”
If you want to research more about an employer but don’t know where to look, Indeed’s editorial team wrote “The Complete Guide to Researching a Company.” The website also provides information on the reviews, mission and values of various companies for those who want to know if a business has a professional work environment.
You can also go to the company website’s “About Us” section to learn about its employees, management team and CEO. Students can find more information on the executives and department directors if they have LinkedIn or other social media accounts. According to the Indeed editorial team, you should look at their social media profiles to find out, “What are their posts like? Are they proud to represent the brand or work in this industry? Some company leaders may have been interviewed or written books and articles that give you insight into their thinking.”
If you want to know if a company has a healthy work environment, you can scan news headlines for potential red flags. If possible, you should try to find out if the company has experienced massive layoffs, corporate mergers, buyouts or a new CEO in recent years. The Indeed editorial team states, “Such changes can bring opportunities, but could also result in low employee morale and leave a volatile work environment in their wake.”
Similarly, the Better Business Bureau website contains reviews and complaints for businesses that have had recent problems. The site’s mission statement claims, “BBB sees trust as a function of two primary factors — integrity and performance. Integrity includes respect, ethics, intent and working toward a diverse, inclusive and equitable marketplace.”
After researching a company, you should look over the job description and see the qualifications, qualities and background that the hiring manager is looking for in an ideal candidate. Meeting all these qualifications will demonstrate that you are prepared for the job. Reading the job description carefully will also give you an idea of what questions to ask and what questions the hiring manager may present. According to Keiling, “Before your interview, you should have a good understanding of why you want the job and why you’re qualified. You should be prepared to explain your interest in the opportunity and why you’re the best person for the role.”
Practicing interview questions multiple times might improve your chances of being hired. Interview questions can be as basic as “What is your weakness?” or “If you were in an awkward situation while working in customer service, how would you handle it?” As you practice answering these questions, be sure to think through your answers, as they may provide an opportunity for you to show your creative side.
When practicing for an interview, you should also focus on your voice and body language. You can practice in front of a mirror, with a friend or family member or do a mock interview with a career counselor. While practicing, you can also come up with questions to ask the hiring manager. However, you should only ask questions that show you’ve researched the company and the details of the job.
Getting prepared for an interview takes some time, but at the end of the day, it’s worth it. You’ll not only be prepared to rock your interview, but you’ll also gain confidence and an understanding of why you want the job and what you could do for the company.
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