Even if you feel like your interview prep is in 100% tip-top shape, it never hurts to do a quick review to keep you on the up-and-up. And if you’re not sure, there’s no time like the present for a refresher.
Do your homework
Not having knowledge of the company that’s interviewing you, not asking good questions as an interviewee, and not answering questions well. These represent several different categories of interview prep that you’ll want to stay on top of.
Researching the company
When going on an interview, it’s best to look proactive and interested by doing some research. In most interviews, you’ll be expected to share what you know about the company. This is quite often the interviewer’s segue into his or her “about us” elevator speech. If you don’t have anything at all to offer up here, you may have just sealed your fate.
Asking questions in an interview
Well for starters, we have an entire blog dedicated to this topic. Check it out! But in short, the process of researching the company will often make it rather easy for you to come up with some very pointed questions for your interviewer. As a general rule, try to have more than necessary because some of your questions will be answered during the interview conversation itself. Having extra questions means you’ll still have something to ask when it’s your turn.
In terms of interview questions, there are tons of resources online for practice interview questions. Look at a few lists and have answers to the basic questions. But don’t stop there! Take it to the next level. Answer each question out loud—literally, out loud. You may be surprised at how that clear answer in your head struggles to make its way to your lips in a cohesive fashion. Answer each question over and over until you can provide a solid, dependable answer.
Don’t forget the possibility of behavioral based questions. Check out this blog to learn more.
Talking about previous employers
This one seems easy and commonsensical until you are faced with the question, “What did you dislike most about your current/most recent job?” Or something to that effect. We all have had negative work experiences, and there are diplomatic ways to explain the downsides of your last job. The worst thing you can do is to create a laundry list of judgments and complaints against your previous employer.
Timeliness is key
Of course, be on time! Sometimes traffic happens, or you get lost on the way. For that reason, it’s great to give yourself a cushion when leaving your house. When you get to your destination, walk in 10 minutes before your appointment. And if despite your best efforts, you realize you are going to be late, call to see if it is still ok to come or if it is best to reschedule.
Dress to impress! You really never have to worry about upsetting your interviewer by being overdressed. In fact, plan to be dressed more formally than your interviewer. After you have the job, you may be able to relax your attire a bit.
Avoidance of questions
Even if you are blessed with the gift of gab, you will not be able to distract the interviewer from the fact that you’re avoiding a question. When interviewees do this, it sends a red flag, so you may as well just work through the question the best you can.