Job seekers are often told to practice common interview questions prior to an interview. This is great advice. Yet, Revision Resume believes that preparation for an upcoming interview should go beyond just practicing how you will answer the difficult questions you are bound to be asked. To set yourself up for success, consider taking the following additional steps.
Verify the Details of the Interview
It is best to get the interview details in writing, if possible. Be sure you understand how the interview is being held (virtually or in-person). What time is the interview? If you are interviewing with a company in a different state, be sure to verify the time zone.
You also need to know how long to expect the interview to last, so you can plan your day accordingly. Therefore, it is fair to ask how much time the interview will take.
It is also worthwhile to ask who will be interviewing you. This will give you the opportunity to research the interviewers on LinkedIn. You can be sure they are researching you, so it is acceptable to learn about them prior to meeting as well. You may also find it helpful to know if you are going to be interviewed by a team of people or just one person.
Finally, do you need to prepare for anything special? For example, will you be expected to give a presentation or provide a sample of your work?
Practice the Technology, if Appropriate
Many interviews are being conducted virtually. If this is the case for you, we advise that you practice the technology in advance.
Log In Successfully and Practice
Make sure you can successfully log into whatever platform is being used. Often it is not as easy as just clicking on a link sent to you via email. Your computer may need to download an app. Even if it is a program you have previously used, an update may be necessary.
You don't want to be late to the virtual interview because you didn't anticipate the download or update. A day or so in advance, verify that you have the right technology and it will be easy to login.
Practice using the software. Make yourself aware of how to turn the camera and microphone on and off. Test out the chat feature in case you need to use it due to technical difficulties during the interview.
Look at Your Background
While you are practicing, take the opportunity to check the background of your space. Do you have anything inappropriate in the video window? Is it cluttered in appearance? Remember you are giving the interviewer a peek into your home. You want to provide a professional view.
Practice Eye Contact
Practice looking in the camera. This may feel awkward because you have to look to the edge of the screen, not directly at the screen. But, it is best to be looking the interviewer in the eye, and that may require you to actually be looking in a different direction than their image. Getting used to this may take some practice.
Practice the Drive, if Appropriate
If the interview is in-person, consider driving to the location ahead of time, so you know where you are going. Pay attention to see if traffic is heavy or construction is underway. Estimate the time it will take you on the day of the interview, and consider adding extra time just in case you encounter an accident or other slowdown.
It is best to arrive a little early as opposed to being late. See if there is a coffee shop nearby that you could wait in, if you end up getting to the interview location way too early.
Make a Plan to Avoid Interruptions
Whether you are interviewing in-person or virtually, you will want to make sure the interview is not inadvertently interrupted. Consider silencing your cell phone.
For virtual interviews, make plans for someone to care for your children. Ask a friend to take your dog for a walk or be sure to keep them out of the interview space. Thinking of these potential disruptions in advance will allow you to make plans to avoid them.
Preparing for an interview goes beyond just practicing how you will answer those tough questions. By taking the steps described above, you will set yourself up for success.
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