Facing a job interview can feel overwhelming. Everyone you know likely has suggestions for what you need to do to succeed. Some focus on what to wear, others on how to act, and many will suggest which questions to prepare for, based on their own interview experiences.
Instead of worrying about dozens of small details, let's examine two key things you can do that will help you succeed in your upcoming interview.
1) Review Your Resume and Your Past Experiences
Guaranteed: the interviewer is going to ask you questions, and will expect that you provide answers that draw upon your previous experience. They will then use your answers to determine if you have the skills and qualifications needed to succeed in the opening they are trying to fill.
Therefore, before you head into an interview, review your resume and think through your unique experiences. What would you like to talk about in the interview? What successes would you like to highlight? What skills do you want to emphasize? Taking some time to take stock and evaluate what makes you unique will help you be prepared to answer the questions you are asked.
Consider jotting down a few notes. Was there a project you were especially proud of? Is there a cost savings or sales increase you were responsible for that you would like to highlight? If you have patents or publications, you may want to write down a few that pertain to the new role, so you can be sure to mention them.
Your goal during the interview is to express how your previous roles have prepared you for this opening. By reviewing your successes and thinking through the actions that allowed you to achieve the results you obtained, you will be prepared to answer interview questions with specific details.
Although practicing a list of common interview questions may be helpful, reviewing your own experiences may be more practical...and less overwhelming. After all, it is not possible to predict which questions will actually be asked at an interview, and those you practice may never be raised. By focusing on having a solid command of your past successes and current skills, you will arm yourself with answers to whatever is asked.
2) Prepare Your Own Questions to Ask During the Interview
You may not think asking your own questions during an interview is important for success, but it is. Hiring managers repeatedly tell us that a candidate that doesn't have any questions to ask is viewed upon poorly. It shows a lack of interest and engagement, both which are required for a successful interview.
In addition, asking questions helps you determine if the position is a good match for you. A study from The Muse and a recent Pew Research Center study both indicate that those who switched jobs during the “Great Resignation” weren’t always satisfied with the outcome. Finding out if the job will be a good fit -- before you accept it -- can save you a lot of hardship down the road. Therefore, a successful interview needs to be viewed from both the perspective of the interviewer, who wants to determine if you are the right candidate, and the interviewee, who wants to determine if they should accept the role, should it be offered.
Not sure what questions to ask? In general, it is best to remember that you need to ask the questions that will provide you the information required to make an informed decision about the position. Of course, these questions will vary by individual. For example, some candidates are concerned with work/life balance, whereas others are focused on company culture. Revision Resume has a thorough blog providing detailed suggestions for job seekers who are unsure of what to ask.
Facing an interview is stressful. Preparing with the two tips above will help you achieve success without feeling overwhelmed. Need additional assistance in your job search journey? Reach out to Revision Resume. We are here to help!
Interested in additional interview tips? Click on the following links:
What to Say When You Don't Know the Answer to an Interview Question
Interview Preparation: Beyond Practicing Common Interview Questions