How to Prepare for an Interview the Right Way

January 13, 2021
How to Prepare for an Interview the Right Way

Image via Creative Commons by David Davies

Resumes by themselves do not solve many of the concerns that job applicants face in the workforce. Paper resumes can easily be accidentally discarded among the thousands of papers employers receive every day. Employers may miss resumes from candidates who have everything they would like in an employee or only skim through them, overlooking key information.

Interviews give candidates a chance to correct any misunderstandings, fill in the gaps, and make a positive impression. The time you spend preparing for an interview is a valuable investment in your future career. Here are a few tips to help you get prepared for an interview:

1. Know Who You Are and What You Want

First, think about what your career path looks like. What is your general trajectory? Where do you want to be in five years, or ten?

Second, what value you will be offering to employers? It is important to know what skills, traits, and experience you possess in order to sell yourself. After you familiarize yourself with the job requirements, see if the duties of the position make sense to you. Ask yourself if you need to improve on some skills or if you are truly qualified. Are you a good fit for the job? Why? Every interviewer will ask these kinds of questions, so take some time to form an answer.

2. Learn About the Company

Learning about the company where you are applying is one of the most important steps in preparing for an interview. An interview is a conversation, and you need to be able to carry your end. When the interviewer asks what you think about their new line of research, for example, you want to be able to put together a thoughtful answer.

Before you interview, check to see if the company has an upcoming product launch or big initiatives. Look for annual reports and customer ratings to get a feel for the state of the company. You may also be able to find mentions or even detailed information about the company in industry news, magazine articles, or research papers. A variety of sources can reveal important information about a company, so take the time to look and inform yourself.

3. Connect With the Interviewer

The person you meet at your interview will likely have the biggest, if not the only or final, say in whether or not you the job. Even if your interviewer isn't the manager, their duty is to gauge how well you would fit into the company community. They probably have a certain type of employee in mind — someone who will ease the company's problems and get along well with those who already work there.

This is why it is recommended that you try to find common ground with the interviewer, and the company as a whole. Do your research on the company's culture and values before you get to the interview stage, and be sure to highlight why your values align with those of the company as well as why you would be a good social fit.

4. Practice What You Will Say

To prepare for a job interview, nothing beats practice. Generally, employers do not view nervousness as a positive sign. Take the time to ask yourself what might make you nervous and work on those areas. If you have a lack of knowledge in a certain area, spend time reading and studying to brush up. If you're worried about what to say, have a friend conduct a mock interview with you so you can practice answering common interview questions. Be sure to include questions that are specific to your field, or even to the company where you are applying. The more you practice, the better organized your thoughts will be during the real interview.

5. Delve Into Your Experience

You may be confused when the word 'experience' appears in a job advertisement. What exactly are they looking for? What will the interviewer ask about?

In general, when interviewers ask about your experience, they are looking for selling points — examples that can be used to give weight and context to your achievements. They want to know how you performed the tasks that led to your amazing results. Be sure to quantify your achievements with specific numbers and statistics when possible. If you once organized a trade show that led to a series of repeat customers, for instance, try to figure out exactly how many customers your company gained or how many sales were made as a result. Credit your creativity wherever it is due.

6. Upload All Your Content Online

A resume is only one part of the job application. Most applications require resumes, but few require video submissions. It is startling to note that, according to research by Wonderlic, 41% of employers may decline to interview a candidate whom they cannot find online. Interviewers will want to know more about you than your resume alone can tell them. That is why Jäbôrd prepared an interactive platform where you can upload all of your videos, multimedia content, and professional portfolio. Sign up with Jäbôrd so that interviewers can find you right away. You will have a whole package ready to send to multiple employers with a simple click.

7. Read Similar Job Descriptions

Thorough study builds confidence. As part of your preparation for the interview, familiarize yourself with the job requirements for positions at other companies. You should be able to find comparable positions that require similar qualifications. To make things easier, Jäbôrd will present you with all the different companies that you can meet with. Go to their job search page and start applying for jobs that you are qualified for. If you do not meet all of the requirements, try to explain your 'selling points' to the companies and demonstrate that your education, skills, and experience make up for whatever qualifications you lack.

In summary, the best way to prepare for an interview is by knowing yourself and practicing. Many employers interview dozens of applications. Confident candidates who know their own worth will stand out. With a little help from Jäbôrd, you can share your knowledge, experiences, and track records in a way that will impress potential employers.