Anyone who has been through the job interview process knows that a lot is riding on a single first impression. A common misconception is that the first impression is established in the interview itself. However, for many hiring managers, their opinion of a candidate is determined before you even step foot in the building.
Therefore, to ace an interview, it requires you to prep beforehand. Luckily, some intentional, strategic planning can help you land those coveted interviews.
Fine Tune Your Resume
Your resume is, in fact, the primary document that provides a critical first impression for hiring managers. Unfortunately, if your resume fails to make a positive impression, you will not land the job interviews you desire. Therefore, a crucial part of the interview process is to ensure your resume stands out. These five resume tips will help ensure your resume gets you to the next step of the hiring process.
Attend to Your Social Media
Your professional social media profiles play a vital role in the job interview process. Perhaps you learned of a specific opportunity as a result of your networking efforts on social media. Maybe you were noticed by a recruiter because of an article you shared and your comments that demonstrate your personal brand. Now that you are looking for a new position and hoping to procure some job interviews, it is time to continue engaging in conversations and networking on all your professional social media platforms.
However, it is also imperative that you take note of your personal profiles. Hiring managers undoubtedly check your social media profiles—yes, even your personal profiles—to vet candidates. Therefore, ensuring all your profiles add to your personal brand is a critical part of preparing for the job interview process. What does your social media say about you? What does social media say about your job references?
Research the Company
Not researching the company before an interview would leave you walking into an interview room with an enormous disadvantage. You need to know the organization’s mission, culture, priorities. It is essential to determine whether your personal brand aligns with the company’s values, and, by doing so, you can ensure YOU would be the best fit during the interview.
Reach Out to Former Employees
Along with researching the company’s mission and values, talking to those who have experience with the company is extremely beneficial for a number of reasons.
One, it provides insight into what working with or for the organization is really like. Do people boast of positive experiences?
Two, you will get a feel for the company culture. What were the company’s expectations? Did they encourage authentic networking among team members? Do they have a stuffy or relaxed dress code? Do they allow remote work or flex hours?
Three, you will learn what the company truly values, and you can use that information to stand out in an interview. Alternatively, you may decide the company is not the right fit for you.
Using your research, plan out the behavioural questions you will likely be asked during an interview. If you interview with different organizations, be sure to anticipate questions specific to each of those unique companies.
Furthermore, take the time to practice—yes, out loud with a friend or colleague—your responses to interview questions. Why? This enables you to work out anything that feels awkward and build your confidence in your answers before you sit in an interview when nerves are in full swing.
Plan Your Wardrobe
Take the time to plan out your job interview attire well before the interview. The last thing you want to worry about right before an interview is your clothing. Instead, you want to use those final moments and the ride to your interview to practice your responses and prepare for the interview. Therefore, make sure all aspects of your attire are ready to go the day before your interview.