Your interview is in three hours. Interviews can be stressful and intimidating, whether in person, over the phone or virtually. With the right amount of preparation, you can reduce anxiety and feel confident you'll make an excellent first impression. Before your interview begins, here are a few things you can do to prepare for it.
While chewing gum freshens your breath, it’s distracting and unprofessional. Make sure to throw your gum out before your interview begins. Most human resources professionals will provide the dress code in an email, but if you’re unsure, don’t be afraid to ask. While you might feel uncomfortable if you’re overdressed, that’s far better than showing up underdressed.
Learn as much as you can about the company. Interviewers often find a way to test how much you know about their company. While your interviewer won’t expect you to memorize the company history, they will expect you to know about their business, the industry, and the people they serve. It would help if you also researched some recently launched campaigns to get familiar with their brand. Taking the time to learn about the company you are interviewing with demonstrates interest in the position and will reflect positively on you.
At some point, your interviewer will say, “tell me a little about yourself.” While these questions may make you anxious, this is your opportunity to talk about what you will bring to the role. Get comfortable speaking about yourself and what you can do because no one knows your personal brand better than you.
It’s normal to get nervous before an interview. You can prepare yourself by researching questions and reciting your answers out loud. While you can’t anticipate every question, you can prepare answers for some of the most frequently asked, increasing your confidence.
If you’re stuck, ask the interviewer to rephrase the question, or repeat it aloud. These techniques buy you a little time to find an appropriate answer. Once you’re at the end of the interview, consider asking a few questions like these from Forbes.com.
Bring a bottle of water into the interview. If your throat feels dry or you need a second to calm your nerves, take a small sip. This could be yet another technique to buy time, gather your thoughts and formulate the answer to a question.
Bring a copy of the job description to the interview, where you’ve noted questions to ask about specific roles and responsibilities. If you’re interviewing for a marketing coordinator role, ask what a day in the life of a marketing coordinator looks like at the company. This approach will get your interviewer talking. While they speak, take some time to digest the information and understand what your duties will include.
As the semester winds down, you realize your professional image still needs work. If you’re wondering what to do next, maybe it’s time to start working on your brand.