The phone rings, you are asked to come for an interview. Immediately you start thinking of how to prepare. You begin answering mock questions in front of the mirror, review your resume and research your potential employer over and over again. All of these things are a normal part of preparing for an interview. But, are you doing all the right things? Take a look at this interview checklist that will help you be as prepared as you possibly can be for your next interview.
Be sure that you know where you are going so that you are not late. Get the best directions possible to your interview location and, if you have time, make a trial run by the location so that you know that you have it exactly right. Scan the area for parking, as you would want to allow more time if parking is tight.
Have several up-to-date copies of your resume available to hand out. It is best if the resume is the same as the one that you submitted with your job application. Be sure to bring enough extra copies so that there are plenty for the interview panel.
Another very important thing on the interview checklist is important documents. Be sure to bring any other documents that you wish to show the committee. It is much easier for you to give the panel what they want when you have brought any references or certificates you might need. Copies of certifications and letters of recommendation should be included in your interview package along with your resume.
Doing research on the company you are interviewing with is one of the best ways that you can prepare for a successful interview. With access to the Internet, you can find out everything that you need to know. As you are doing your research, be sure to make it a point to understand the mission of the organization and key elements that have made it a success.
Draft some questions that you will ask the people on the panel. The better formulated your questions, the more prepared and organized you will appear. Bring a notepad with your questions to the interview for reference. In most interviews, you will be given plenty of time to ask questions, don’t pass up this opportunity.
Dress for success
Dress for success when you go to an interview. Generally, a business suit in dark colors is the best choice but, depending on the job, something more business casual may also be appropriate. An interview is not generally the best time to pull out our crazy tie or wild skirt. Keep it modern, upbeat and conservative and you will probably be just fine. Be sure that your hair is combed, your beard trimmed and your nails are clean.
Review typical interview questions
Be familiar with typical interview questions and know your answer. Some common questions include:
- What is a difficult situation you have found yourself in? What did you do?
- What is your greatest strength?
- What is your greatest weakness?
- Why are you interested in this position?
- Why do you think that you are a good fit for this position?
- What is difficult for you?
- How do you measure success?
You can also research online, more typical interview questions to help you prepare.
Final thoughts for your interview checklist
Remember,in addition to this interview checklist, it is important to get plenty of sleep the night before your interview. Have a light breakfast before you leave and drink plenty of water.