Many people feel unsure about how to prepare for an interview. It’s helpful to follow a checklist of actions to take, so here is one you can use.
__ Clarify with the employer the format of the interview (in person, video, or phone).
__ Thoroughly review the employer’s website. Pay extra attention to any sections that explain their mission or values. These are often areas that the employer expects you to know.
__ Revisit the job description (if you have one) and write out all accomplishments you have that match the material they list as required or preferred on the job description.
__ The most important moments of the job interview are the first ones where many interviewers will ask something like, “Tell me about yourself.” Prepare a brief intro using this format:
“I’m a <type of professional> with a strong track record of <your most relevant strength> and <your second most relevant strength>. I am interested in this job because <something that explains how this job fits with your overall career goals>.”
As an example, “I’m a graphic designer with a strong track record of creating digital visual concepts and working effectively with teams from advertising, public relations, and marketing. I’m interested in this job because I’m eager to help the Red Cross promote its mission of helping people in need.”
___ Prepare 6-8 C-A-R stories that illustrate your best achievements.
C = Challenge
A = Action
R = Result
Here’s an example: “When I joined the marketing team at XYZ Co, our brand recognition with Gen Z was very poor. In collaboration with an agency I chose and hired, we designed and implemented an advertising and social media campaign that was highly successful. Using Google Analytics to measure the demographics of our website visitors, we attained a 30% increase in traffic with much of it coming from visitors age 16-21.”
__ Use the internet to find examples of the interview questions most likely to be asked by the employer for the specific job you are seeking. For example, using the Google search: Amazon interview questions Product Manager – these are the top sites that come up:
There are many more sources, but after the first few, the questions repeat.
Build a document with the questions from these sources and take the time to write out your responses. Use the C-A-R stories you developed in the step above.
__ Practice your responses by speaking them into a smart phone recorder, practicing with a friend, or role playing with a career coach.
__ Manage any job interview anxiety by using these job interview anxiety reduction strategies.
__ After the interview, send a thank you note reiterating why you think you are a good fit for the role and adding anything you didn’t mention in the interview.
__ Since waiting to hear after an interview can be very stressful, direct your energy to generating more opportunities so that you aren’t gambling on only one.
__ Keep finding new job leads and going to interviews until you have accepted a written job offer.