Interviews—we all have to do them at some point, and yet we all dislike them. After all, it’s not easy to appear confident, knowledgeable, and likeable when your palms are sweating and you’re worried about what the interviewer is writing down as you speak. Unfortunately there’s no way we can make interviewing your new favorite hobby, but there are plenty of ways you can prepare for the interview so that you truly feel more confident, and therefore give yourself a much better shot of landing the job. Here’s how.
It’s more than just cat videos. This is the perfect place to calm your nerves about being the worst interviewee and more importantly, show you examples of people acing their interviews so that you know how to answer the tough questions. Do a search for sample interviews, good and bad interviews, and even interview tips so that you can assess common interview questions and strategize your answers accordingly. Pay attention to their eye contact and body language as well, since this can speak volumes about your confidence (or lack thereof), almost as much as your verbal answers.
Glassdoor is a tool that everyone should have in their job-hunting toolbox, and not just for finding positions but also uncovering the lowdown of working for different companies. Because their reviews come straight from the mouths of current and former employees, you’ll gain much more insight and tips about the general experience, environment, or culture—and even employees—that you just can’t get from a website’s ‘About Us’ page.
A perfect pitch
There’s no such thing as over-preparing for a job interview, and even if it feels over-rehearsed, perfecting your elevator pitch is the only way that it’ll sound second nature—and, therefore, convincing—when you deliver it during the interview. Boil it down to a concise explanation of your role, experience, and strengths, and how these will benefit the company you’re interviewing for. Make sure to keep your language simple and avoid the buzz words and technical speak that drag down most resumes.
Company and market knowledge
It’s not enough to know the inner workings of your role. You’ve got to know the inner workings and goals of the entire business as much as possible in order to get a big picture idea of how you can contribute and grow within the company. You should also know the market at large—what types of strategies have fallen by the wayside, and what new tools and technologies have taken their place? What roadblocks do they anticipate in their near future as a result of their industry, and how are their values aligned (or not) to combat these challenges?
Read up as much as you can—both on the website as well as any relevant publications or external company mentions—to familiarize yourself as much as possible. There are websites like TrustRadius that review software and technology for businesses where you can get real opinions on many of the programs that companies are using today.
Mock interview tools
Once you’re armed with company knowledge, your answers to FAQs, and some body language tips, it’s time to put it all together in a practice test. The My Interview Simulator site features nearly 50 interview questions (with suggested responses) and a handful of interview simulations so you can go through the process in real time. Consider recording your interview and playing back to get a feel for which answers need more work, and where your strengths are. Make note of any places you mumble or lose track of thought and figure out how to strengthen those places (more information on the topic? More practice with a particular answer?).
You can even go as far as dressing in your interview clothes (especially if dressing in a business-like way is rare or unfamiliar for you) to cut down on any distraction on the big day.
Taylor McKinney is an Marketing Specialist at TrustRadius, which has become the most trusted website for B2B software reviews. When she is not writing about the latest tools and small business trends she is enjoying Austin’s beautiful scenery with her family.