You have been there--getting ready for the interview that could change the direction of your career. Sometimes through the excitement of it all, we forget some of the basics of preparing for the interview. Below are good reminders for the big day:
1. Do as much homework as you can to know the company you are interviewing with.
Reading the company's web site is absolutely necessary. Hiring authorities have told me that the candidate asked questions they could have easily found on their web site. You guessed it. The candidate didn't get the job because they didn't impress the hiring authority.
As you review their web site, jot down questions. These questions will help you get a sense of the company's goals and direction once you get to the interview.
If you know an employee in the company, check with them to see how they like working there and to identify issues the company may be facing.
If it is a public company, review their financial information. This can be easily done by using their stock symbol and pulling up their financial information on the web.
Learn people's names in the organization as you review the web site. It should be very obvious that you have prepared for the interview and understand their structure and business.
The morning of the interview, make one last check to see if there is any news-breaking press release on the company. Nothing is more embarrassing than to arrive at their door and not know the current company buzz in the headlines that morning.
2. Have everything together the night before.
Don't wait until the morning of the interview to pull everything together. We all know how quickly time can get away from us.
Have several copies of your resume printed and in your portfolio. It is also very important to know what is on your resume. If you haven't read your resume in a while, re-read it and know your stats. You should know your quota achievements, awards, account wins, and other accomplishments. Success will sell itself as you relay it to the people interviewing you.
And, yes, you should pre-think what professional attire you will look and feel best in for the interview. Have your clothes ready to go so you don't have to deal with that in the morning.
3. Be ready to go mentally
Short of sounding like your mother, make certain you get some good nights of sleep prior to the interview. Also, allow plenty of time to get to your interview. I always suggest cushioning it a bit so you are not uptight once you get there. Being mentally sharp and ready to go will make all the difference and can set you apart from someone who isn't as prepared and alert.
Pre-think your interview and be prepared. If you are prepared, then you will be able to enjoy the conversation. The chemistry between you and the hiring authority is a big determinant as to whether the interview process will continue. If you are confident and ready for the interview, they will get to know you at your best and you will be able to catch all the important signals about your potential new home.