5 Crucial Interview Preparation Tips

By Leanne Scarola

No matter how many times you have gone on an interview it is never easy. That being said, you should always spend time preparing yourself. On average, every corporate job opening attracts 250 resumes but only 4-6 get interviewed and only 1 gets the job. You have one shot to impress the company you’re interviewing for. According to an article by Undercover Recruiter, “when meeting new people, 55% of the impact comes from the way the person dresses, acts and walks through the door.” First impressions are extremely important and practicing for the interview is vital.

Over the years, employer’s expectations and interviewing techniques have changed, much like everything else in the staffing world. Today, it is common to be asked to participate in a video interview or group interview and complete an exercise or coding challenge. If you are aware of the interview itinerary and what to expect beforehand, you should do your homework and prepare yourself as best as possible.

It is extremely important to research the company you are interviewing with but also be prepared for employers to perform their due diligence on you. In today’s world it is very easy for companies to research potential candidates online and most likely they have already done this before selecting you for an interview.

Here are five crucial tips to keep in mind when preparing for an interview.

1. Research the company and culture

According to a survey by Pew Research Center, 77% of Americans own smartphones. There is no excuse not to know about the company in today’s job market with these kinds of resources. Almost every company has a website and you can look at their history or google them in the news to get familiar with them.

Even jotting down some notes about the history to talk about during the interview could help. It also shows the employer that you did your homework and it will impress them if you are able to speak about something they have accomplished. It shows your interest and how serious you are about working there. It’s a good idea to research the leaders of the company in LinkedIn or the people who you could be working with. It would be an advantage to know what common interests or background information you share.

2. Compare your skills and analyze the role

It’s important to analyze the job description and make sure your skills match up to the job. Outline the knowledge, skills and abilities required and write down some of your experiences that pertain to them. This could include certifications, computer skills or programs you’ve used and even similar projects you’ve worked on.

Be up to date on any programs you’ve had experience with. Make sure you know the correct versions of the software needed or systems needed for the role. Sometimes candidates read a security certification is required like a CISSP: Certified Security Information Systems Security Professional certification, but it’s in fact a CISM: Certified Information Security Manager certificate, which is harder to obtain. Attention to detail is important, which is why you must scour through the whole job description to address any questions upfront.

3. Bring Copy: Resume, notes/questions and portfolio if needed

We live in a technology driven world, but paper still does its job. Whether you bring your portfolio/examples, notes and resume on a tablet or paper, you should have them readily available at your interview. It takes less time than emailing and it’s extremely efficient. Saving time for your interviewer can really impress them and show you’re well prepared. It’s a good idea to keep them organized to make it easier for you to access them.

4. Dress to impress and know where to go

Times have changed where it’s not required to always wear a suit for an interview. It depends on the environment of the company. If you know someone that works there you can ask them what’s acceptable, or sometimes the employer will tell you what to wear.

Even though they might say jeans are acceptable, it’s a good idea to be put together. Don’t wear jeans with holes, and make sure everything is appropriate. It doesn’t hurt to be more conservative and adding a suit jacket can really step up the outfit.

It’s also extremely important to google the location. If you can’t visit ahead of time, make sure to allot time for traffic and wrong turns. Try to arrive at least 15 minutes early. Leave cell phones on silent or in the car and don’t bring any food or drinks in with you. Most companies will offer you something to drink while you’re waiting. Try not to smoke before or after the interview while on company property. It’s extremely hard to get rid of the smell.

5. Prepare your answers and questions

Preparing your answers to questions that could be asked will keep you on top of your game and impress your interviewer. It’s ok to have them written down, but don’t read straight from your notes, use them as a guideline. Try practicing the answers aloud with a friend as well.

Having closing questions ready to address at the end of the interview can set you apart from competitors. These can address any outstanding issues or questions where you have the facetime to convince them why you’re the best fit for the job. Here are some examples for the most common questions asked and some strong closing questions.

Potential Questions you might get asked (be prepared to answer):

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What interested you in this role or made you apply?
  • How did you make or save money for the last company you worked at?
  • What specific skills have you acquired or used in previous jobs that related to this position?
  • What is your greatest strength? Your greatest weakness?
  • How would you handle an irate customer or co-worker?

Questions to Ask the Interviewer:

  • What does it take to be highly successful in this organization?
  • In your opinion, what makes this organization a great place to work?
  • What do you consider the most important day-to-day responsibilities of the job?
  • How do you evaluate performance?
  • What are the opportunities for advancement or growth?
  • What is the next step in the hiring process?

We have industry experts to guide you and prepare you for this process. Our recruiters can help you best answer these questions so you can ultimately land the job. Talk to our experts today so we can assist you with every step (from getting you the interview and guiding you until you get hired). Contact Micro Tech Staffing Group today.


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