It can feel amazing to get the email or phone call that you’ve been selected for a job interview. At the very least, it feels better than sending out dozens or even hundreds of job applications and never getting a response. However, once you get the confirmation that you’re going to have an interview, you may have another form of anxiety. Job interviews can be stressful, after all. How can you prepare for anything the interviewer might throw at you? Here are five tips:
- Think about those questions while writing your resume.
First of all, you can build your interview answers into your resume. A strong resume should include many of the elements that a hiring manager would otherwise have to ask you about, such as your primary job duties, your biggest achievements, and your greatest skill strengths. When you use a resume builder to create your resume, it will help take you through these components of the resume, which can make it infinitely easier to prepare later on.
- Look up lists of common job interview questions.
No two job interviews are going to be alike. Different interviewers have different questions they prefer to ask, and the actual content on your resume may provoke different questions. However, some questions are very common, and that means many hiring managers will include these questions in their interviews. Questions like, “What do you hope to be doing in 10 years?”, “What makes you a great fit for this job?”, and “How do you deal with criticism?” are extremely common interview questions because they provide so much information about a potential employee. It’s not a good idea to memorize answers to these questions, but you should have a general idea of how you’d answer 10-20 of the most common questions.
- Go over your past experiences a few times.
A job interviewer is likely going to ask you about past achievements and experiences. When that happens, you don’t want to sit in your chair thinking for a minute straight just to bring up an effective experience to share. You should have these experiences ready to go. Think about 4-5 of your best achievements, as well as 1-2 experiences where you may have had some issues, but you recovered effectively. These are both areas a hiring manager is likely to ask about.
- Create a mock job interview.
If you’re nervous, especially if this is your first-ever job interview, you may think about crafting a mock job interview. Ask a few of your friends to set up a mock interview, where they write down 5-10 questions about your work history and ask you questions as though they were an interviewer. This can help you work out some of the jitters surrounding the experience of a job interview, as well as talk through your answers to some of the questions.
- Remember that you’re on the same team.
The most important point to remember is that you and the interviewer are on the same team. You’re both trying to find the best person for a specific job opening. The only difference between the two of you is that you’re actively trying to convince the hiring manager that you’re the right person. By approaching the interview as though you’re collaborators, not enemies, it can make the process much easier. Relaxing in an interview can help you get your points across much more effectively.
The best tip you can get to prepare for interview questions is simply to relax. While preparation is important, you don’t need to have the perfect answer for every question. The interviewer isn’t testing you on your public speaking skills. They’re evaluating whether you’ll be an effective worker for the company. With these tips, you’ll be ready to go when you arrive for your interview.