You’ve just scheduled an interview for an exciting job opportunity that could make or break your career. So how can you pass the interview?
Employers use interviews to discover several things. They want to know whether you have the skills and background to succeed in the advertised position. They also want to know if you can work well with others and if you would be a good fit for the company.
If you start preparing for a job interview ahead of time, you can showcase your talents and your enthusiasm for the position. Read on for three tips on how to prepare for a job interview.
- Research the Company
Potential employers often report that job candidates don’t know much about their companies. If you want to be hired, show that you’ve done the homework to learn about the company, how you’ll fit in, and what you can contribute.
You can do this research by checking out the company’s website and social media activity to stay up-to-date on their offerings and recent announcements. Read the news to see what’s happening with their field. Speak to acquaintances who work there, or find employee feedback and salary information on sites like glassdoor.com.
This research is especially important if you’re looking for a long-term position that will launch your career, such as an electrician apprenticeship.
- Practice Interviewing
Before your interview, ask someone to give you a practice interview so that you can rehearse the process of quickly coming up with answers. Find sample job interview questions on sites such as Inc.com.
You should also prepare to answer the dreaded “what are your weaknesses” job interview question, in which somebody asks you to describe your greatest weaknesses or failures. Be careful with this answer: you could disqualify yourself too easily if you pretend you have no weaknesses. You’ll also get in trouble if reveal you don’t have the skills you need for the job.
Instead, prepare your answer ahead of time, and use it to tell a story of growth. If you’re lacking a technical skill, tell the interviewer how you’re taking classes or studying online to catch up. If you confess to a fault such as dealing badly with frustration, explain how you have learned to recognize this trait and how you’ve overcome it.
- Prepare Questions for the Interviewer
Finally, prepare questions for the interviewer to show that you’ve researched the company and know you’d be a good fit.
While you might want to take this opportunity to ask about benefits such as salary, days off, or retirement accounts, branch out to ask about larger issues. Ask about current trends or events in your potential field, or ask how your interviewer has contributed to the company. Use this opportunity to show your excitement about joining the company.
Start to Prepare for a Job Interview
As soon as you schedule a date, start to prepare for a job interview with your chosen company. Take the time to learn as much as you can about the company and its employment culture, and practice answering those hard questions. Preparation will help you succeed at the interview and move on to the next exciting step in your career.
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