Preparing For the Perfect Job Interview

So you’ve finally landed an interview for that dream job you’ve always wanted. Now what? Do you go into panic mode as you try and figure out how to best prepare for the interview or do you remain calm, cool and collected as you review your interviewing basics checklist.

Consider for a moment the purpose of the interview from your perspective, as well as from the perspective of the interviewer. You want to provide the interviewer with key information about yourself as well as create a favorable and lasting impression. You also want to make sure you receive key information you need to determine if this is the right fit for you in terms of job, opportunity, culture, etc. The interviewer on the other hand is looking to gather information about you that perhaps was not available on your resume or to provide you with key information about the job or the company. The interviewer will be assessing your fit within the role and company culture as well as determining if you can do the job.

There are certain things that are well within your control and some things that are not.

Let’s look at what’s within your control. You can:
• Be prepared and punctual
• Dress professionally
• Present a good attitude
• Control what you say and how you say it
• Use positive body language. Communication is 55% body language.
• Prepare your questions in advance of the interview. Make sure you have at least 3 great questions to ask in the interview.
• Follow up (90% of interviewees don’t follow up-this alone will make you stand out as a candidate)

Now let’s look at what is not within your control:
• Who you meet
• The length of interview or the type of interview (i.e. panel vs behavioral vs structured, etc.)
• What questions are asked
• Any interview bias
• The quality of interviewer

Preparing for the interview is a key component of getting the job. It’s important for you to do as much research as you can about the job, the people in the organization, the company, the leaders, the goals and objectives of the organization and much more. The more you know, the more you will either be passionate about the opportunity or convinced it’s not the role for you. Research is easy with the internet at your fingertips.

Another important thing to consider while preparing for an interview is to understand your strategic advantage as an interviewee. What makes you the best candidate for this job? Know the answer. Prepare a brief outline of the points you want to make in the interview and practice them. You can practice in front of a mirror or role play with someone. Anticipate any skill and/or knowledge requirements and be prepared to address any shortfalls you may have in the hiring criteria. Lastly make sure you are displaying your most positive attitude before, during and after the interview process.

At the point of the Interview:
• Turn off your cell phone
• Be mindful of first impressions
• Listen to the specific question
• Be direct and specific in your answers
• Be concise, but don’t say too little
• Gauge the interviewer’s style and experience
• Watch for clues and adapt to changing situations
• Watch for non-verbal communications
• Be aware of your body language
• Match and mirror your interviewer’s body language

Here are some of the most frequently asked interview questions:
• Tell me about yourself.
• What are your strengths & weaknesses?
• What do you want to do?
• Why are you interested in this job?
• What do you know about our company?
• Why should we hire you?
• What will your references say?
• Why did you leave your previous employer?

Make sure you take the time in advance of the interview to develop some strong answers to each. The better prepared you are to answer questions, the more likely you will make a strong impression on your interviewer. Be prepared.

So now that you are prepared and you know what you can and can not control you can relax and enjoy the interview. It’s the next step in landing you that dream job!

If you would like more information about Linda and her coaching services, please call Linda at 416-617-0734 or email

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