Even if you have less than a day to prepare for a big interview, although I recommend preparing more than a day before, you can use these tips to outshine your competition. For some, this may be common sense, but for others that may not be the case. Obviously, if you’ve applied for a job, you want to land the gig with flying colors. The following tasks will, hopefully, help you land the job of your dreams.
1. Make Sure You’ve Cleaned up Your Online Personal Brand.
Your personal brand is how you present or “package” yourself. Unfortunately, many employers go to the internet to get an idea of who you are before they decide to bring you in for an interview. For many employers the first place they look will be LinkedIn to see if you have an online presence. The following infographic from linkedhumans.com gives a glimpse at a good profile:
2. Research the Company.
This is a given. If you are really interested in a particular company, you generally want to know more about them. Same goes for an employer. If they are really interested in a potential employer, they will do their research on you. The following information are just a few things that you should be looking up to get started:
- What is the company’s mission statement, goals, and values?
- What does the company say about its products or services?
- What has the company accomplished? Have the won any awards?
- What recent news (such as a new product, a press release, an interview with the CEO) can you discuss?
- If the company is public, the boilerplate at the bottom of its press releases will tell you a lot about them.
3. Think of What you Will say.
Be ready to answer your typical interview questions (i.e. tell me about yourself; which should be your elevator pitch, why should we hire you for this job, etc). But more importantly, you want to be able to tell a story. You may be asked to talk about a time you felt really proud of an achievement at work or school. These stories demonstrate all those hard-to-measure qualities like judgement, initiative, teamwork or leadership. Whatever you do, make sure you can quantify what you’ve done, e.g., “increased engagement by 20% on Twitter,” “cut customer call wait time in half,” etc.
Achievement stories make you memorable, which is what you want.
4. Organize What you Need for the day of the Interview the Night Before.
Lay out your interview outfit the night before, get a good night’s rest, and always get an early start. Not only that, but make sure you pack your bag with your portfolio and always bring additional resumes so you look prepared and can follow along with the individual who is interviewing you.
The takeaway from this piece is RESEARCH. Make sure that you do a good bit of it to make you dangerous. It also doesn’t hurt to practice what you’re going to say in the mirror. Practice makes better! Happy job hunting!