Career, Career Development, Jefa Conversations, Job Search

Jefa Conversations-10 Ways To Prepare For An Interview

Imagine this: It’s the day of your interview; you wake up early, you have everything prepared, you are ready to make a great first impression! You feel confident because even though you don’t know what’s in store, you know you got this! You walk into the interview a little nervous (that’s normal!), but surprisingly you feel calm and collected because you are prepared and ready for anything that comes your way! 

That’s quite the mindset shift, isn’t it? If you have never experienced anxiety before an interview, I envy you (please tell me your secrets). Interviews are nerve-racking for so many reasons, so I wanted to explore ways to make them less scary. 

For this blog post, I collaborated with Missy Garcia, founder of Nine to Five Worldwide. Missy’s passion is to help people navigate the interview process and empower them to tell their story and get the job they deserve. 

Missy believes preparation is essential! Here are her top preparation tips to ensure you interview with confidence like a true jefa. 

1. Doing your homework is key. Visit the company’s website and follow its social media platforms. Get to know its mission, vision, and values. Find out if the company is involved in the community and if it has received any awards. The interviewer will be excited if you come armed with specific details, and when asked why you want to work for the company—you’ll be more than prepared!

2. Have everything prepared days prior to the interview. You want to have everything set days before the interview. The last thing you want is to be scrambling at the last minute. Have your outfit selected and your resume ready to go! Knowing the distance to the location from where you are at will ensure you get there on time. Preparation is critical to make a great impression! 

3. Study the job description. Companies often add job descriptions to multiple platforms, so you’ll want to compare the postings to make sure you don’t miss anything. Pay special attention to the job description on the company’s website. By comparing several job postings, you’ll have a better understanding of what the role entails.

4. Research different interview questions. There are two types of commonly used questions: informational and behavioral. Informational questions focus on your background and experience, and behavioral questions are all about storytelling. For example, the interviewer may ask you to describe a specific work situation when you dealt with conflict or how you handled a disgruntled customer. Everyone has a different style of interviewing, so you never know what’s coming your way.

5. Practice what you are going to say. Be sure to practice what you will say out loud, even if you do it on your own. You can also role-play with your friends and family and ask them to give you feedback. Remember, practice makes perfect! The more you practice your answers, the more confident and secure you will look and sound. After all, an interview is just a conversation!

6. Update your resume. As a recruiter, I often encounter people who submit resumes that are not updated. Your resume should be on point before going to your interview. Study your resume so you’ll be able to summarize the information when asked. An updated document will ensure the interview process goes smoothly. 

7. Create a portfolio. A portfolio is a collection of your best work, highlighting your skills, education, experience, and accomplishments. It visually shows your interviewer what you are capable of. There are different types of portfolios, but I like the three-ring binder. A portfolio is optional but can set you apart from the competition!

8. Research your salary band. Research your salary band. There are many online resources where you can find salary information based on location, expertise, and experience. You’ll want to have an idea of salary ranges for the position you are applying for. Remember, offering a range will increase the likelihood of securing a fair compensation package.

9. Have questions ready for the interviewer. One thing to keep in mind is that you are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you. This is your opportunity to ask about the company culture, work environment, and professional growth opportunities. Ask questions that give you an idea of the office environment’s ins and outs to determine if the role is a good fit for you.

10. Express your gratitude. Have a thank-you email ready to go so you can send it to the interviewers within 24 hours. It doesn’t have to be a novel, but you want to write a few sentences thanking them for their time. For example, highlight key takeaways to reaffirm your interest in the role and address any concerns discussed during the interview. Since you’ll have it ready to go, all you have to do is add a few sentences specific to the interview and hit send! 

Are there any other interview tips that have worked for you? Please tell us in the comments below.

Missy Garcia is a corporate recruiter and the founder of Nine to Five Worldwide. Connect with her on Instagram @Ninetofive.ww. She would love to hear from you!