You Got This: Your Basic Interview Preparation Checklist
Here are some quick interview preparation tips that can help you better represent the professional woman you truly are!!
1. Research the Company
Though you’ve most likely done this before applying to the position, it’s important to refresh yourself on the company’s mission statement, goals, size, and scope. When researching before an interview, look for ways your experience and goals align with the company’s. Additionally, begin jotting down any questions you may have that come up during your research and are relevant to the potential position.
2. Search LinkedIn
If you know who you’re interviewing with beforehand, it’s a good idea to look them up on LinkedIn. You’ll have more context toward the people you’ll be speaking with if you’ve seen their official job titles and resumes.
3. Prepare Answers
The more you interview (and do interview prep!), the more you’ll have a running list of common interview questions. Think about your answers ahead of time so you aren’t caught off-guard. What is your greatest strength? What is your greatest weakness? What is one of the most challenging moments you’ve had at a prior job?
4. Plan Questions
Many interviewers end a session by asking if you have any more questions. If you truly don’t, that’s okay. However, asking intelligent and relevant questions at the end of an interview shows that you’ve come prepared. It can also prove you’re invested interested in the position/company. You may think of some questions during the conversation itself, but it’s always a good idea to have some questions prepared from your interview preparation and research (see #1).
5. Print Out Your Resume (3+ copies)
Again, this shows that you took your interview preparation seriously. Even if you’ve already emailed your resume to the interviewer, bring a folder with a few copies – there may be additional people at the interview who haven’t seen your resume. Oftentimes, an interviewer will meet many applicants in a day, so providing a resume for them to reference can also guide the interview.
Depending on the company’s process, you many need to provide a form of ID to enter the building, a hardcopy portfolio, etc. Make sure you have all the necessary paperwork so that you leave a professional and organized impression.
Go into your interview prepared, confident, and with a positive attitude.
6. Dress for the Role You Want
If the company you’re interviewing with is classically corporate, then the dress code is fairly straightforward. At more creative companies it can be difficult to gage what kind of dress is appropriate. In these scenarios keep in mind that it’s always better to be overdressed than underdressed. In general, use your best judgment and knowledge of the company/department to decide what you’ll wear.
7. Leave Extra Commute Time
Allow yourself plenty of time to get to your interview. You don’t want to show up late or frazzled. Plan for traffic, subways delays, confusing building entrances, etc. If you end up arriving extremely early, you can always sit in a nearby coffee shop. It’s much better to have extra time prior to the interview than to be running around frantic!
8. Send a Thank You Note/Email
This is not always a possibility but, if you can, a quick thank you note/email can go a long way. Oftentimes interviews are scheduled through an assistant, but you can always email that assistant and ask if they’ll forward your thank you note along.
Thanks to a little diligence with interview preparation, you can go into that meeting with confidence, and a positive attitude! Remember, you’re a well-qualified, professional woman: you’ve got this!!