Luck favors the prepared mind. But what should you focus on when preparing for a job interview? Should you spend most of your time preparing for the the most common interview questions? Or should you devote hours and days to the research about the company? Does perhaps your mental and physical preparation play the crucial role? The answer is not so simple…
In order to maximize your chances of succeeding, you should focus on all aspects of interview preparation. Success in an interview is like a puzzle–you have to put all pieces in place to make the beautiful picture at the end–and sign an amazing employment agreement at the end.
Right interview preparation consists in mental, physical, informational, and practical preparation for the meeting with the hiring managers. We will analyze each of them in this article, trying to help you to become the ‘lucky one’ at the end of the interviews. Let’s start!
Physical preparation for an interview – foundation stone of your success
To deliver your very best (and you will often need to be at your best, especially when competing with many other people for the job), you should be rested and calm.
You should think neither about food, nor about sleep in your interview. You should be able to focus on your interview presence, the words of the interviewers, and your answers to their questions. How to achieve this state of your body?
You should try to spend a perfect day, or at least a perfect morning, before going to your job interview. Devote yourself to things you enjoy doing, some relaxing stuff. Go for a walk to the nature, take a dog to the park, or watch your favorite TV series. Do something that will help your body relax and feel good.
What is more, you should go to bed early the day before your job interview (if you can) and have a tasty breakfast. But do not eat something that will make you excessively full and tired–eat something light that will keep you fresh and energized. You know your eating habits, and how different foods make you feel. Choose one that gives you energy instead of taking energy out of you.
Informational preparation for the interviews
Most job seekers focus primarily on information while preparing for an interview. It is the right strategy if they do not overdo it, or do not neglect the other parts of the puzzle. What information should you get?
You should research about the employer, their values and goals, and you should study the job description in detail. You should do all of this while trying to understand what they seek in a good candidate for the position.
Then you should try to find out what questions they will ask you in an interview (Interview Penguin will help you with that), and how to answer the questions while demonstrating your skills and the value you can bring to the company. You should also double check the route to the interview, the schedule, and the transport options, to be sure that you won’t encounter any negative surprises on a big day. Luckily we have Google maps and other tools that are extremely accurate and will help you to plan your way easily.
Prepare in your mind
The difference between the winners and losers is often in their mind. Many people do not believe in their chances (perhaps because they’ve failed in many interviews already, or because they lack the confidence), and this lack of self-belief is strongly reflected in their interview presence.
The way they walk, shake hands with the interviewers, and respond to things that happen in an interview is just not right, and the hiring managers feel it that way….
Try to relax before your interview. Listen to your favorite music, read a good book, think about something nice, and repeat to yourself that you did what you could to succeed, and the rest is not under your control. You can also read our guide on how to overcome interview nerves, should you need more specific advice here.
Practice makes perfect – and interview is no exception
Try to practice your interview answers with a friend, or at least in front of a mirror. You can even hire an interview coach if you want, and have a budget to do so. Practice will help you to feel more confident, and get rid of the stress you may experience.
Once you manage to prepare your body, your mind, once you know enough about the company and the job you try to get, and practice your interview answers, you can say to yourself that you did your best to get a job.
In many cases it will be enough, and you will walk away with a new job contract. And if it is not enough, all you can do is congratulate the winner, analyze your interview (things you did well and things you could do better), and move on, to the next one.
Interview success package – an easy way to get ready
If you still find this topic difficult, if your head spins and you do not really know where to start, you should have a look at our Interview Success Package.
It includes up to 10 premium answers to over 100 interview questions, and a guide on how to win your interviewers over. Everything explained in a simple and easy-to-understand way. Thank you for checking it out!
Alternatively you can also download an exclusive summary of this article in a simple, one-page long PDF, for further reference:
May also interest you:
- Salary negotiation tips – Get as much as you deserve in an interview, if not more.
- How to dress for an interview – Simple guide that will help you to choose the most fitting clothes for the meeting with the employer.
- How to overcome interview nerves – Get rid of stress and show them your very best on the big day.