8 Steps to Prepare Job Interview [Free Checklist]

fara nadira
Fara Nadira

Published on 9 May 2023

Steps to Prepare Job Interview [Free Checklist]

Are you nervous with your job interview? Don’t worry, it’s normal. With the right preparation, you can feel confident and prepared for any question that comes your way. In this article, we'll take you through the step-by-step process of how to prepare for an interview. From researching the company to answering tough interview questions with confidence. Plus, we've got a free checklist to keep you on track and ensure you're fully prepared to knock your interview out of the park. So, sit back, relax, and let us take you on a journey to interview success!

1. Examine Role and Job Description

This approach can increase your chances of getting hired and can show the interviewer that you are a good fit for the job. Before doing your interview, you can follow these steps:

  1. Carefully review the job description about responsibilities, required qualifications, and skills for the role. Take note of keywords and essential points.
  2. Align your skills and experience with the company's industry, products or services, mission, and values.
  3. Identify how your skills match the role and prepare specific examples to showcase during the interview.
  4. Anticipate potential interview questions that might be asked based on the job description.
  5. If any part of the job description is unclear, don't hesitate to reach out to recruiters for clarification.
  6. Understand the potential for career advancement and professional development.
  7. Look for clues in the job description about the company's culture and values if it aligns with your own principles and work style.
  8. Prepare stories and examples from your past experiences that demonstrate how you meet the criteria listed in the job description.
  9. Take note of the salary range, benefits, and any other perks mentioned in the job description to ensure they align with your expectations.

2. Research the Company and Their Value

Before your interview, it's crucial to research the company you're applying to. Prior to stepping into your interview, take a deep dive into the company's history, culture, and values.

This will help you understand the company's values and culture, which can help you tailor your answers to their specific needs. To learn about a company's culture and history, you can:

  1. Visit the company's official website and look for sections like "About Us," "Our Story," or "Company History" for valuable information.
  2. Stay updated on the company's recent developments and milestones through news articles and press releases.
  3. Read reviews on websites like Google Reviews to gain insights into the experiences of current and former employees.
  4. Follow the company on social media platforms to understand its values, initiatives, and engagement with employees and customers.
  5. Connect with current or former employees to get firsthand knowledge about the company's culture.

3. Practice Responding to Common Interview Questions

In fact, a study found that 39% of the candidates made a poor impression due to their overall confidence level. Therefore, feeling confident during the interview is essential to making a good impression.

Review a list of common interview questions and prepare the responses in advance. By preparing thoughtful and unique responses, you can show your value to the company and increase your chances of getting hired. Then, practice to deliver them and review your responses. This can help you build confidence and get comfortable with articulating your skills and experience.

To answer the question “What makes you want to join this company?”, your answer can be:

I've been really impressed by the company's commitment to innovation and its dedication to making a positive impact on the world. Your recent launch of a sustainability initiative really caught my attention and I appreciate the effort the company is making to reduce its environmental impact. I also appreciate the company's focus on career development and opportunities for growth. As someone who is passionate about environmental sustainability and is looking to further develop my skills in that area, I feel that this company would be a great fit for me. I'm excited about the possibility of contributing to your team and learning from the talented professionals here.

4. Prepare for Behavioral Interview Questions

Behavioral interview questions allow the interviewer to assess how you have performed in specific situations in the past, which can give them insight into how you may perform in similar situations in the future.

Prepare by researching common behavioral interview questions and thinking of examples from your previous work experience that demonstrate the skills or qualities being asked about.

When answering behavioral interview questions, focus on the STAR method: Situation, Task, Action, Result. This means providing a specific situation, the task or challenge you faced, the action you took to address the challenge, and the result or outcome of your actions.

An example of a behavioral interview question is when recruiters ask “Can you tell me about a time when you had to work with a difficult coworker or client? How did you handle the situation?”, you can answer:

In my previous job, I worked on a project with a coworker who was consistently negative and dismissive of my ideas. Despite the coworker's attitude, it was important for us to work together to complete the project successfully. I scheduled a meeting with my coworker to discuss our concerns and set clear expectations for how we would work together moving forward. I focused on active listening and validating their perspective while also expressing my own concerns and ideas. After our meeting, my coworker and I were able to work more effectively together. We developed a system for regular check-ins and feedback to ensure that we were on the same page and meeting our goals. By taking the initiative to address the situation head-on, we were able to overcome our differences and work together in a positive and productive way.

5. Prepare Thoughtful Questions to Ask the Interviewer

Use the job description and your research on the company to identify areas where you may need more information. Prepare questions that address these areas, and ask the interviewer for more information if needed. Avoid asking generic or easily-answerable questions. Instead, try to think of questions that express your interest and enthusiasm for the company and the role.

Here are examples of questions to ask to recruiters:

  • What do you think sets your top-performing employees apart, and how can I work towards achieving that level of success in this role?
  • What are the performance expectations for this position during the initial twelve months?
  • How does company culture foster creativity and innovation?
  • What does your onboarding process look like?
  • Can you explain the company's decision-making process?
  • What opportunities for professional development and growth are available within the company?
  • What are some of the biggest challenges facing the team or department right now, and how does this role contribute to addressing those challenges?
  • Can you provide more information about the company's approach to work-life balance and employee well-being?

6. Prepare The Required Document and Portfolio

Make sure you have the required document prepared ahead of time. Additionally, consider bringing examples of your work that demonstrate your skills and qualifications for the job. Be sure to provide context for each piece.

Explain what your role was in creating the work, what problem it solved or goal it achieved, and any relevant details about the project.

7. Dress Up to Success

Dressing well can boost your confidence and help you feel more prepared for the interview. When you feel good about your appearance, it can help you feel more comfortable and confident during the interview. It also helps you make a good first impression and shows the interviewer that you take the interview seriously.

Make sure your outfit is something that you feel good wearing and that makes you feel prepared for the interview. Avoid wearing anything that is too revealing or distracting.

8. Plan to Send a Thank You Letter

Don’t forget to express your gratitude for the opportunity, reiterate your interest in the job, and highlight key points from the interview that you found particularly interesting or relevant. It can also help keep you top-of-mind for the interviewer, especially if they are deciding between several candidates.

You can use this template to send thank you letter:

Subject: Thank You for the Interview - [Job Title]

Dear [Recruiter's Name],

I hope this email finds you well. I wanted to express my sincere gratitude for the opportunity to interview for the [Job Title] position at [Company Name]. It was a pleasure meeting with you and the team, and I truly appreciated the insights shared during the interview process.

I am enthusiastic about the potential of joining [Company Name], and I am even more convinced that my skills and experience align perfectly with the requirements of the role. The interview discussions further reinforced my excitement to contribute to [Company Name]'s mission and goals.

I was impressed by the passion and professionalism of everyone I met during the interview. The positive company culture and team dynamics you showcased made me even more eager to be a part of the [Company Name] family.

I would like to reiterate my genuine interest in the [Job Title] position and my commitment to contributing my best efforts to the success of [Company Name]. If there are any additional materials or references you need from me, please feel free to let me know, and I will be more than happy to provide them promptly.

Once again, thank you for considering me as a candidate for this opportunity. I look forward to hearing from you about the next steps in the hiring process.

Best regards,

[Your Name] [Your Contact Information]

Conclusion

Preparing for a job interview can be a daunting task, but with these eight steps, you'll be well on your way to feeling confident and prepared. Remember to research the company, prepare your answers, dress appropriately, gather your documents, practice good body language, prepare questions to ask, and follow up after the interview.

Don't forget to download the free checklist to help you stay organized throughout the interview process. Good luck!

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