How many hours is the interview preparation

Many jobseekers get nervous the night before an interview. It’s not uncommon to worry about not being able to answer all the questions, wonder whether the interviewers will like you, or fret that you might forget to bring something critical on interview day. However, with a bit of preparation, you can set yourself up to feel a lot more relaxed.

Here are seven tips to help you prepare for an interview:

1. Do your homework

You’d have hopefully done the research on the company earlier than a day before the interview, but don’t just look on their website. See what you can find online in terms of news, press releases, and other information about the company. Ideally, head to the interview with some information that they don’t expect you to have. Make sure you know the job description inside out and research the interviewers on LinkedIn.

Take some deep breaths and remind yourself that you’re the expert in what you do. Also, remember that the interview is a chance for you to find out if this is the organization you’d like to work for – it's not just a time for them to ask you questions.

Also, be sure to prepare some good questions, not just questions related to the job and their expectations of you. Also, ask questions about the industry, the company’s future plans, or anything else that you are curious about.

I remember interviewing a candidate in France many years ago for a job in a global technology company I was recruiting for. I was so impressed that this candidate knew details of projects the local team was working on since it wasn’t information you’d have found on the website. Having some insightful questions for the interviewers will definitely help you to prepare for an interview.

2. Practice your interview technique

It takes time to prepare interview stories that best demonstrate your skills and achievements. Make sure you use the STAR (Situation, Task, Action, Result) format when answering any competency-based questions.

Review your examples the night before the interview to ensure they are fresh in your mind. If you’ve been asked to prepare a presentation as part of the interview, give it a final run-through. Having enough specific, tangible examples that demonstrate you have the experience they need is one of the best ways to prepare for an interview

3. Plan your journey

Before the interview, work out how you’re going to get there and how long it’s likely going to take. Plan for any unexpected delays.

A dry run to the interview location would be ideal, but as long as you leave earlier than you think you must and you have directions with you, you should be okay. Be mindful that if it is a big building, you might have to spend 10 minutes dealing with security so it’s always best to arrive early.

4. Prepare your outfit and pack your bag

It’s always a good idea to have your outfit prepared the evening before so you don’t stress in the morning trying to find something appropriate. I remember once taking a dress out of my wardrobe, only to see there was a little stain on it. Had I not checked the night before the interview, it’d only add more pressure on the morning of the interview.

Also, to prepare for an interview,  get your bag with all the essentials ready. Inside should be several copies of your resume, your portfolio (if needed), makeup for ladies, a hair brush, and other grooming items.

Always bring a notepad in case you want to write anything down (like the interviewers’ answers to your questions.)

5. Sleep well

While it’s a good idea to review your examples before the interview, don’t do so just before bedtime since it could make it hard to sleep. Do something relaxing before bed, like taking a bath or doing some light reading, to help you get a good night’s sleep. You want to be full of energy the next day.

6. Eat a healthy breakfast or lunch

Even if you don’t normally eat breakfast, you don’t want hunger to throw you off or have your stomach growl loudly during the interview. Eat something healthy to keep your energy levels up and, if your interview is later in the day, avoid alcohol at all costs.

7. Stay calm

It’s natural to get a bit nervous before the interview. But remember, the interviewers want you to do well. Also, try not to worry about things you can’t control. You can do a fantastic interview and still not get the job for various reasons. Focus on things you can control to prepare for an interview, not the variables outside your control.

Take some deep breaths and remind yourself that you’re the expert in what you do. Also, remember that the interview is a chance for you to find out if this is the organization you’d like to work for – it's not just a time for them to ask you questions.

Don’t forget, first impressions count. When you meet the interviewer, you’ll want to come across as personable and professional. Stand up straight, shake hands, and introduce yourself. Smile and make eye contact. Thank the interviewer for taking the time to see you today.

In summary, give yourself the best chance possible to land the job by starting to prepare for an interview as early as you can, preparing your answers to common interview questions and getting a good night’s rest before the interview. Good luck!

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