Before a job interview there are a few things that would help for you to know. I recently wrote a much a longer version of this, but for simplicity sake, here is the handy-dandy condensed version — with a few extra tips.
Hopefully this will help you review your pre-interview “must dos” quickly. And feel free to add your own suggestions, ones that will help add to your feelings of confidence and interview readiness.
12 things you need to know before a job interview:
1. Know yourself.
2. Know your resume.
3. Know the company.
4. Know the job.
5. Know the people.
6. Know the culture.
7. Know the industry.
8. Know the skillset.
The idea is to immerse yourself to the point
where you feel like you already work there. Or will soon.
9. Know that you’ve practiced.
10. Know where the interview is and exactly how you’re getting there — and what you’re wearing so it’s not a last minute scramble.
11. Know that you need to show them a person they’d actually enjoy working with — and one they would trust to have their backs. Some tips to help with that:
- Listen carefully.
- Be real when you answer.
- Smile, but also show them that you’re someone resourceful they can count on.
- And show that you have a solid handle on how you will match THEIR needs.
12. Most of all … know that you belong in this job. And see yourself having a great interview!
And if you want to see the full version, with a lot more what to do “before a job interview” tips:
So what else might you need to know?
As part of my consulting work, I spent many years screening resumes, scheduling interviews, and being part of the interview & selection team. And what most interview candidates don’t realize is that there is a LOT going on behind the scenes. Things that in no way reflect on their abilities. Or even how much we liked them.
So what kinds of things don’t most candidates know that might affect our decisions — or even the timing of the interview process?
- We know the other people you’d be working with, including special personality quirks. As great a candidate as you might be, it’s about the fit. One interview I remember, I heard this comment: “she’d be eaten alive.” Fair? Not really. But a reminder to bring your strongest and still most likeable self to every interview.
- There may be budget or other considerations that pop up later that we know about and can alter what we’re looking for.
- An opening might be put on hold even after we interview people. And, as unfair as it seems, often no one tells the candidates, hoping things will open up again eventually.
- Interview teams may be part of a company shake-up, and different personalities have different ideas of who THEY want to hire. Even if your interview went really well.
- People who are key to the decision may disappear — or be temporarily unavailable.
- We often like people that we don’t offer the job to So it pays to stay in touch with the person you connected with most.
- The job may be withdrawn, and then open up months later with just a few changes. Again, it pays to stay in touch.
- The person we offered the job to might say no. So remember those thank you notes even AFTER your interview. Or any other materials that might raise your chances. One job I interviewed for turned me down. But I had sent them a well-written article about one of their projects that was not asked for — and when the job opened up again soon after it got me the offer.
- Many of the people who handle interviews are not good at keeping in touch. Again, not fair to the candidates. Just the truth,
- And sometimes, companies have rules that keep us from contacting candidates until all decisions are made and final. So silence can mean something or nothing. But it’s not about you.
In short, while there are a lot of things you can do to help yourself before a job interview, a “no” may not be the end of things. And even if you haven’t heard from them in months, you may still be in the running. I once got an offer after three+ months of silence.
All that said, while it’s good to keep doors open and contacts warm if possible, keep looking with full determination. You never know what else might be out there. And two offers are even better than one!
More posts to help