Interviews are hard. Like a first date, you don’t always know what to expect, and often you don’t know who is going to be in the room or what mood they will be in.
Yet the interview is what makes or breaks your chance at a new job. It is the most high-risk moment in your job search.
Do not leave it to chance
Before the interview, research who you think you will be talking with. Look them up on LinkedIn, Twitter, Google – wherever you can find them to better learn about their interests and background.
Make a list of questions they might ask you – and be creative. Expect them to ask about your history, but what about skills or issues in your field? Or industry bodies and initiatives? Or even recent organizational accomplishments?
Then practice interview questions with your friends. Best to do it with friends who are strong enough to tell you when you’re messing up, but kind enough to give you support and guidance so you’ll improve.
Practice in-person and remote interviews
You may be interviewing in person, but these days interviews over the phone or video call are becoming more common.
Learn how to roll with questions when you only have a disembodied voice coming over the line, as much as when you’re in the room.
Also, figure out which type of interview you prefer – in-person, voice, video – and push for that option. Key to success is feeling comfortable from the start.
Now practice your interview again
Seriously, please practice your interview multiple times until you’ve memorized certain responses and your friends can’t fluster you with odd questions.
Interviews are the key to getting from a CV to an offer letter. Don’t leave them to chance – practice, practice, practice.