Job interviews can be nerve-wracking, but they don’t have to be. With proper preparation, you can walk into your interview with confidence, knowing that you’re ready to put your best foot forward.
As a seasoned career coach, I’ve helped clients land their dream jobs by coaching them on interview skills and career clarity. And time and again, I’ve seen that the most prepared candidates are the most successful.
Here are five reasons why preparing for job interviews is so important:
- It shows the interviewer that you’re serious about the job. When you take the time to prepare for an interview, it shows the interviewer that you’re genuinely interested in the position and the company. This is important because it demonstrates your motivation and commitment.
It used to be that simply applying meant that you were serious about the job, yet the job market has changed. With “Easy Apply” and AI tools that fill in applications for the applicant, hiring managers now have to question the seriousness of each applicant. When they receive thousands of LinkedIn resumes for one job description, they know that not every applicant has taken the job post seriously.
You get to show them the truth. That you know the role. That you know the company. That you actually want the job.
- It helps you feel more confident. When you know that you’re prepared for an interview, you’ll feel more confident in your abilities and your chances of success. This confidence will come through in the interview.
When we talk about ‘soft skills’ it can mean the ability to read another person. So often, interviewers have really great soft skills. That is why they were chosen to do this interview with you. That means, you gotta show up with confidence. If you are trying to fake it, they can tell. Jitters, excitement, a touch of nerves are of course okay. Confidence can still shine through those.
- It gives you a chance to practice your answers to common interview questions. There are a number of common interview questions that you can expect to be asked. By preparing your answers to these questions in advance, you’ll be able to deliver them smoothly and confidently in the interview.
Need help with this? Here’s a really good interview prep guide
- It helps you learn more about the company and the role. When you’re preparing for an interview, take the time to research the company and the role you’re interviewing for. This will help you understand what the company does, what the role entails, and what the company is looking for in a candidate.
This knowledge will be invaluable in the interview, as it will allow you to tailor your answers and demonstrate your fit for the role. When you learn about the company, you know if you actually even want to work with them or not.
If you come across something that is a red flag or changes your mind about working with the company, you can take action even before the interview. You can email and ask about what you found, you can plan to ask about it in an interview, or you can change your mind completely and cancel the interview in advance. This helps you ensure you are on a path to a career that is authentically you.
- It gives you an opportunity to ask thoughtful questions. At the end of most interviews, you’ll have a chance to ask the interviewer questions. This is a great opportunity to learn more about the company and the role, and to show the interviewer that you’re interested and engaged.
By preparing your questions in advance, you’ll be able to ask questions that are specific and insightful. There are many resources out there about the types of questions you can ask at the end of an interview.
It can be helpful to do a search online and include your particular industry. For example “questions to ask at the end of an interview + social work”
Five steps to prepare for your next job interview:
- Research the company and the role. As mentioned above, it’s important to research the company and the role you’re interviewing for before your interview. This will help you understand what the company does, what the role entails, and what the company is looking for in a candidate.
Here are some resources you can use to research the company and the role:
- The company’s website
- The company’s social media pages
- News articles about the company
- Industry publications
- Job boards
- Prepare answers to common interview questions. There are a number of common interview questions that you can expect to be asked. By preparing your answers to these questions in advance, you’ll be able to deliver them smoothly and confidently in the interview.
Here are some of the most common interview questions:
- Tell me about yourself.
- Why are you interested in this position?
- What are your strengths and weaknesses?
- Where do you see yourself in five years?
- Why should we hire you?
- Practice your answers with a friend or family member. Once you’ve prepared your answers to common interview questions, practice delivering them with a friend or family member. This will help you get feedback on your delivery and make sure that you’re comfortable and confident.
- Dress professionally. First impressions matter, so it’s important to dress professionally for your interview. This means wearing clean, pressed clothes that are appropriate for the company culture.
- Arrive on time. Punctuality is important, so make sure to arrive for your interview on time. If you’re running late, be sure to call or email the interviewer to let them know.
Preparing for job interviews is essential for success. By taking the time to prepare, you can show the interviewer that you’re serious about the job, feel more confident, and deliver thoughtful answers to common interview questions.
I encourage you to follow the five steps above to prepare for your next job interview. With proper preparation, you’ll be well on your way to landing your dream job.
Remember, you are worthy of the job you want. You are capable, intelligent, and have something valuable to offer any employer. With preparation, you can show the interviewer exactly why you’re the best candidate for the job.
Here is a bonus tip:
Be yourself! The best interviews are the ones where you can relax, be yourself, and let your personality shine through. The interviewer wants to get to know who you are and why you are different than all those other people. Your character is special and important. Engage the interviewers and remember that interviews are two way. They are not a test. They are a conversation.
Please know that I write using many tools, life experiences, teachings from other smart people, AI, and other humans who read my writing. I only ever publish what I believe in.