When asked about the most common mistakes candidates make in interviews, Tom, Hiring Expert at VF Corporation, and Patricia, Hiring Expert at ADP, both agreed that not being prepared was the most common mistake they see from applicants. How do you prepare for an interview? Let’s get some advice from the experts!
Research is Key
Tom, Hiring Expert at VF Corporation, says, “First things first, do your research on the position, on the company, and the industry. Be prepared to speak on these things in your interview.” By showing that you’ve taken the time to learn about the company, you’re showing your investment in the role. More from Tom
Patricia, Hiring Expert at ADP, shares, “Do your research on an organization before you interview with them. Remember, you're interviewing a company just as much as they are interviewing you. Ask questions that will provide you with more insight into what it would be like to join their team. Questions regarding benefits and compensation can wait until you're further on in the process.” Having a few questions prepared for your interviewer can show a higher level of initiative and understanding of their company. It also points out to your potential employer that you’re invested in the opportunity. More from Patricia
Time to Review
Ashlyn, Hiring Expert at Worthington Industries, offers, “There are a few things you can do to prep for an interview. The first thing is to make sure you research the company and have some key points you can share with the hiring team; this shows that you took the time to do some research and are truly interested in the role. The second thing is to make sure you review the job description; are there any key skills that you can highlight during the interview? Lastly, make sure you update your resume to match the exact position you're interviewing for. Highlight the key traits that you possess and be sure to have specific behavioral-based examples of how you’ve used those skills to share.” More from Ashlyn
It’s difficult to sum up all of who you would be as an employee in a one-page resume and a 30-minute interview. Remember, a job description is like a wish list. Tailoring your resume to highlight these traits and leading with examples of how you’ve excelled in these areas shows your potential employer that you have the skills they’re looking for.
Practice Makes Perfect
Meredith, Hiring Expert at Avery Dennison Corporation, lays out how to do a deeper dive into interview prep. She shares, “No matter what type of interview you will have (phone, in person, video), there are many ways you can prepare yourself. Start by doing research on the company. Search for the company in the news, brush up on what types of services the company provides, what they produce, how many employees they have, their locations, etc. Before your interview, ask the person setting it up if they can provide you with the name of the individual(s) you'll be meeting with. Look them up on LinkedIn to see if you have common connections or similarities in your school, work experience, or background. Being able to show that you've done your research will make a valuable impression!”
“Be prepared to share why you want to work for the company, why you want this specific job, why YOU are the best fit for the role (pull in examples from your research and be prepared to talk about examples of your past successes). If you have data to back up how you have been successful, be prepared to discuss that. If this is your first job, that's okay! Share successes you had in school - reference group projects, internships, co-ops, publications, research, etc. One of the best ways to prepare before your interview is to record yourself or do a mock interview with someone you trust and ask for their honest feedback. Watching yourself on video or getting feedback can help you eliminate bad habits during interview conversations. Saying ‘um,’ avoiding eye contact, or giving long-winded answers are all things to watch out for as you practice interviewing.” More from Meredith
Investing in thorough preparation for your interview will also help you feel more confident and at ease as you go through the process. All of this adds up to you putting your best foot forward as you meet with your potential employer! When you research, review, and practice you’re well on your way to landing that dream job.