One Google search on “interview preparation tips” will generate over 2 million web pages full of useful techniques and tricks to help to ace your next job interview. However, you’ve probably heard most of this advice hundreds of times before.
So, I’d like to offer you something different. Here are ten interview preparation tips that are seemingly unconventional, but undoubtedly useful when it comes to making that awesome first impression.
1. Prepare answers but also prepare your mindset
Your “self-talk” or internal dialogue is critical when it comes to effective interview preparation. In the days running up to the interview, tell yourself that this company would be lucky to have you and that you’re absolutely the right person for the role. Sometimes saying this out loud can go a long way.
2. Google the interviewer
A few years ago, this behaviour would be questionable, but today it’s perfectly normal to do some “research”on your interviewer before meeting them. Take a look at their LinkedIn profile, and find out if they’ve been featured in any interviews or articles. This can ease an aspect of “fear of the unknown” that some candidates experience in the run up to an interview, as you are able to put a face to a name and feel more familiar with the interviewer. You may also be able to find some commonalities to lightly mention in the interview as a way of building rapport.
Psychologist Amy Cuddy recommends getting into your “power pose” before a presentation or interview. Staying in that pose for three minutes has been proven to increase confidence and decrease anxiety. Try it!
4. Get some exercise beforehand
The night or morning before, once you have done all of your interview preparation, take the time to get some exercise. Exercising increases the release of endorphins which have been proven to decrease stress and generally allows you to feel more positive and energetic – all elements that are critical for you to think clearly and establish a strong first impression.
5. Get inspired
On the morning of the interview, look up inspiring quotes and photos from your friends or people you aspire to become. Imagine the sort of lifestyle you could be having and focus on the endless possibilities of what life could offer you. Visualising success is one of the most effective ways of achieving it.
6. Dress to impress
Of course, you know to dress professionally for an interview, but why not make an extra effort, so you feel as confident as you possibly can be. Whether it’s taking a bit more time on your hair, wearing your best dress, or getting up earlier so you can go and get your shoes polished, this could be well worth the time if it’s going to give you that little extra confidence boost before the interview.
7. Tell your best friend about the interview
It’s always nice to be able to get on the phone before or after the interview as a way of getting some positive talk and encouragement. If you’re anything like me, I love a good “pep talk” before something big so I feel like someone is there to support me.
8. Listen to music or a podcast on the way to your interview
Music is one way to relieve stress. Listening to upbeat music will not only pump you up, but will also take your mind off all that doubt and anxiety you’re having as you make your way to the interview location.
Podcasts are also great, you can listen to them anywhere, they can transport your mind to another place, helping you to relax, plus you can listen to a podcast on just about anything to increase your knowledge on a subject; from how to be more positive, to how to communicate confidently.
9. Book a lunch/dinner to celebrate afterwards
Interview preparation can be both mentally and physically draining. To help you look forward to something after the interview, book something fun – perhaps a lunch of dinner with an old colleague or a friend. See this as a reward for all of your hard work towards preparing for this interview.
10. Look at the bigger picture
Lastly, remember that this isn’t the only job vacancy in the world and there will be other opportunities, if you aren’t successful this time. This will help you to see the bigger picture, and take some of that pressure off of yourself.
All of the above, are actionable steps towards feeling more optimistic, positive and composed on the day of the interview. If you are in this type of mindset, you are more likely to relax, and come across as your natural, authentic self. Consequently, the interview will feel more like a two way conversation, as opposed to a sterile Q&A session. Thus, you will find yourself genuinely building a rapport with the interviewer, staying in their mind afterwards, hopefully resulting in interview success.