Getting an in-person interview should be considered a small victory, but it’s always important to remember to keep your cool, and be VERY prepared.
It is safe to assume there are several people still competing for the same job, so be sure to do what you can to stand apart from the crowd.
KNOW YOUR RESUME
You’ve stared at it enough, so it is safe to assume that you are familiar with your resume, but what you want to do is figure out ways you can expand on the bullet points you provided. Employers will ask you to elaborate on topics and give examples, so be sure to prepare and memorize some highlights in advance.
It sounds a bit painful and silly, but it is important to conduct a few practice interviews beforehand. Have someone pretend to be the employer, or simply sit in a room and go over you talking points by yourself—out loud. When you show up at the interview, you want to sound confident and knowledgeable. Practicing will help you achieve this, and will help cut down on the dreaded “um’s”.
STUDY UP ON THE COMPANY
Before going into the interview, make sure you have studied up on the company. Understand who they are, what their goals are, and how they operate. Find out if they have been in the news recently, and read the job description again to make sure you completely understand what would be required of you. Doing this will help you answer questions like, “How will you make a difference in this company?” and “Why are you a good fit?”
It will also help you ask constructive questions about the position and the company during the interview.
READ THE NEWS
Before your interview, make sure you are up on the day’s news. Although there’s a chance it will not be part of the interview, many people use daily news topics to break the ice. If the employer asks a question about news that broke in the morning, you want to make sure you can contribute in some way.
Interviewing can be stressful, but if you go in prepared, it will ease a lot of your nerves and allow you to put your best foot forward.