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3 Steps to Help You Nail Your Next Interview

by , on January 24, 2018
Looking for a job can be very stressful, and interviewing can be a nerve-racking process (even to the most confident person).

As I meet with job seekers on a daily basis, I am often surprised to see how many people have not considered certain aspects of their life that would be beneficial in their job search. When you are seeking employment or looking to change careers, there are certain things that can be done to help you land your dream job. 
First, it is important to start with a self-assessment. The outcome of your assessment will help you better understand your interests, strengths, skill set and your needs. 

Step 1: Self Assess
Think about what you are genuinely interested in or passionate about. For example, if you are passionate about helping youth or giving back to the community, it would be a good idea to look into non-profit organizations or research companies in your area that are active in their local communities. If you enjoy working with your hands and building things, try looking into warehouse and assembly positions, which will allow you to be hands-on.

Of course, let's not forget it is just as important to understand what your weaknesses and dislikes are. We all have areas in our lives that need improvement and we all have things we do not like. Being aware of these areas can help you in your career.

Ask yourself the following 5 questions as you begin your self-assessment:
  • What kind of work am I most comfortable with and willing to do?
  • What am I passionate about or interested in?
  • What area(s) do I need improvement in?
  • What is it that I want to stay away from (ex: type of work, industry, environment, etc.)?
  • What are the top 3 things that are important to me (ex: location, work schedule, pay, career advancement, etc.)?
In addition to the five listed above, here are ten awesome [and free] career self-assessment tools you can try out! The knowledge you will gain upon completion of your self-assessment will be priceless and will help give you direction in your career path and the companies you will want to target.

Step 2: Research
The next thing you should do before going on an interview is research the company you are applying to work for and then make sure you fully understand the job description. After you have an interview lined up, start your research and verify you are communicating with a reputable company. This is especially important when you are applying to a company you are not familiar with.

Start a search by typing the name of the company into a search engine such as Google or Bing, and then check out a few of the listed results, such as GlassDoor, the company’s website, and the company’s social media pages. Glassdoor is a great place to start as it lists un-edited company reviews, salaries and interview questions/difficulty level. You can also receive a custom salary estimate based on your title, company, location and experience.

As with any research, be sure you use more than one source or website. The company’s social media pages will help you learn more about the work culture and work environment. Most companies post fun company pictures and community events to their social media sites.

You will also want to be sure to visit the official website for the company you will be interviewing with. This will help you become more knowledgeable about the company's values, vision, history and their leadership team. Be sure you understand the job description and know what will be expected of you if you are hired. Think of examples of related experience you have that would be beneficial to the job you are applying for. It is a good idea to do a little research on the job title or industry if you are new to the field.

Last, but definitely not least, you will need to practice, practice, and practice! I have found it is more beneficial to do a real practice interview with a family member or a trusted friend.

Step 3: Practice
First, you will want to limit the practice to just you and the other person so you are more relaxed and focused. Make sure you ask them to have some questions prepared for the practice interview (Muse has rounded up list of the 31 most common interview questions - this is a great place for you to start). Once the two of you are finished, ask for feedback on your performance. This will give you a good idea of how the interview went and what kind of questions you need to work on.

In addition to your feedback on your answers, be sure to ask your friend or family member to provide constructive feedback about your facial expressions, body language and anything else they noticed that a professional interviewer or hiring manager could view as negative.

We, at LandrumHR, wish you all the best in your job search and hope these tips will help you be better prepared in getting your next job. Be sure to check out our Jobs page to learn more about how job searching with a staffing service works, and to view all of our current job openings!