How to interview effectively & land your dream job

Before an interview, your mind might be racing thinking about the job opportunity, all the ways you could go wrong or botch the interview – but you shouldn’t let it! How should you prepare for an interview so you can interview effectively and land the job?

Exude confidence. If you have to, pump yourself up in the mirror by complimenting yourself beforehand. Remind yourself of why you would be a great fit, and rehearse answers to some classic interview questions. Make sure you feel good about yourself and are in the mood for a conversation. Make sure you are relaxed and well rested, and remember to eat beforehand. Though they are looking for someone to do a job, they are also looking for someone they can work with and share the highs and lows of the day. Answering questions perfectly does not guarantee that you will land the job. Be aware of your skills as well as your weaknesses. Think: if you were asked why you should be the choice over another individual, how would you defend yourself against the competition? Whether you are trying to get hired as a programmer, office manager, or for a sales position, there is always someone better, so focus on specific advantages that you bring to the table.

Plan your questions. Knowing in advance what you want to ask is a great opportunity to show that you have done your research and are truly interested in the role. Learn about the obstacles the company is facing, and ask them about it. Though you are applying to a specific job, you are also applying to a company, and at least one of your questions should reflect that. The interviewer should walk away knowing that you are passionate about their business and you want to help them succeed.

Get your story strait. Know your story – think back to how you entered the field and got to where you are today. Tie the pieces together and rehearse in front of a mirror. Take advantage of open ended questions; these are your opportunity to pitch! The audience needs to be captivated and engaged by your story. Focus on the transitions and the reasons for them.