How to prepare for your next job interview

If you haven’t interviewed for a position in a long time, the interview process can be intimidating! Interview processes and practices change regularly and can vary based on your industry or desired position. Before you step into the boss’s office, you should take time to sharpen your interview skills. Luckily HopeWorks is here to help! We share four tips to help you prepare for your upcoming interview. 

Consider what the past two years have looked like for you.

It’s January 2022 – we don’t have to tell you that the last two years have been challenging personally and professionally for many people. You may have been unable to work for extended periods of time during 2020 or 2021, or you may have shifted positions more frequently than usual during that time. While you likely made these choices out of necessity, gaps in your resume or frequent employment changes may trigger questions during an interview. Outline why you made specific employment decisions leading up to the interview so you can honestly and accurately answer these questions.

Understand the interview format. 

Today’s job market is complicated. Some companies are still operating remotely, while others are hybrid or fully in person. Many companies are hiring a large number of employees at once, which can change their interview format. Others are still using traditional interview practices. All of this to say, it’s important to read carefully any job applications you submit to understand the interview format. If the interview will take place over video chat or the phone, make sure you have the right technology and dial-in information to complete the interview. If you’re able to, do a test run with a friend or family member to make sure all of your devices and connections are working correctly. If the interview is in person, review the company’s COVID policies to understand their guidelines. 

Learn about the business. 

Before you go in for an interview, it’s always a good idea to learn about the company you want to work for. Start by reading their website, paying special attention to the company’s mission, vision or goals. Read about the company’s leadership and the biographies of the people interviewing you, if they’re available. Beyond their website, social media can be a great place to learn about a company’s recent events, activities or news. Check out their Facebook, Instagram and LinkedIn pages to get started! You can use the information you find to ask informed questions about what it’s like to work for the company.

Brainstorm answers to common questions. 

While every interview will be unique, most interviewers will ask some of the same questions. To feel prepared, write down answers to questions about your education, training, past work experience and personal qualities. Practice your answers with family or friends – they can give you honest feedback to make your answers stronger! In HopeWorks’ PCD program, our counselors can help you practice your answers to these questions!  You can sign up for an upcoming PCD class here.