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Preparing for a job interview can be difficult and stressful. You only have one opportunity to make an unforgettable impression on the interviewer.

Hereunder is a list of 35 important things that you should do before, during and after an interview to help you be successful.

What to do before the interview

  • Commit the entire process to God in prayer.
  • Spend some time doing a bit of introspection to ensure that this is the direction that you will like your career to follow. At times, the interview process could be quick and you may need to make a decision fast. Ensure that the role in question aligns with your career vision.
  • Research the company. Look up the company’s mission and what it does on its website, social media platforms, annual reports and newspaper articles.
  • Clarify whether the interview is face to face, over the phone or via Skype. In some instances, the interviewer may request that you travel for the interview. If the interview is over phone or via Skype, ensure that you prepare around the technology.
  • Research the interviewers. Use LinkedIn to get information on their background and professional history.
  • Review the job advertisement. There could be a time period between when you submitted your CV and when you are invited to an interview. Therefore, spend some time and review the vacancy to ensure you are familiar with the requirements.
  • Research prospective colleagues using channels such as LinkedIn. This can potentially provide you with additional traits and information about the job that may not have been stated in the vacancy.
  • From your research, prepare a list of common interview questions. Preempt certain questions that you believe the interviewer may ask. As an example, if you have a career break on your resume, create a professional response to explain it. There is a high possibility that you will be asked this question.  The Star interview technique is useful for framing your responses to interview questions.
  • Explore websites like Glassdoor.com to gather information about the experiences of others who work for the company.
  • Prepare an approximate salary figure that you will want to do this job. At times, at the first interview stage, you may be asked for a number or a range.
  • Write a persuasive and compelling elevator pitch.
  • Practice your elevator pitch with a friend so that you can introduce yourself seamlessly.
  • Ensure that your attire is clean, ironed and ready ahead of your big day. Have a back-up outfit in the event that there is an unexpected wardrobe malfunction on the day.
  • Sleep well the night before. Lack of sleep can lead to lack of focus.
  • Eat a solid breakfast. You need all the brain energy to ensure that you answer questions effectively.
  • Contact your potential references and get them to confirm that they are willing and available to provide you with a reference letter if needed. Usually companies require 2-3 references. However, it’s best to contact about 4 persons just for good measure.
  • Draft letters of references and have each of your prospective references review them. This will speed up the process if you get a job offer as your reference letter will only need to be printed and signed.
  • Draft a thank you letter or email which you can customise immediately after the interview.
  • From your research, create a list of questions that you will like to ask the interviewer. Having no questions during the interview may be viewed as a lack of interest.
  • Print out at least one copy of your cover letter and resume. Depending on the question asked, you can easily refer to it during the interview.
  • Preparation is fundamental to having a successful interview so practice, practice, practice. Do a mock interview either in front of the mirror or with a friend or family member. You may also want to consider recording your mock interviews. This could help you improve your body language and strengthen your responses.
  • Get a professional notebook or diary that you can carry to the interview to make notes of critical particulars concerning the role. This information could be useful during your first 90 days in the event that you are hired.
  • Arrive at the interview location at least 15 minutes before the start of the interview.
  • Turn off your cellphone so that you will not be distracted during the interview.
  • Once you arrive at the office of the interviewer, be on guard as there could be a series of behavioural interviews. Treat each interaction with every member of the staff as part of the interview process.

What to do during the interview

  • Smile, make eye contact, nod and show enthusiasm in the meeting.
  • Listen carefully so that you can answer appropriately. Do not be afraid to ask for a question to be repeated. You can use this strategy to slow down the interview a bit so that you can frame a proper response where needed.
  • Ask for clarity if you do not understand a question.
  • Make notes on pointers which may be relevant to a possible second interview or job offer.
  • Use examples and stories from your previous employment history to support your achievements.
  • Be yourself.
  • Have a strong closing to reaffirm your interest and enthusiasm in the role. You can prepare a framework prior to the interview but include information from the interview so it is specific to the meeting.

What to do after the interview

  • Deliver either a thank you letter or send a thank you email within 24 hours of completing the interview. This will ensure that the meeting is still fresh in the recruiter’s mind.
  • Make notes of your impressions of the interview. Is there anything that stood out most in your mind? Is there any area that you believe you could have done better? Pay specific attention in the event that you had some negative feelings about any occurrence or individual. At the end of the day, your job takes up a major part of your life. It is vital that you are comfortable and happy with your environment.
  • Follow up with the interviewer if you have not heard from them in the time frame agreed in the interview.

There are other articles on the blog that you may find useful before, during and after the job interview process. Feel free to click the links below to explore:-

9 Effective Internal Job Interview Tips

A Comprehensive Guide To Informational Interviewing

7 Red Flags That You Should Look For In A Job Interview

How To Calm Your Nerves Before A Job Interview

21 Top Tips and Tricks For A Successful Job Interview

How To Use The Star Interview Technique To Ace Your Job Interview

How To Ace A Phone Interview

How To Ace An Internal Job Interview

How To Ace A Skype Job Interview

11 Essential Questions To Ask A Job Interviewer

10 Job Interview Pitfalls That Job Seekers Must Avoid

5 Practical Factors You Should Consider When Travelling For A Job Interview

How To Pass A Written Job Interview

A Comforting Prayer That You Can Say Before A Job Interview

A Fervent Prayer For A Job Interview

How To Write A Persuasive Elevator Pitch

Final Thoughts

According to Benjamin Franklin, by failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail. Trust this list above provides you with useful information to help you successfully prepare for your next interview.

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35 Important Things To Do Before, During & After An Interview

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