The person who gets the job offer is not always the one who is most qualified—it’s often the one who prepares the best. Good preparation gives you confidence, helps you deliver better job interview answers, and it will help you get the offer. And the best part is…anyone can do it. Here are seven steps anyone can follow to be the best-prepared candidate who gets the offer:
#1 – ResearchEveryone knows to research the company and the job (although not everyone does) but the best-prepared candidate will also research the interviewer. Do an internet search, but also use social media (LinkedIn is great) and your network as resources. You want to find out everything you can about:
- Company size / location / finances / history
- Company products / services / sales processes (if you’re in sales)
- Company plans / challenges / competitors
- Biggest challenges
- Background of your interviewer
#2 – Create A Brag BookAlso known as kudos folders or portfolios, brag books are simply a collection of things you’ve done and feedback you’ve received. Awards, performance reviews, project summaries, and so much more can be included. You can use it in the interview to back up or illustrate any stories you tell, and this evidence of your success is very impressive to hiring managers. It acts as another kind of reference for you, and it’s a huge confidence boost, too.
#3 – Write Up A 30-60-90-Day PlanThis is the most important piece to interview success. A 30-60-90-Day Plan is an outline of action steps you would take in order to be successful in your first three months on the job. Your research will help you create it. When you discuss it with the hiring manager in the interview, they will clearly see your value as a candidate. It turns the interview into a professional conversation (rather than a simple Q&A) that allows them to visualize you in the role. See more about How to Create and Use a 30-60-90-Day Plan.
#4 – Develop Answers To The Most Common Interview QuestionsWhen you stumble over the answers to common interview questions, it highlights either that you didn’t really prepare for this conversation, or you aren’t confident in yourself as a candidate. Come up with great answers to questions like:
- “Tell me about yourself.”
- “Why should we hire you?”
- “Why do you want to work here?”
- “Why are you leaving your current job?” Or, “Why did you leave your last job?”
- “What salary are you expecting?”