6 Critical Interview Prep Steps (that most candidates overlook)

Hey job-seeker,

Do you have a process to prepare for an interview?

Most candidates follow a mental checklist. It includes things like:

  • Research the company online
  • Review the job description
  • Mentally match the job description to their resume
  • Think through a few answers to the hardest questions they anticipate
  • Pick out what they'll wear

Have you been following a similar process?

If so, you're missing 6 crucial steps.

I work with my clients on these 6 additional prep items and their results are exponentially improved:

1️⃣ Prep your mind.

I notice this is usually the last step most interviewees take in their prep work. It should be the first. Your mind can either support you and your goals, or it can hold you back. You get to decide!

Think back to a time when you showed up in an interview or a client meeting or another high-pressure situation and you nailed it. What were you thinking before you went into that meeting? How were you feeling? Really dig into that situation and connect with the version of you who showed up in that powerful way.

✅ Give that version of you a name, an Alter Ego. You can use this to quickly recall and snap into that high-performing version of yourself by recalling your Alter Ego's name and energy.

Identify the thoughts that are holding you back. Brainstorm all the areas where you: Don’t feel confident, don’t feel qualified, feel like you have a gap, are unsure

✅ Find the evidence for how those limiting thoughts aren’t true

 

2️⃣ Analyze how you come across as your best in an interview.

✅ Ask yourself: Do you talk too much? Do you interrupt? Do you fumble over your words? Do you overthink your answers? Do you apologize? Do you avoid the small talk, thinking it’s less important?

Then, figure out the thoughts that you’re having that cause these behaviors: are you thinking you’re unqualified? Do you feel unprepared? Do you feel the interviewer is “above” you? Do you feel like an imposter?

✅ Finally, create replacements for the thoughts that are causing you to show up as less than your most confident, qualified self in an interview.

 

3️⃣ Do ALL the research.

Most interviewees research the company and the job. They forget to research the interviewers. Find out who will interview you and review their LinkedIn profiles, their corporate website profiles, and Google them. Do some digging so that you can easily find common ground with them at the start of the interview and so that you can ask great questions.

 

4️⃣ Show your personality.

Nerves and lack of confidence can muffle your personality. If you don’t show your personality and ability to connect with other people, the interviewer may be concerned that you won’t be a team player or work well with customers.  Let your personality shine through.

To prepare for this in advance, brainstorm all of the ways that you want to come across in the interview. 

✅ What are the best aspects of your personality?

 What do you want to be thinking in your interview, as someone whose personality is shining through?

✅ What would you be feeling in the interview in order to reveal your personality? 

 

5️⃣ Practice answering the questions that you hope they won’t ask.

✅ List out all the questions that might trip you up. (e.g. why did you leave your last company, have you worked with a challenging boss, has one of your projects failed, etc)

Write out your answer. Look at it from the hiring manager’s perspective. Their two main goals are that (1) you can do the job such that you make their life and job easier and (2) you aren’t going to make them look bad. Think about your answer from their perspective. Practice your answer out loud, in the mirror.

✅ Assess your body language and demeanor. It’s common to come across as fumbling, unsure, uncertain, resentful, justified, apologetic, a victim, uncommitted, or self-interested when you’re not clear on your answer. Get clear and commit to your answer.

 

6️⃣ And finally, plan for and nail the basics.

Show up as professional.

Dress appropriately for the company culture (I recommend one level above the corporate dress code for an interview).

Don’t bring a drink (I’ve had a situation where the interviewee spilled their coffee all over my desk.

Be 5-10 minutes early, never late

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