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Plan for Success: 5 Tips for Preparing for an Interview

Preparation is key to a successful interview. If it’s been a while, consider retooling your preparation strategy by incorporating one of the following strategies.

  1. Create a crib sheet. While everyone knows the importance of researching a company, there is great value in actually writing down what you find. Our brain interacts with information differently when actively participating then when passively receiving. Through articulating what you find, you’ll be better prepared for the interview and have a resource to review the morning of your interview.

  2. Review your résumé. In addition to being clear on the company, spend some time looking over the résumé your interviewers will be consulting so you can highlight key achievements in your answers. Your cover letter, résumé, and interview should all present a unified picture.

  3. Use visualization. Athletes have long known the value of visualization for competition. If you go into an interview with a default setting of self-doubt, you will likely perform in line with your expectations. Spend some time picturing yourself going into the interview, sitting in the waiting area, calm and poised. Imagine yourself when you are called into the interview. You make eye contact and exchange a firm handshake. As you answer their questions, you are warm and engaging. The positive anticipation can reap positive results.

  4. Strike a power pose. There is some research to indicate that two minutes of power poses can improve performance in evaluatory settings. Check out Amy Cuddy’s TED Talk for more.

  5. Have a dress rehearsal. Ask a trusted colleague (who knows you are looking for a job) to role-play some interview questions with you. Interviewing is something we get relatively little practice at, and focused preparation can pay off.