Tips for Nailing Your Dream Job: How to Prepare for an Interview
It’s that exciting time in every professional’s career: interviewing for your dream job. But, first thing’s first. Are you ready for that conversation with your future employer? Make sure you are prepared for all aspects of the interview by following these quick tips below to ensure that you rise above the rest to score the job you have always wanted.
Take a moment to research the company via their website and LinkedIn. Before you step into the interview, you’ll want to know if your values match those of your potential employer. Additionally, what is their reputation within the marketplace and how can you help them achieve their goals? You should have an idea of the company’s history, values and levels of success, as well as an understanding of their competition. During the course of the conversation, verify that these facts are correct by asking specific questions about what is on their website, annual reports or prior newspaper articles.
Understanding “The Job”
Research shows that you could spend roughly one-third of your life working, so spending your time at a job you actually enjoy is really important! During your interview, consider asking for a run-down of a typical day at the office to see if their explanations match your expectations. This job is either a step in the right direction down your career path or you have reached your dream job, so be sure to take the time to know the inner workings of the position.
What is Important to You?
What matters to you? Knowing the culture of your specific position, as well as the company, are both key. Do you prefer to work in an open area or do you need an office with a door to get your job done well? Are you looking to make friends and seeking co-workers around your age demographic, or does that not matter to you? Do you enjoy the mornings and don’t mind coming into the office with the early birds, or are you a night owl that would rather work late? Reflecting on some of these questions will help you understand what type of office atmosphere you prefer and if this position is the right one for you.
Benefits and Logistics
Some companies provide perks for working for their organization. Health insurance, flexible schedule, free dry cleaning and gym memberships are among them. Be sure to get a good grasp of the benefits that the company you’re interviewing with offers. Also, pay attention to the small details of your potential day-to-day. If you are one that minds a long commute, check out the driving time via Google Maps to have a clear idea of how long you will be in the car or en route on public transportation. When you get to the location, look around to see if there are any places to shop or eat near your work. Can you walk to them or will you always need a car, taxi or bus to run an errand on your lunch hour? Only you will know what’s important to you, and what sacrifices you are willing to make.
Let’s Talk Greenbacks
Before you sit in the seat of your interview, have an idea of what you want to earn in your new role. It is important to have realistic expectations, so make it a goal to do some market research prior to meeting with your potential employer. Very few jobs will provide a significant jump in salary, around 25%, from what you are currently earning, so what is a reasonable salary range that you will need or would like for the future? Your research will give you a reference point for when you receive your salary offer. It can also be an aide to help you negotiate for the salary that you want. It’s important to note that most salary offers are executed fairly when based on experience, responsibility level and how this job helps fulfill company needs. When starting the negotiation process, plan to be realistic during those talks as well.
It’s Interview Day
Some final points before your big day: Expect to be asked if you have any questions concerning the potential role and have an answer ready. Consider ones such as “What attributes or behaviors are you looking for in this position?” or “What would it take to be successful in this role?”. Plan to overdress for your interview and leave your phone in the car so you won’t be distracted. Bring along a handful of newly printed resumes, take a deep breath, smile and think positively – you’re about to land the job of your dreams.