Question: What is the best way to prepare for an interview? Are there general questions one should practice before the interview? — Sammy M., Washington, DC
Answer: Arriving unprepared ranks close to the top of the list of “Things Not to Do” when faced with an interview. Below, some things to keep in mind to best prepare for the big day:
– Determine what you love about the role and the organization
– Assess the skills you can bring to the job
– Honestly consider your strengths and weaknesses
– Highlight successful and related projects and accomplishments
– Come with questions for the interviewer
It’s best practice to be able to expand on the above suggestions, as they cover the basic foundations of most interviews regardless of industry. Subsequently, don’t forget about the logistics:
– Arrive on time
– Determine directions and/or parking
– Turn off your phone
– Bring copies of your resume and work samples
Lastly, a follow up thank you note (handwritten or email both work) takes you through the end of the process!
Interviewing can be stressful, especially if you have several close together or are in different rounds for different organizations. Consider the list above, practice with a friend or mentor, get a good night’s sleep and give yourself plenty of time to arrive to the office. You’ll be prepped in no time and interviewing like a natural!
Nurys Harrigan-Pedersen is president of Careers In Nonprofits, the experts in nonprofit staffing and recruiting with offices in Chicago and Washington, D.C.