Along with the excitement of getting a job interview comes the anxiety of making it through that meeting. One of the most common fears that job seekers have is that they will draw a blank when asked an important question. As many professionals know, this can often result in awkward silence that may be challenging to overcome and could shake your confidence throughout the rest of the interview. While it can be difficult to anticipate every question or really know how you’ll approach a question in the room, there are some steps you can take to ensure you are as prepared as possible:
Review your resume
One of the first steps you can take is to get familiar with your resume. While it may seem silly to review your own background, you may forget certain accomplishments from a previous position, or you may find an item that the interviewer might question. For example, if there is an employment gap on your resume, but you haven’t answered a question about it for some time, you may want to be prepared to address how you remained productive during that time.
Do your research
Another crucial preparation element is to conduct as much research as possible about the company’s history as well as the job description. To get started, check out the company’s website, social media, and any recent press coverage. This can help you answer questions about why you want to work at the company, as well as give you more talking points throughout the interview that expertly show that you’ve done your homework.
Practice your responses
While you can’t anticipate every question you will be asked, there are some basic questions you can prepare for. Knowing how you’re going to respond to a portion of the questions asked can help you focus more on the answers you can’t prepare and ease your mind. As a result, prepare for questions like:
- What do you like to do outside of work?
- What makes you the right candidate for this position?
Prepare your own questions
Additionally, you’ll be given the opportunity to ask any questions to your interviewer at the end of your interview. This can often be where a candidate draws a blank, forgetting that they also must ask the questions during this meeting. By preparing your questions ahead of time, you can be sure that you don’t forget them on the spot.
Take your time
During your interview, if you feel caught off-guard by a question, remember that it is okay to take a moment to collect your thoughts. There is nothing wrong with taking an extra beat to think through your answer before you speak. If you are still having trouble after a few moments, try thinking out loud. After all, many interviewers are more interested in your thought process anyway. By deliberating out loud, you may give them the exact response they were looking for.