There’s no denying that job interviews are a daunting experience. Whether it’s your first one or you’ve been to countless, they’re always a steep mountain to climb.
Have you ever considered writing an action plan for your job interview? This could help ease your nerves, prepare you a little better and hopefully help you to score the position.
Don’t worry, we’ll walk you through the essential parts of writing an action plan and how you can use it to help you through the grueling experience of job interviews.
Why do you need an action plan?
You might not have considered writing up an action plan for your job interview. They can be extremely beneficial and might even help you throughout the interview itself.
It’s more than just a simple preparation, it’s thorough research so that when you sit down for the interview, you’re fully prepared.
An action plan gives you the chance to look into the company, prepare answers and sell yourself in the best way possible.
We’ve listed our very top tips on writing an action plan for your job interview, giving you the best start to any potential position.
1 | PREPARE FOR COMMON QUESTIONS
Every interview has standard questions. These range from “what do you consider your weakness?” and “how did you hear about this position?”
It’s a great idea to become familiar with these questions and prepare answers to each and every one. Write down your answers and practice them in front of somebody or in the mirror.
Make sure the questions you write down, are related to the company that you’re applying for. Also, ensure that your answers all match your CV and cover letter.
We’d say, prepare answers to all these questions, a few variations of the questions are guaranteed to prop up, and you’ll have an admirably strong response.
2 | RESEARCH INTO THE COMPANY
Part of your action plan should absolutely include an investigation into the company. Every chance that you get during the interview relates it back to the company.
Showing knowledge of the company is crucial and shows your interviewee that you’re serious about the role and passionate too.
A question might arise along the lines of something, “what do you know about us?” In which case, you will absolutely shine.
Things like the founding date aren’t as important as knowing the company’s ethos and mission, though.
3 | RESEARCH INTO THE INDUSTRY
It’s also important to know facts about the industry. This will give you an exceptional understanding of the company’s overall position.
Knowing the competitors, competitive advantages and any improvements could be the difference between you getting the job or not. This could be brought up directly in a question or inside knowledge on the industry will shine through your entire interview.
Try to avoid research into a really general area and instead opt for just a few, related industries. This way, your action plan will be more concise, and your interview is a lot smoother.
4 | SELL YOURSELF
Many interviews begin with “tell me a little about yourself,” which might throw some people off. Sure, it might be interesting to know that you went on a family holiday last year, but it isn’t relevant.
Your action plan should include all your selling points. From personality all the way to your education. Write down everything relevant to the role and why you believe it makes you the perfect candidate.
For example, “I have a degree in economics, have amazing communication skills, and I was the group leader for a volunteer group.”
This tells them everything they need to know to hire you for the job. It’s often a good idea to have a professional look at the more minute aspects of your job interview. There are now many writing services like TrustMyPaper that hire niche professional that can consult you.
5 | REVEAL YOUR NETWORK
Success often lies with who you know, and so writing down useful contacts might be advantageous.
Including relevant people and professions, in your action plan, will show your potential employee that hiring you will benefit the company too. This could be in the form of references or people you have met through employment.
Write down 50 people that you can consider part of your network. From these names, establish how they can help you and the company. It could even be a form of influencer marketing.
Don’t forget, this could be something as simple as “My Dad is also an accountant, and I’ve always wanted to follow in his footsteps.”
6 | CONCERNS
If you anticipate any concerns of reservations that the interviewer may have about you, you can find ways to turn them around.
There are always more candidates, and there are still new positions. If they don’t think you’re a perfect fit, you may not get the job.
In your action plan, you should find reasons why they may not want to hire you, then develop ways to cancel out these reservations.
Put yourself in their shoes.
7 | WHY DO YOU WANT THE JOB?
If the interviewer doesn’t think that you’re interested in the job, they won’t give it to you. It’s that simple. So many employers are trying to cut down their turnaround, and finding an employee that’s passionate and committed will always be a top priority.
Ask yourself, genuinely, why do you want this job? Write it in the action plan, and develop your answers throughout.
Obviously, researching the company and the industry will help with this answer. However, don’t be afraid to highlight your personal goals. Wanting to learn new skills and become more autonomous is an incredible reason.
Avoid saying things like “I need the money.” This is extremely off-putting.
8 | ANY QUESTIONS?
It’s where so many of us stumble. The interview has gone great, then they reverse the roles; they ask you if you have any questions.
It’s a tricky question to maneuver around. You don’t want to seem like you haven’t researched, but you want to remain seemingly curious about the role.
Producing intelligent questions for your interviewer will definitely reflect well onto you. Opt for questions that might give you a chance to sell yourself a little bit more.
9 | CLOSE ON A POSITIVE
Make your interview memorable, and make sure your action plan has a powerful ending. Think of it as a story.
You’ve been selling yourself the entire interview, now you just need to tell them to buy it. Tell your interviewer that you’re more passionate than ever to get the job and that it would be a dream come true.
Combine your action plan points altogether, and create an ending to the interview that would be so memorable, they just have to hire you. That’s the key.
Another essential tip, regarding interviews, is to practice, practice, practice. Every single scenario and question should be written down and repeated. Your interview probably won’t go precisely the same, but it will prepare you beautifully.
If you follow these nine tips, your action plan will be perfect, and your interview will match. Preparation and passion are big selling points for employers, make sure you’re ticking both the boxes.
Monique Mahler is the VP, Marketing at interviewstream. She is an avid researcher of facts, a self proclaimed marketing geek, and an equestrian in her spare time.