Supercharge Your Next Job Interview with These 11 Free Tools
Whether you want to admit it or not, it takes skill to ace an interview. And in order to hone the necessary skills to do that, you need to practice regularly and prepare for any questions the interviewer might have.
It’s akin to studying for a test. The amount of time you invest getting ready for a job interview greatly influences your final score, and since you always want to walk away from an interview with a win, it’s important that you prepare accordingly .
Don’t show up to an interview unpracticed, because that’s a rookie mistake.
The good news is that you’re not alone in this venture. There are plenty of apps that will assist you with the task of supercharging your job interview skills. We break it down according to the steps you will go through.
To Help Optimize Your Application
Want to optimize your resume and build an expertly crafted piece with impeccable formatting? Who doesn’t! Creddle is a free resume builder that offers incredibly powerful customization options.
You sign up, choose a template you like, and then edit the document section by section. It’s much easier to use for building a resume than a Word Processer like Microsoft Word, and the end result looks much better, too.
You can import content from LinkedIn, share resumes you’ve built and even export the file in an alternate format such as a PDF or DOC.
No doubt, sprucing up your resume with Creddle will help you land a job interview if you haven’t already.
Sign Up: Creddle (Free)
Your resume is important, but so is your correspondence with a potential employer. You don’t want to sound informal or uneducated in your emails.
The Wordzen app adds a “smart send” button to your browser of choice — Chrome or Firefox — which then sends a draft of your email to live editors. They will generate the content for you, using professional-level language and grammar.
For example, you could leave the editor instructions to [follow-up with a potential employer] and they will create a professional quality email that does exactly that.
This frees up extra time for you to complete other training tasks, which is always a plus! Not to mention, your emails come out sounding amazing.
Download: Wordzen for Chrome (Free)| Firefox (Free) [No Longer Available]
If you’re looking to turn your resume into a gorgeous visual centerpiece as opposed to a boring wall of text, then Visualize.me is the tool to help you do it. You can sign-in with a LinkedIn account and import a ton of existing career data, or you can generate the resume from scratch.
Finished resumes end up looking like colorful, attractive infographics. If you want to capture the attention of a potential employer right away, then creating a visual resume is your best shot.
It’s free to sign-up and start building a resume.
Sign Up: Vizualize.me (Free)
To Prepare You for a Skype or Phone Interview
Let’s be honest, it’s difficult to practice or train for an interview all by yourself. Pramp is a tool, aimed primarily at developers, that allows you to practice with another randomly matched peer via a live video stream. For all intents and purposes, it’s just like conducting a Skype or live stream interview.
The site provides questions and answers, which you and your matched partner must comb through together. If you feel that your skills or expertise are lacking in a particular area, you can customize a session by making that clear. During the interview, you’ll be asked more questions related to that weakness.
Each practice interview lasts for a half-hour, after which both participants provide feedback to one another. Think of it as a crowd-sourced training platform.
Sign Up: Pramp (Free)
Tools to Help You Dress the Part
If you’re not big into fashion, dressing up for an interview can be difficult. It’s not the getting dressed part that’s hard, though — it’s actually picking out the outfit you should wear. The stress of doing so can be exacerbated by an impending interview.
Trunk Club will connect you with a personal stylist who takes some time to learn about you, your style and what you like to wear. Then, they put together a tailored outfit just for you and ship them to your home. You can try everything on for free but if you don’t like it, you can send it back.
The app has clothing for both men and women, and has no hidden fees for shipping or for ordering a trunk. The only thing you’ll be spending money on is the clothing you buy, most of which are designer labels. If you don’t want to pay a lot of an outfit, you could also nab some ideas from your Trunk Club outfit and hunt around at local shops.
Stitch Fix is another service similar to Trunk Club, but exclusively for women.
This app lets you take a quiz about your style preferences and then connects you with a personal stylist. You’ll be shipped five items to try on and you only keep what you love. Anything you don’t like you can easily send back in the company’s pre-paid mailing bag.
The clothes are less expensive than those from Trunk Club, but you do have to pay an additional $20 fee for using the service. Again, at the very least you could use the app for some interview-style inspiration.
Download: Stitch Fix for iOS (Free to download and use, but there’s a $20 for styling fee which is rolled into the final order payment)
If you know how to tie a tie, then you’re one of the lucky few. You’d be surprised how many people, especially younger generations, don’t know how to complete such a simple task. Luckily, the app How to Tie a Tie teaches you exactly how to get that done.
You can select from a list of 20 common knots and follow a walkthrough to tie a tie with that particular style. If you miss a section of the walkthrough, you can move backward through the animated feature frame-by-frame.
Needless to say, this is an invaluable tool if you need to wear a suit and a tie for an interview, but don’t know how to formally tie the tie.
Tools to Help You Speak Effectively in Person
If you don’t have a partner to practice your interviews with, this app is invaluable. It will present mock interviews for you to complete, many of which pose some tough, spur-of-the-moment questions. You are given a set time to answer each question, and you can record your response to play back later if needed. This allows you to hone your responses and really get snappy at answering questions.
When you’re done, you can watch professional career coach Peggy McKee answer the questions and break down the responses you should be giving to an interviewer.
Sometimes, you just don’t have another person around to train with, but you still need to get practice done. That’s where this app comes in handy. Plus, it’s free!
Download: Job Interview Question-Answer for iOS [No Longer Available] (Free) | Android [No Longer Available] (Free)
Monster is best known by potential job seekers as an opportunity board where you can search for employment opportunities. However, they offer a free mobile app that includes a “Pre-Interview” resources section.
That’s right! The section is packed to the brim with helpful advice, tips, interview strategies and training tools to perfect your next interview.
It even teaches you follow-up etiquette to use after the interview has been conducted. This is important because you always want to stay relevant to potential job seekers and hiring officials. According to a 2013 CareerBuilder survey, 58% of employers indicated that it’s “beneficial” for potential hires to send a thank you letter or email after an interview, while 24% said it’s “extremely important.”
The Monster app also offers fashion advice for the big day and allows you to set personal reminders and alerts so you don’t forget upcoming events.
Download: Monster for iOS (Free) | Android [No Longer Available] (Free)
Tools to Help Calm Your Nerves and Alleviate Stress
Sometimes, no matter how hard you try, you just cannot calm your nerves or alleviate stress. This can have a significant impact on your mood and behavior, and it can certainly show during an interview.
If you’re stressed before the big day and want to relax, Pacifica is a great app to help you calm down. It offers a variety of tools and relaxation techniques to keep you on an even keel. For example, there’s a personal thought diary that helps you identify and correct distorted or negative thought patterns, a relaxation technique resources page, daily health and mood goals and tracking.
Basically, everything you need to stay relaxed and in a good mood is right at your fingertips, and considering Pacifica is a mobile app, you always have it with you when you need it.
Headspace is an online training and education tool for meditation. That’s right — by devoting just ten minutes a day, it will teach you how to meditate, center yourself and calm your nerves. This is great for people who are particularly nervous, especially around others.
Since it only takes ten minutes to complete a session, you can slide one in right before your interview to help balance your mood levels. The Foundation Course is free; the subscription options offer more.
The Best Tip: Practice Makes Perfect
All of these apps will help you train and prepare for an interview. It doesn’t matter whether it’s conducted remotely over the phone or Skype, or whether it’s done face-to-face.
You’ll be anxious, so you’ll need to calm your nerves, and since you will likely be asked difficult questions, you should be prepared to answer. It helps if you write down summarized responses or personal notes before the interview. That way, you have a reference for when an unexpected question comes your way. This will also save you from looking unorganized and mousy because you’re stuttering while having difficulty coming up with an answer.
All in all, invest time practicing for the interview and any questions that may arise, and you should do just fine.
Have you used apps and tools to combat your interview anxiety? Or have you always taken the old-fashioned “confidence is everything” attitude? Tell us what worked for you and the mistakes that derailed an interview.