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How to Prepare for a Job Interview

You landed the interview for the job you wanted! Now what!?

Being prepared for a job interview is so important. You will need to make sure you are ready and informed so you can speak in a relaxed, authentic and knowledgeable manner. You may be out of school or almost there but unfortunately the studying doesn’t stop just yet.

Being successful during an interview starts well before you ever step foot inside the door and preparation is key. You will want to make sure you learn about the company so that when they ask you questions about them; you are more than prepared to answer. A great way to study up on this is to visit the “About Us” page on a company’s website. There you will find reviews, the company’s values and any other important information to familiarize yourself with.

Follow these additional steps to become the successful candidate during your interview.

 

Prepare a Resume

Although you used a resume to apply to the job it is important to bring one to the actual interview. During the interview employers will ask questions based off your resume and having it handy will help you highlight your skills and experiences. Bringing your resume also gives the interviewer something to reference during and after the interview.

You will want to consider including items such as volunteer work, professional organizations or associations you belong to. One common mistake people make when making a resume is forgetting to include the most relevant an direct experience required for the job. Making sure your resume is up to date and concise is key to catching an employers attention.

Practice

Practice makes perfect and preparing for an interview is no different. Practice in advance to help you prepare, be confident and keep calm during your interview. Think through or write out responses to some of the commonly asked interview questions such as:

  • Why do you want the job?
  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses?
  • Tell me a time when you… (overcame a challenge, displayed leadership, worked in a team dynamic)

Answer honestly and focus on what you have to bring to the job not what the job would do for you. Another important concept is preparing some questions to ask the employer. Asking thoughtful questions shows that you are engaged and interested. However, it is important to stay away from questions regarding salary, work schedule, and benefits—those can come at a second interview or if you are offered the job.

Consider Your Attire

Did you know that first impressions mean everything? That includes what you wear to your interview. This also includes your methods of communications –gestures, tones, volume, posture.  Non-verbal communication can say “I’m knowledgeable, passionate and a team player.” Or it can say, “I’m nervous, uncertain of myself, and difficult to be around.” Follow these tips to make sure you’re sending the right message:

  • Turn off your cellphone and put it away before you enter the room
  • Make frequent eye contact with your interviewer
  • Avoid slouching or sitting with your arms crossed at your chest
  • Listen to your interviewer when they talk and do not interrupt; nod when appropriate to indicate you are listening
  • Be confident in yourself. The outcome of the interview does not determine your self-worth

After the interview is complete it is important to do a follow up via email. Within this email you should include; a thank you to the interviewer for their time, let them know you enjoyed learning about the position and reiterate that you are interested in the position. Close the email with an expression that you look forward to speaking with them again soon and send your references or letters of recommendation if they asked. Once you have completed all these steps you will be ready to ace that interview.

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