Preparing for a Job Interview
Written by Lee Wyatt (last updated October 13, 2020)
The thing about job interviews is that they are inherently nerve wracking. Often times, interviews are purposefully set up this way, in order to better judge how you react to pressure and intense situations. There is a way that you can limit the amount of stress that you have to deal with during a job interview though, and that lies in preparation and organization. By preparing for a job interview, and organizing yourself for what may lie ahead, you can go a long way to making the best possible impression.
- Practice your interview. Never go to an interview cold, always practice a little bit before hand. One way to look at an interview is that it is a test, and that you need to prepare for it. Just as if you would practice for a test, you should also practice your interview skills. Have a friend be the interviewer, and go through the interview process with you several times. This will help you become more at ease with the interview, and more comfortable with your answers.
- Research the company, and memorize important facts. Take a little time and research the company that you are interviewing with. This means that you find out what the company does, the products it makes, any recent news about the company, and so on. Memorize any important and relevant facts that you come across.
- Make your own list of questions. The interviewer is not the only person allowed to ask questions during the interview. In fact, you are interviewing the company almost as much as they are interviewing you. This means that you should come up with a few questions that you should ask during the interview when you get a chance. Try to keep questions such as salary, benefits, and so on till as late in the interview as possible. The reason for this is that there is an old saying that goes "The person who mentions money first, loses."
- Scope out the place before the interview. Before you go to the interview, make sure that you know where the business is located. The best way to do this is to go over to the business a day or two in advance, and take a look around. This will give you a better idea of the office atmosphere, the dress code, and where you should go for your interview. In addition, by taking the time to look around before the interview, you can get an idea of how long it will take you to get there, and you can plan your travel time accordingly.
- Dress appropriately. Be sure that you dress appropriately for your interview. A great rule of thumb is that you dress slightly better than what people where to the office on a daily basis. For example, if the people in your office are usually wearing slacks and dress shirts, then show up for the interview wearing a tie. Do not under-dress for the occasion, and at the same time do not overly dress either. For example, do not wear a tuxedo to an interview for a job at a burger joint.
- Be confident. Confidence is always a must. One could almost say that the interviewer can smell fear. Be sure and confident in your answers, though you should avoid appearing over confident. If you do not know the answer to a particularly question, then say so. Confidence in what you know, and even in what you don't know, is one of those things that employers are always looking for in a new hire.
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