Interview Preparation – What you Need to Know Before a Job Interview
I can’t emphasize enough how important interview preparation is, and the benefit you can get out of it if done properly. Please prepare in advance. The better prepared you are, the less anxious you will be, and the greater your chances for success.
- Find someone to role play the interview with you. This person should be someone with whom you feel comfortable and with whom you can discuss your weaknesses freely. This person should be objective and knowledgeable, perhaps a business associate.
- Use a mirror or video camera when you role play to see what kind of image you project. This helps you see yourself in the eyes of the interviewer.
- Assess your interviewing skills. What are your strengths and weaknesses? Work on correcting your weaknesses, such as speaking rapidly, talking too loudly or softly, and nervous habits such as quivering hands or inappropriate facial expressions.
- Learn the questions that are commonly asked and prepare answers to them. Practice giving brief but thorough answers.
- Decide what questions you would like to ask, and practice politely interjecting them at different points in the interview.
- Evaluate your skills, abilities, and education as they relate to the type of job you are seeking, and see where you need to focus more effort on your strengths.
- Practice tailoring your answers to show how you meet the company’s needs, and why you are a better candidate then the others that are in the running.
- Assess your overall appearance. Find out what clothing is appropriate for your industry. Although some industries such as fashion and advertising are more stylish, acceptable attire for most industries is conservative dress.
- Have several sets of appropriate clothing available since you might have several interviews over a few days. Always keep it professional.
- Your clothes should be clean and pressed, and your shoes polished as well.
- Make sure your hair is neat, your nails clean, and that you are generally well groomed.
- Research the company. The more you know about the company and the job you are applying for, the better you will do in the interview. Get as much information as you can before the interview.
- Have extra copies of your resume available to take to the interview. The interviewer may ask you for extra copies.
Extra emphasis should be made on Interview Preparation. Make sure you bring along the same version of your resume that you originally sent to the contact at the company. You can also refer to your resume to complete applications that ask for job history information (e.g., dates of employment, names of former employers and their telephone numbers, job responsibilities, and accomplishments).