Interviewing Rules 101: Preparing for the Interview

Needless to say, job hunting is a tough and tiresome process.  From perusing the classifieds in the paper, to filling out job applications, to tailoring a resume and cover letter to each possible job – there is never a moment of rest for the avid job hunter.

Resumes and cover letters seem to be a breeze compared to the interview, a moment when the applicant is face to face with the interviewer, a possible future supervisor.  Preparation and practice can be key to calming interview anxieties as well as future interview success. The first step to a successful interview is to do your research:  Research the company you are applying at, as well as the position you are applying for.  This is beneficial to you in many ways.  Obviously, it is not a good idea to go to the interview with no background information.  The more you know about both, the better you will appear in the interview – you’ll know what skills the company is seeking, and you will know how you fill those qualifications.  Find out information about the company’s history, philosophy, products, and customers.  If possible, it is even ideal to talk to people who work at the company – sometimes, it all depends on networking and who you know!

The next step is to practice answers to common interview questions.  Also, do not forget to prepare your own list of questions. (It’s recommended to have around five ready.)  Having a prepared mental list of your own questions shows that you are interested and motivated, that you are taking the position seriously.

It’s highly recommended to rehearse the interview with a friend; according to USA Today’s Career Finding help, you should be able to convey all important information about yourself in 15 minutes.  Pay attention to important details about diction, speed, and body language.  (If you are like me, you tend to talk very fast when you are nervous…!)

Be sure to prepare and have ready several clean copies of your resume, a list of references, and any work samples or portfolio work.  Make sure these items are up-to-date.

Although it has been said and heard many times, it bears repeating: Dress professionally, conservatively, and comfortably for the interview.  Use common sense when it comes to how to dress for your interview.  Do not come tumbling and stumbling in on four inch stilletos, but it is also wise to not come in sporting your muddy sneakers that you last wore when trekking through a cow pasture.  When it comes to make-up, colognes, and perfumes, the saying “less is more” is appropriate!

This information and more can be found at:

http://www.usatoday.com/careers/resources/interview.htm

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