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How to Prepare for a Job Interview

When it comes to any interview, the best thing that somebody can do is be prepared. Not only does this help you go into the interview with confidence, but it also proves to the employer that you are well organized and will fit suitably in a professional environment. While the different ways to prepare may vary based on the position, organization, internship, job, etc., all of them seem to have a common theme; be ready for anything that they throw your way. Walk into the interview believing that you are the best fit for this position, regardless of what anybody else may think.

1. Do Your Research

The second you are offered an interview; you need to learn the ins-and-outs of the organization. What is their mission? What do they do? Who is the CEO? Why are you here in the first place? Be able to relate the goals and values of the company with your own. By showing that you know about the company and why you fit within their values, the interviewer can easily envision you as a part of the company.

If you can find out who is conducting your interview, try to do research on them as well. Acknowledge something about them that could lead to casual conversation. This will make you seem personable and good at communication. The interviewer will begin to see you as likeable overall, so they may advocate for you getting the position. On the other hand, if you do not know the interviewer make sure you are well educated on the organization/company you are applying for. You can never be too educated.

2. Have Your Resume Ready

Regardless of if you have already given them your resume, you always need to have tangible copies ready-to-go. You never know who is going to ask you for one, and you don’t even know if the interviewer has one. Some interviewers will ask for a copy resume, just to see if you came in prepared. In addition, make sure your resume is perfectly tailored to the position you are applying for. You may need to create slightly different versions of your resume if you apply to a bunch of different companies. Lastly, do not print out your resume on flimsy printer paper. Something such as cardstock would be adequate. This small change will help make you stand out when compared to the competition.

3. Dress to Impress

First impressions are the most important ones. It is essential to know how to dress professionally for interview. Some say to “dress one step above the position you are applying for”. This is a pretty good guideline when determining what type of attire you should wear. For more formal interviews, a blazer is a necessity, but for more low-steak interviews, business casual may be

suitable. For example, you aren’t likely going to wear a three-piece suit for an interview at McDonalds. Aside from attire, make sure to always be well-groomed and hygienic. If you are unclear about what is suitable for business casual/professional, there are many templates online to help demonstrate what is appropriate.

4. Practice

Practice makes perfect. Even though you won’t know all the logistics beforehand, you can predict the certain basic questions you’ll be asked. If you have never gone through an interview before, or are even just nervous, there are many online and in person resources that can help. Mock interviews are an amazing way to simulate the actual environment. There are professional websites that offer them, or you could have a friend conduct one for you. Just make sure you are comfortable with talking about yourself before walking into the interview!

5. Questions. Questions. Questions.

One question that your interviewer will ask you without fail will be, “Do you have any questions?” This is your chance to make a lasting impression on the interviewer and potentially secure yourself the job. Always prepare questions to ask the interviewer. Some examples of questions you could ask are:

What would you say the work-life balance of the job looks like?

Would you say that this company values group work or individual work more?

What are generally some habits of people in the company who have earned promotions?

I saw that this company participates in x, y, z. Could you tell me more about that?

Show that you’ve done your research on them. If you find that the interviewer enjoys talking about themselves, as them a question regarding their own relationship with the company. The worst mistake that could be made is not asking any.

Remember that this is just as much you interviewing company as it is the company interviewing you. The worst thing that they can do it say no. If you go in prepared though, you are more likely to perform well. Walk in with confidence and be ready to crush the next interview!

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