After researching countless job opportunities, sending out dozens of resumes and following up on every lead, you’ve finally landed a promising interview. Congratulations! Preparing early will put you in the best position to nail the interview and get the job. Why?
- Preparation gives you a better idea of what the interviewer is looking for.
- You can plan answers for common interview questions.
- It will make you feel more comfortable at the interview so you can put your best foot forward.
There are many great reasons for preparing. Often, though, job candidates aren’t sure exactly what to do in order to prepare. There are at least six important ways you can prepare to ace your next interview.
1. Learn about the company
A favorite question of interviewers is, “What do you know about the company?” Prepare for this question by reviewing the company’s website. Pay special attention to the “About Us” section. Researching the company will also allow you to create a list of questions to ask at the end of your interview. This shows your interest in and enthusiasm for the position, and leaves a good impression on the interviewer.
2. Review position requirements and information
Of course you want to know what your potential new job entails. Reviewing the position requirements is also important because it lets you prioritize the skills and qualities you emphasize during the interview.
3. Select your outfit
If you’re not sure what to wear, follow this rule: For an interview, dress slightly more formal than you would dress for work. If the office is business casual, your dress should be a suit and tie, pants suit or nice skirt. If the office workers wear jeans and T-shirts, dress business casual during the interview. When in doubt, err on the side of caution by choosing a more conservative business outfit.
4. Map and plan your route to the interview location
While most of us rely on our phone or car’s GPS for step-by-step directions, you should have an idea of the route ahead of time. Plan to arrive at least 5-10 minutes early for the interview.
5. Print several copies of your resume and cover letter
It never hurts to have extras, so while your interviewer will likely have these papers already, bring some copies along as well. You should have enough for all of the interviewers, plus a copy for yourself, just in case you need to refresh your memory on dates or other facts.
6. Organize your interview materials
If you have written a list of questions, printed out company information or letters of recommendation, keep them neat and organized with a folder or portfolio. Also, bring along a blue or black pen, in case you are asked to fill out any paperwork.
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