10 Tips to Prepare for Your Interview

So you’ve gotten an interview, that’s great! Now let’s turn that into a job, here are 10 tips that will help you make a great impression and get hired.

1. First off, search for common interview questions and find someone to practice with. You never want to go into an interview unprepared for the questions that you might be asked. Practicing with another person be it friend or family can help alleviate any nervousness from your interview. You can also practice by yourself, just get some questions and record yourself as you ask the questions and answer them. My first interview was a disaster because I didn’t prepare at all and it got cut short.

2. Anticipate the questions! Searching questions you will see a few pop up quite frequently. Questions like “Tell me about yourself” are not as straightforward as they seem, the employer doesn’t really want you to give them your life story, they want you to tell them about yourself and job history in relation to how you can help them. Another common one is “What is your greatest weakness” This may seem tricky to answer, but is actually quite simple with these 2 tricks. Think of a problem area that really isn’t a problem such as “I love to help people so I find it hard to say no to others and it takes up a lot of my time” then explaining how you made it so that you can still help people while maintaining control of your time. Another method is to think of a weakness. For example, you may be shy, show the interviewer how over the years you have joined clubs, taken roles in which you have to meet people, or tried public speaking. It shows you can identify your own weaknesses and find ways to improve them.

3. Reflect on your experience. Rehearsing interview questions is an excellent start but if you know your story inside and out you can apply your experience to any interview question you might receive.

4. Plan your outfit! Dressing the part for your interview is crucial. When you get that call for the interview don’t be afraid to ask what they want you to wear for the interview it shows that you really want the job. You can also ask a friend who has interviewed or works at the company what to wear as well.

5. Learn about the company. One of the worst things that can happen in an interview is be asked “So what do you know about this company?” And draw a blank. It tells the interviewer that you didn’t care enough about the company to do any research on it. Some good ways to learn about a company are to Google it and read all the press about it, good and bad. By having a larger picture of the company you can sell yourself better. If you note how you’ve seen some negative press about the company and throw out some ideas to help improve upon the problem area interviewers will love that since you show initiative in solving a company’s problems before you’ve even started.

6. Spend time researching your position. Knowing in depth the duties of your position is a great start to answering interview questions. If this is your first interview and you don’t have much experience related to the position don’t worry, use examples of school projects, extracurriculars, or volunteer work. These experiences give you transferable skills, skills that can fit into any position and any job. For example if you have done all 3 it surely must have taken a lot of time out of your schedule, so balancing all of that shows you have time management skills.

7. Practice your body language. Your body language plays a big role in making your first impression on your potential employer too. Slouching gives the impression you don’t care and crossing your arms and legs makes you seem defensive or impatient. When speaking do try and smile from time to time it helps make you more personable and gives the impression that you are easy to get along with. After the interview is over thank them for their time with a good firm handshake.

8. Prepare some questions to ask you interviewer. After an interview the interviewer will often ask if you have any questions for them, it is always a good idea to have several questions to ask them, as it can help you gain a deeper understanding of the company, and shows that you are interested in the company in the long run. Prepare a few smart questions to ask, ones that show you were paying attention and that you did your research on the company.

9. Plan to leave early on your interview day. You don’t want to risk going to the interview late since it will create the impression that you are disorganized or do not value the position enough. You will give the impression of an organized individual.

10. Get a good night’s sleep and eat a good breakfast. You don’t want to go to an interview and fall asleep halfway through, getting enough sleep and eating a good breakfast can keep you alert during the interview.

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