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How can I Prepare for a Job Interview?

Practicing listening skills with a friend can help an individual prepare for a job interview.
Being able to converse casually may be important when interviewing for a job.
Properly preparing for an interview is key to success.
Candidates should dress appropriately for a job interview.
An interview might go better after going through mock interviews.
Article Details
  • Written By: Michael Pollick
  • Edited By: Niki Foster
  • Last Modified Date: 07 September 2014
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There is no doubt that a job interview can be one of the most stressful events in a person's adult life. Fear of the unknown, fear of public rejection and fear of personal criticism all come together in one meeting, and having a potential career attached to it doesn't always help matters. So how should you prepare for a job interview? It's often a combination of careful research, psychology and an ability to think on your feet. Someone is going to get that job, and there's no reason why it shouldn't be you.

One way to prepare for a job interview is to do a great deal of research. You need to find out as much as you can about the requirements of the job, the company's product lines, the industry's standard salary for the position, the interviewer and whatever else you can learn. An interviewer's job is not only to recommend the most qualified applicants, but also to weed out the least qualified. To prepare for a job interview, knowledge of the company and your unique qualifications for the position are your best allies.

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Another way to prepare for a job interview is to work on your personal presentation skills. Don't wait for the day of the interview to take care of personal grooming needs. Interviewers can tell if you have recently overhauled your look to appear more professional. Make sure your clothes fit properly and are wrinkle-free. Wearing an uncomfortable suit and tie may affect the way you conduct yourself during the job interview.

As you prepare for a job interview, observe how you speak and interact with others. Do you express your ideas clearly? Do you actively listen to others? These are the things interviewers notice, along with a lack of eye contact or unusually short answers.

Some job seekers prepare for a job interview by conducting their own mock interviews. A trusted friend or even a professional job coach can act as a surrogate interviewer, asking many of the same questions a real interviewer might ask. These people may be able to offer objective critiques about your performance. You may not notice trouble spots such as a defensive body posture or poor listening skills. Someone who has conducted interviews before may be able to evaluate your strengths and weaknesses, giving you an opportunity to improve before the real interview date.

There are also numerous resources designed to help job seekers prepare for a job interview. Self-help tapes may be available at a public library, along with books on employment searches. Many cities have programs geared towards helping displaced or first-time workers find work. They may offer classes on how to prepare for a job interview or provide job coaches who can conduct mock interviews. The key to a successful job interview is preparation, so you should give any job interview the same weight you would give the job it represents.

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Georgesplane
Post 3

@ Istria- My advice would be to dress based on the job. Do not show up over or under dressed for your interview. Regardless of the interview, I would always advise against jeans. A pair of Khakis should be the least casual attire, even for an interview at a fast food restaurant. Think if how the manager would dress for the job and try to match that. You do not want to show the hiring manager up (i.e., no French cuff shirts and expensive suit for an entry-level job).

Here is another tip for acing your job interview, easy on the cologne, after shave, or perfume. A little deodorant is usually enough, anything more can be distracting. Additionally, keep jewelry to a minimum. A watch, wedding or engagement ring, or a simple pair of earrings should be the maximum.

istria
Post 2

I could use some job interview advice. Are there any rules or guidelines for how one should dress for a job interview? This is always where I run into trouble. Should I wear a full suit, or should I just wear a pair of slacks, a dress shirt, and a tie? I ask myself these questions before an interview. Just as a little background, I have not yet graduated from college, so most of the jobs that I apply for are entry-level jobs at places like Fitness centers or insurance agencies.

GlassAxe
Post 1

If I were to give someone a tip for a successful job interview I would have to tell that person to be well rested. It is important that you go to the interview sharp and together, able to answer questions and engage with the hiring manager.

I used to manage a restaurant, and often I would schedule potential hires appointments for early on a Saturday morning. I partially did this because it was a traditionally slow time for the restaurant I managed, but also to gauge a person’s level of responsibility. This was the easiest way to weed out some of the potential hires who spent Friday night partying as well as those who could not deal with waking up early.

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