How to Prepare for an Job Interview
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In this stage of the interview process you should spend a great deal of
time preparing yourself both mentally and physically for an interview. A
great deal of work goes into this stage. During this stage your research
skills, memorization skills, and ability to mentally conquer the
interview hurdle to gaining employment will be put to the test. The
following necessary preparations should be taken before the day of the
Research the Company/ Organization
In today’s Internet savvy culture it is no longer acceptable to just
“show up” for an interview. All companies/organizations large and small
have websites which allow you to become acquainted with the
organization. Entering the interview you should be able to discuss the
history of the company, key competitors and define how the company
performs in comparison to its competition.
Catalog Your Skills
Whether or not we believe we are talented we all have hundreds of skills
that we utilize daily. When you catalog your skills you are simply
listing those skills that you possess which are necessary to succeed in
the job for which you are now interviewing. If properly reviewed before
the interview, being able to discuss these skills in greater detail with
the interviewer provides you with an outstanding opportunity to convey
these skills to the interviewer with seeming ease.
Prepare a Few Questions
Asking well thought out questions puts you above the rest of the
applicants with similar skill sets. A good question will demonstrate to
your prospective employer that you have done your homework researched
the company and are interested in learning how the company can help you
meet your long and short term career goals.
Plan to ask questions about internal career development, recent news
articles about the organization, the stability of the position for which
you are applying etc. You should never ask questions regarding salary,
vacation time, or sick leave.
Prepare a 60-second Personal Statement
Preparing this statement allows you to answer the “tell me a little bit
about yourself question.” In this statement you should focus on trying
to sell your prior work/life/educational experiences to your employer
without even mentioning how these experiences relate to the position.
Write Down 5 Success Stories
Writing down 5 success stories allows you to be prepared to better
answer behavioral interview questions when they arise. (Behavioral
Interview Questions will be discussed later in the booklet.)
Research Salary Data
To ensure you have a realistic idea of salary ranges go to
www.salary.com to see what the average salary should be for your
position. This will help you better prepare to answer the question:
“What starting salary are you looking for?” should the interviewer bring
Rehearse or Practice
Rehearsing or Practicing not only involves reviewing what you have
physically prepared for the interview, it also involves practicing your
facial expressions, eye contact, handshake and body language. This stage
is very important because the better prepared you are for the interview
the more relaxed you will be.
During this stage it is important to reassure yourself that you are as
mentally prepared as you will ever be for the interview. Try to make
yourself feel as comfortable as possible with the idea of going on the
interview. Studies show that interviewees that are more relaxed and
conversational during an interview have a greater success rate of
securing the position.
A lot of times people are upset after losing a job and have a difficult
time preparing themselves to reenter the work force after a layoff or an
extended period of being unemployed. It is during these times that it is
important for the person preparing for the interview to remember that
“when one door closes, another opens.”
Realize Your Salary Requirements
In your physical research you found out the likely “ballpark” salary for
the position. Prior to the interview you need to become comfortable with
that starting salary.
Be Able to Answer the Most Common Interview Questions
These questions and answers will be discussed later in the booklet.