How to Prepare for a Job Interview

Resume, check.
Cover letter, double check.
Job interview date is on the calendar.

Now, all you have to do is ace the interview (as the cool kids say).
Sounds easy enough — right?

If meeting new people and killing a Q&A session isn’t your thing, follow these tips to better prepare you for your next job interview.

Read Up, Write Down

First thing’s first, research the company and the role you’ve applied for. Know the facts and the stats to show the team the extent of your interest — and that you’re serious about the gig. Next on the prep plan, create a list of standard interview questions and practice your answers via writing and conversing. A couple of quick tips: add out-of-the-box questions to your list and ask a friend to role-play the interview with you. By doing so, you’ll avoid thinking on the spot and form a comparable experience. Be open to feedback.

A simple side note: spend time tackling situational questions + answers and find the balance between practicing and memorizing. The last thing you want to do is enter the room and sound over-rehearsed. Keep it conversational. A good interview is a natural conversation — a back and forth with both sides asking questions.

A word of warning: do bring questions of your own to the meet and greet; don’t bring notes.

An Easy A

Clearly connect your personal work experience with the responsibilities of the role. Establish all of the reasons why you’re a perfect fit for the position and sell yourself. On the flip side, be prepared to identify an individual weakness and share how being offered the title will help to transform the weakness into a strength.

The name of the game: self-reflection, self-discovery and self-improvement.

Dress Code and Street Sense

Before your interview (and we’re talking a full 24 hours), prepare your outfit and travel plans. Get an idea of the crowd, space and type of interview that you’ll be walking into to choose a coordinating outfit. Use time of day, type of business and location to indicate dress code and sense of style. And know the difference between casual, business and business casual. As always, dress to impress.

Fact: it’s always better to overdress than underdress.

So, if you’re debating whether to wear a tie or put on a pair of pumps — do it. Remember that along with your communication skills (including body language), your choice of clothing sends a message. Their first impression of you will likely be how well groomed you are – so make sure your hair and nails are clean and there are no holes in your clothes. While pulling together a professional look is key, don’t forget that it’s ok to express your individuality too.

Reminder: when making travel plans, schedule time for unexpected issues such as bad weather, heavy traffic or a wrong turn. Arrive at your interview 15 minutes early to make a positive first impression.

Post-interview: make sure to send a short professional personalized email within 24 hours thanking them for the interview. You can use this note to reiterate your interest in the job as well. Good luck hunting!

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