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How to Prepare for an Interview
 
 
How to Prepare for an Interview
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1. Practice, practice, practice! It doesn't matter so much how you practice as long as you remember that you must practice, at least 1 or 2 times before a serious interview. Practice in your head, at your desk, in front of a mirror, or with another person. Have a list of questions to ask yourself.

2. Stay positive. This is another extremely important thing to remember about the interviewing process. Since many interviews can be daunting, they are not for the faint of spirit. But no worries, you can do it as long as you stay positive.

3. Research. Employers will be notably impressed if you are above average in knowledge of their company and what they are all about. Companies often take pride in what they do and who they are, make sure you are very clear about their message and purpose and you will be taken seriously. Take a look at the company website or talk to an inside employee.

4. First impressions count. Make sure you dress appropriately and go alone. It can be viewed as unprofessional if you bring your friends, professors, pets, children, and yes, mom and dad should stay at home as well.

5. Show off your best side. Be confident, comfortable, warm, honest, and be sure you smile. Give off an aura of relaxation, but make sure you get down to business and keep to the facts. You don't want employers thinking you are trying to charm your way into a job on personality alone. Charm and confidence can take you far in a job interview, though--especially if you are going to an interview for a job that deals with the public.

6. Put your best foot forward. Make sure you tell your employer about all your past victories and achievements. Bring any items that may assist you in this goal such as: sales papers, portfolios, or reports.


The Importance of Practice

Before you finally go off to your interview, there is one thing you must do. That one thing is…practice. That's right, practice, and lots of it. Nearly all college campuses have a career counselor who can help you with your mock interview. Surprisingly, less than 10% of all students complete their mock interview. We're willing to bet that a very large percentage of those who don't practice their interview end up nervous and clueless in a real interviewing situation, and in the process spoil a lot of opportunities.

Even practicing the interview once will result in an impressive improvement in your interviewing skills. When you say your answers out loud and have a chance to really explore the interview verbally, it becomes a new experience to add into your basket. That experience will be valuable for as long as you need a job. You should definitely go through at least one mock interview, but if you evaluate and review in a second mock interview, your chances of success will increase.

Sneaky Tactics – Insider Info

One of the biggest advantages – if not the biggest advantage of job interviewing is finding an employee on the inside who can help you out with specific information. If you don't know anyone already in the company, there are two methods you can try to find this source. The first way is to use your social network. If you have a friend who set up the interview, offer your thanks for setting up the interview and then ask for some more help in preparing. If you don't have any contacts who have ties to someone in the company, then turn to your college's alumni (if applicable). With some determination, these things are all very possible so don't let yourself get discouraged and think otherwise, no matter how overwhelming the preparation process may seem. Once you get started, you'll see the pieces fall together and you will feel that much prouder once you've actually gotten the job. You'll know that you've earned it, above all else!

Self-Assessment

It is understandable that someone who might have been laid off or otherwise unemployed might resist this step. However, when you are actively seeking new employment, it is the most important time to delve deep and unearth all of your old accomplishments. Keep things like congratulatory letters, kudos from the boss or clientele, evaluations, and descriptions of your day to day successes on the job. What you are aiming to accomplish is identifying, detailing, and putting all of your accomplishments, talents, experiences, and skills onto paper so that your potential employer will know that you take yourself very seriously, and that you have accomplishments to prove it. Don't let yourself think you don't have any accomplishments to speak of; make sure you think about it very carefully before you give up.

Techniques

Some of these techniques may seem silly at first, but have no doubt that they do work for a lot of people. If you are shy, sometimes it is hard to come off as personable and make eye contact. Body language is also a factor in the job interviewing process; if you come off as tense or awkward, it may affect the way your potential employer sees you, especially if you are going to be working with people.

Whites of Eyes

Eye contact is extremely important, as I mentioned earlier. You want to give a strong impression to your employer. When practicing this technique, simply focus, instead of on making eye contact, on memorizing the color of the person's eye. This will not only give strong eye contact, but it will create the look of an active, interested mind.

Nose Technique

The blessed nose technique! Aha!

This technique is a favorite for making eye contact. Sometimes, however, it may be amusing to focus on someone's nose instead of their eyes, but it works very well for shy people. Be careful not to let yourself become so distracted with studying nasal cavities that you forget why you are actually there.

Interview Questions

An important part of your interview prep is anticipating which questions your employer will ask, and practicing and rehearsing the answers you plan to give. Being caught off guard with certain questions can blow an interview, and it's sometimes nerve-wracking to be on the spot and having no idea what to expect.

 
 
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