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Preparing for a Successful Job Interview

Making a careless mistake during the interview process can cost you everything, so preparation is key!

Kizzy Preston

November 11, 2013

Preparing for a Successful Job Interview
Let’s face it, finding a good job can be challenging. There are often hundreds of people applying for one available position with a company. If you are lucky enough to be called in for an interview, you only get one opportunity to show the potential employer that you are the perfect person for the job. Making a careless mistake during the interview process can cost you everything. Here are some tips to help you prepare for a successful interview:

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Attire Decide what you will wear prior to the day of the interview. Dressing unprofessionally is the fastest way to be removed from the list of candidates for a job. Your first impression needs to be a good one. Many employers take one look at what the interviewee is wearing and decide right then if they are a worthy applicant.

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Research professional dress options before your interview. Remember, it’s always better to overdress than under-dress. Never wear jeans, tank tops, t-shirts, shorts, or flip flops to a job interview – no matter how casual the work environment seems to be. • References

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Gather three to five references and have them prepared to give to the hiring manager. Sometimes having a few really good references can mean the difference between getting the job or not. For references past or present, work supervisors are best. They do not necessarily have to be in the same field as the job you are applying for.
You can list a reference from the clothing store you worked at throughout college, on an application for a job at a public relations firm or bank. You just need a manager who can speak about your work ethic, your promptness and attendance, whether you are a fast learner who is able to follow directions, and if they think you would be a good employee. If you’ve never had a paying job, a professor, or supervisor of an internship would make a good reference as well. It is best to bring the name, title, telephone number, and email address for each reference typed on sheet of paper. Also, print out a copy of your resume and take it with you to the interview as well. • Research Research the company you are interviewing with. Study their website to learn as much as you can about the company. Come up with three thoughtful questions that you can ask the interviewer during the interview. In addition to the thoughtful questions you’ll ask about the company or job, a great way to address any concerns they may have about your candidacy is. For example: Is there anything you don’t see on my resume that you’d like to see in a potential job candidate? Often times, they will let you know a specific job task or quality that you haven’t mentioned but can speak to your talents in the mentioned area. • Practice Practice for the actual interview. On the internet, look up the types of questions typically asked at a job interview. Have a friend or family member quiz you in a mock interview. The more you practice, the better you will be at interviewing. Having an idea of how you will answer tough questions may put you in a better position during the actual interview. • Give Thanks Prepare a “thank you” note. After your interview is over you will want to get a “thank you” note sent out as soon as possible. Ensure to take your interviewers business card so that you have all of the information necessary to send a “thank you” note. If you already have the contact information for the person you are meeting with, you can prepare your “thank you” note ahead of time and send it on your way out, after the interview If you follow these tips you will be prepared to not only have a great interview, but also get the job!

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