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How To Get Ready For An Interview

Updated on May 27, 2014

Phone Interview Preparation

When you are searching for employment away from your currently living situation your most companies have their first interview on the phone. When preparing for a phone interview there are different dynamics to plan for. Even though you will not be sitting in the same room with the interviewer(s) you will need to have that same energy and be as charismatic, knowledgeable and professional as if you were there in person. Besides the regular preparation for an interview there are some additional steps to take which will help with the phone interview.

Even though you are not physically attending the interview you should still dress for it as though you were. More and more people are using Skype, GoMeeting and other on line meeting sites to hold interviews so dressing the part has become more routine. Still practice the questions you think will be asked, do the research for the company, agency and the area you will be working.

  • Look up the company on line
  • Research if needed what a typical day will look like in the office
  • Practice in front of & have a mirror available for the interview-this helps you have facial expressions that can be heard over the phone
  • Dress as though you are attending the meeting in person
  • Have a quiet place without any distractions to be in during the interview
  • Make sure you internet, phone and computer are all ready to work
  • If doing a video interview have the background be professional looking, clean and free of anything that might be distracting

Competition for a new job is high. Gone are the days when you could get a job and keep it and know that you would have it for twenty years unless you wanted to leave. Finding employment begins with looking, sending in a resume and then an interview. Being prepared from the beginning will help the transitions from the beginning to first day at work be smooth.

With hundreds if not thousand applying for the same job you are applying for means whatever you bring to the table has to be the best. Everything from which job you choose to apply for to the type of font you use on your resume counts toward you getting your foot in the door and doing well on your interviews.

First, when applying for a position, look for something that you will or have been successful with in the past. We all like to branch out sometime but you must have something to back it up with. For example, if at your current position you were asked to perform another task or be responsible for another department and you wanted to branch off into that area, be sure to focus on your new experience on your resume and during your interviews. Try to talk about the experience as though you are now prepared for the transition and your move into the new area will not take additional time or training for this new company. If you have no work experience and want to redo your career choice try volunteering to get exposed to your new career choice. Ask your current employer to get more experience in a different area to expand your knowledge and make yourself more marketable. Being ambitious and going onto another career is risky, it can be done though if you are able to create a resume supported by experience.

Stay active on any job searches or employment platform. Try finding one good position a day to send your resume to. If you want to expand to some jobs you feel are just within/without of your reach try sending at least one of those a week. Depending on if you are looking because you want a change or because you are currently unemployed will determine if you apply for any and everything or if you can be picky. Decide for yourself where you fall keep moving forward.

If you are able to keep in contact with the human resources person for any job you have applied for then do so. Be sure not to pressure them too much, as this can seem annoying to them since they have a lot of resumes coming in through email/fax.

Some people keep a chart of all the positions they apply for, this helps for the phone call for the initial interview. If you have been applying to several positions and receive a call you should review the information so that in that initial contact you can speak to someone knowledgeably about not only the position but the company as well.

Before you attend your interview whether it be by phone or in person, practice, practice, practice. There are some stock questions which are asked during interview, such as where do you see yourself in five, ten years? How well do you work with others? Are you a person who prefers to run ahead of schedule or behind? Once you become very familiar with the usual questions you will feel more comfortable when they surprise you with a question at the interview. Have a friend or family member sit down with you and ask these regular questions, have them throw out some questions by surprise, that way when you are asked during the real interview the shock will not show on your face. Being able to handle the unexpected will help you shine in the interview.

When arriving for the interview arrive on time, preferably early. Dress in professional attire, have a pen and a copy of your resume. Do not carry items which are not needed for the interview. When checking in be pleasant and professional to everyone. You never know if they call down to the security guard to inquire if you gave them a hard time or if you were rude. Always look your best. If you need a hair cut, shave, etc then make sure it is all done before the day of the interview.

Before going to the interview do additional research on the company, find something you can remember and bring up during the interview, something you can say that caught your attention, something that made you think you would like to work for this company.

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Strengths And Weaknesses

During most interviews there is a question asking you to list your weaknesses and strengths. Make the list ahead of time. Think of attributes that would go with the position. For instance, if you are applying to a theme park, the ability to think fast on your feet with things changing daily, even by the minute. Do not make stuff up, they will smell that a mile away and you will look horrible. Be true to who you are, most positions can have several characteristics that a person will have and be advantageous to the employer. Find those characteristics in yourself and talk about them, use an example that would be applicable to the position you are interview for.

When finding your weaknesses you need to be careful. There needs to be one but do not make it a horrible one, like you hate working and all you can think about it hitting the lottery. The weakness also needs to be real, pick something you can talk about improving. For instance if you want to return to school, to finish your BA, or masters, maybe even further. Talk about how you see yourself constantly wanted to improve on what you have already learned.

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    • momandkids profile image
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      Laura King 3 years ago from Chadds Ford, PA

      Thanks. I try to use my own photos and I did not have any that would have gone with the hub.

    • freecampingaussie profile image

      freecampingaussie 3 years ago from Southern Spain

      Hi , Found you while hub hopping. This is a helpful hub but needs some photos to make it more appealing,