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Preparing Yourself for an Interview

Updated on October 14, 2015


FIRST AND FOREMOST: This is a how to about preparing yourself for an interview. The job may or may not be yours due to many factors (i.e. lack of experience, lack of referrals, or simply not being qualified for the job.)

So you are getting ready for the big day, the day of your job interview. You have your wonderfully professional clothes laid out, you know how you are going to fix your hair, and you know that you are going to be leaving your home in plenty of time to get to the interview and do a quick mirror check before hand. Now what?

Now you need to prepare yourself mentally for this interview. If you go into that interview room unprepared you will be far less likely to succeed. How do you prepare yourself mentally?

That one is easy. CONFIDENCE IS KEY! If you are not confident of your skills and potential answers to the questions then you may be caught off guard. Confidence is all you really need to ace an interview. The questions are important but you are not confident answering them then the interviewer will see right through you.

In order to get this confidence you need to know that this job is yours before you even get to the interview. Know that no matter who else is there for the same job as you, that you are a better candidate and that you will be walking out expecting the call to come back as an official employee.

The morning of the interview you need to get up at least an hour or two before hand and get dressed all nice and pretty, ladies do yourself a favor and go easy on the makeup and perfume. It is a job interview not a night club. Gentlemen do the same go easy on the cologne. You should not be able to walk by someone and knock them out with your perfume, cologne, or body odor. So just find a happy medium and all will be well.

After you are dressed and ready to go head out that door leaving your home at least fifteen to twenty minutes earlier than what it would take to get there on any normal day, murphy's law "What can go wrong will."

Upon arrival to your destination make sure you check in and inform your interviewer that you have arrived and are ready to be interviewed.

Now the mental portion: the night before the interview you should be going over, in your head or on paper, every place that you have ever worked that even slightly applies to the position that you are applying for. If you are going for housekeeping play it up and tell them how clean your home stays or how you always had to clean the bathrooms at McDonalds and how immaculate they stayed thanks to you. If you are going for the business office talk about how you had computer classes in high school and college, if you went, and how you learned how to use Microsoft Word and Microsoft Excel. Trust me just the two Microsoft applications being under your belt will help if the job has anything what so ever to do with computers.

Another good thing to do is to play up your positives, everyone has heard the dreaded question, "If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?" I personally hate this question but it is one you need to be thinking about before hand. I have only been turned down for one job in my life and it was because I FAILED this question because I was not prepared for it. I had never had it asked before. Honestly there are no good answers to this question. The best you can do is to play up your positives, lay out one negative that isn't too horrible. Don't say I have a tendency to be late or I work too hard or anything like that. The "I work too hard" or " I try too hard to accomplish my goals" thing does not work and you are kidding yourself if you think it does. Try something like " Sometimes I zone out, I really wish I could change that." or " If I could change anything about me it would be going back to college." You know had I thought about that last one at the interview I failed on I probably would have gotten the job.

Now onto the handshake. The handshake is important. VERY important. It sets the tone for the entire interview. It can't be too firm or too loose, you need to find a happy medium test your handshake out with some friends or family to ensure yours is PERFECT!

After the handshake comes the questions most of which are fairly simple. Other than the one that we already discussed. Things like "at your last job we see that you was an inspector. What did that job entail." which is a great time to play up your positives by saying things like, " Yes, it may not have been a difficult job, but it was a very detail oriented job and I learned how to pay more attention to details than I ever thought humanly possible." Which is great for a lot of jobs! Always play up your positives!

After the questions the interviewer may ask if you have any questions, now is the time to truly show your interest in this brand new and incredibly amazing position! Ask questions like," Yes, I have just one question, when do I start?" I used this one and got my current job, ONLY USE THIS QUESTION IF YOUR INTERVIEWERS HAVE BEEN JOKING AROUND A LITTLE PRIOR TO ASKING IF YOU HAD ANY QUESTIONS!!! If it has been a very serious interview say things like, " If I get this position what are the possibilities of moving up on the corporal ladder?" Questions like this make the interviewer believe that you are really interested in making waves at his/her company.

When you are all done with the questions and answers portion of the interviewer you need to shake hands again with the now perfected grip that you practiced with your friends or family. This is very important you are sealing the deal to what has the potential to be your future. Make sure when you stand to leave that you stand tall with your shoulders back and your back straight. The last thing you want is for the interviewer to see you slouching! It shows laziness.

As you are leaving you need to walk with confidence. Don't look at the ground while walking but also don't act like you are on a cat walk. Again with the perfect balance.

All and all you need to find the perfect balance for you. This article was intended to help you become more prepared for what is generally expected at most interviews. It was made to help you understand that certain things are expected and you should oblige them. Good luck in your search!

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© 2015 Kayla Radford


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