Prepare for a Job Interview

Edited by Lor777, Anonymous, Ephraim, Melissa Meyer and 3 others

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Successful interviews are the result of good preparation. Preparation gives you not only the information and the appearance you need but, more important, the confidence to succeed.

Think of preparing for an interview like preparing for a final exam. If you start studying well in advance, it helps. If you get enough of a head start on studying, you may not have to cram the night before. What this means is that you can get to sleep on time, have breakfast, and freshen up properly; so that you will arrive on time and feel good when you sit down for the exam. There will be an air of calmness and confidence that will help you think straight throughout the exam. You will leave knowing that regardless of the outcome, you gave it your best shot--you did the best you could. If you give the same preparation to an interview, you will gain the same satisfaction.

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Various Forms of Preparation for your Interview

  1. 1
    Situational Knowledge.
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  2. 2
    Mental Preparation.
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  3. 3
    Physical Preparation.
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  4. 4
    Written Preparation.
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Situational Knowledge

  1. 1
    Where's the company located?
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  2. 2
    How long will it take to get there?
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  3. 3
    Do you know where you will park?
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  4. 4
    Do you know what office to go to?
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  5. 5
    Do you know what the name and title of the person with whom you will be interviewing?
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  6. 6
    Do you have the phone number of the company so that you can call if your are going to be late for some reason?
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  7. 7
    Do you know if you will be interviewing with more than one person?
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Mental Preparation

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Mental preparation for a job interview involves several areas. It involves your knowledge of the company, the position for which you are applying, and the career path you wish to follow, as well as your mental attitude about work in general, your expectations about the job, and your confidence in your ability to do the job. You have seen the kind of information you should research about the company with which you are to interview. Knowledge about the company serves many purposes on a job interview.

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  1. 1
    It confirms your real interest in working for the company.
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  2. 2
    It provides you with a frame of reference for the interview.
    For example, if you are extremely nervous about your interview, you may want to jot down some questions about the information you read. Maybe it is to clarify something you did not really understand, or maybe it is to find out something you want to know that could not be found in the literature. By having a frame of reference from which to ask questions on the interview, you will feel more relaxed. You will be able to pick up the ball when there is a lag in conversation during the interview or something to respond to if the interviewer asks you if you have any questions. The interview should be a conversation between two people. You should not let yourself be talked at because you are too shy to ask questions. Remember, this is an investment for both of you and the company. You have as much right to evaluate the opportunities being discussed as the interviewer has to evaluate you.
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  3. 3
    Having knowledge of the company before the interview puts you in a convincing position that shows the employer you really want to work with that company.
    Equipped with the proper knowledge, you can bring the company name into your responses and conversations. You can clearly and specifically state the reasons you want to work for that company and the reasons you would be an asset to the company. This is most difficult to do without being able to incorporate specific information about the company.
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Part of mental preparation for an interview is having a clear understanding about the job for which you are interviewing. Time after time, interviewers comment that applicants do not really understand the nature of the job for which they are applying. The area in which applicants fall short is lack of specific information available to really answer questions effectively. And yet, isn't it critical to know what you are getting into when you choose a career field? Make yourself convincing on your job interview. Be able to speak comfortably about the job you are applying for as it relates to your career field and the professional objectives you have developed. Let the interviewer know that you have an overall plan. Employers like to see applicants who have career direction.

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Next, your mental attitude about work will be evaluated in your interview. You should be enthusiastic about the challenges your career presents to you as opposed to the person who does not see the value of work beyond the paycheck. If you emanate motivation and enthusiasm about work, the employer will see that you might be able to make some valuable contributions to the company. Your work ethic is important.

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Physical Preparation

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Physical preparation for a job interview reinforces your mental preparation. You could have spent a lot of time thinking through all you will be discouraging on the interview, but if you feel sick, tired, or sloppy, your mental attitude and alertness will be diminished. The following are some important guidelines:

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  • Start with good hygiene and good grooming.
  • Get proper rest the night before.
  • Eat breakfast.
  • Wear a professional outfit that still relates your own personal style.
  • Present a professional image.
  • Wear little jewelry.
  • Do not wear perfume.
  • Remember to have clean hair, neatly and stylishly groomed.
  • Arrive 15 minutes early.
  • Relax.
  • Smile.
  • Be energetic.

For Men

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  1. 1
    Wear a suit that is predominately a solid color in the colors of Navy Blue, Black or Dark Grey for these colors will be easy on the eyes for the interviewer for suits with bright colors will tend to distract the interviewer.
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  2. 2
    Pick a long sleeved shirt preferably to wear under the suit either white or that at least a color that will complement the suit.
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  3. 3
    Choose a belt to wear that will coordinate with the suit in full (for example do not wear a brown belt with a black suit)
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  4. 4
    Wear dark socks along with you suit for bright socks will also grab the interviewers' attention from the whole interview process
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  5. 5
    Equip yourself with as little jewelry as possible or even no jewelry at all during the interview
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  6. 6
    Dark shoes are to be worn
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For Women

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  1. 1
    Suit outfit that will be predominately dark (like the men)
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  2. 2
    Ensure that the suit skirt (if being worn) is long enough to be worn comfortably while sitting down during the interviewing process
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  3. 3
    Wear a blouse that will go along with the suit outfit (like the men)
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  4. 4
    Refrain from wearing any type of jewelry that will seem to be distracting such as dangling earrings, excessive amounts of wrist jewelry or too many amounts of earrings.
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  5. 5
    Wear dark colored panty hose
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  6. 6
    Dark shoes
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Grooming Procedures

For Women

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  1. 1
    Wear light makeup and ensure not to over pack the face with makeup
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  2. 2
    Get a manicure before going to the interview
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  3. 3
    Neatly styled hair (refrain from having any type of beads or jewelry located in hair)
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For Men

  1. 1
    Trim nails before the interview
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  2. 2
    Clean shaven or neatly trimmed beard and mustache
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  3. 3
    Neatly cut or trimmed hair
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Written Preparation

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Make sure you have the proper street directions to the company. It is not inappropriate to bring notes with you on an interview. Bring notes from your company research in case you need them. Prepare a brief list of questions to have with you. Write down any miscellaneous information that does not appear on your resume that you feel might be worth bringing up at the interview. Summarize the details of the job as you perceive them from the ad you read or the information you researched. This information should not prove to be a distraction during the interview but rather a help should you need it. Remember how important eye contact is as an indicator of listening and interest level.

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Self-Preparation Summary

  1. 1
    Is my goal clear to me?
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  2. 2
    Have I decided if and where I am willing to relocate?
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  3. 3
    Have I decided how much I need to earn to meet my living expenses?
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  4. 4
    Have I researched the company so that I know the company well?
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  5. 5
    Can I now explain to an employer why I want to work for this company?
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  6. 6
    Can I also explain to an employer why the company should hire me?
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  7. 7
    Do I have the proper outfits to wear on my interview?
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  8. 8
    Will I be well groomed, alert, and on time for my interview?
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  9. 9
    Is my resume ready?
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  10. 10
    Have I developed a positive attitude so that the interview will be successful?
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Tips, Tricks & Warnings

  • Know what to expect on an interview.
  • Having information about the employer and the available job is important.
  • Organizing your self presentation will help you interview successfully.
  • The real key to your success will lie in your ability to stand out from other job candidates.
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Questions and Answers

What are the proper earrings to wear for an interview?

A job interview can be one of the most important events in your life, so you need to look elegant without attracting attention due to screaming jewelry. Earrings can definitely give a finished look of your entire ensemble, but you have to find a suitable pair, which will combine the classic and business appearances. Even if you're one of those extravagant women who have multiple holes in her ears, you should skip some of the earrings for a day! This is most likely your first contact with the company, so you don't know how conservative your would-be boss is, or the policies of the firm. You also have to avoid big hoop earrings in colors like pink or red, as well as heavy dangling earrings. With this in mind, the most appropriate earrings for an interview would be a simple pair of small ones. When you turn your head the earrings should be "quiet", so a pair of stud earrings that fit neatly on your earlobe is also suitable.

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Article Info

Categories : Job & Work Ethics

Recent edits by: Zornitsa Bukovska, Eng, Melissa Meyer

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