How to Prepare for an Interview: The Basics

On-a-job-interview-620x480So you’ve landed an interview for your first professional job; your first real job. You’re excited, anxious and nervous all at the same time. On one hand, the day can’t get here quick enough, and on the other, it’s coming up way too fast.

This is a good time to slow down, take a deep breath and focus on getting ready for the big day. The following are the basics on how to prepare for an interview; the things that perhaps should be obvious but are easy to overlook, especially if you’re feeling overwhelmed.

Research the company. This is the #1 rule in interview preparation: find out as much as you can about the company and the staff: facts pertaining to the size of the organization, how they operate, the chain of command, location of the headquarters and—most importantly–their mission and vision. During the interview you’ll want to focus on the company at least as much as you do on yourself.

Get enough sleep the night before. This is probably something you’ve heard many times throughout your life. But did you know research has shown that lack of adequate sleep affects our judgment, perception of events, mood and motivation? It also impairs concentration, attention and alertness, as well as our problem-solving skills. Aim for 7-8 hours the night before your interview.

Make the trip to the interview location before the actual interview. Don’t rely on your GPS! Take a trip to the interview site so you know exactly where it’s located and where to park. Try to travel around the same time as the interview is scheduled so you’ll be able to gage the traffic. Knowing exactly where you’re going and the time it will take to get there will significantly decrease your pre-interview jitters.

Plan Your Outfit. Try on the clothes you plan to wear a couple nights before the interview; make sure they’re clean, pressed and comfortable. Practice sitting and standing to see if your outfit tugs anywhere or exposes skin when you move. Be sure that your shoes are shined, if necessary, and women, make sure you don’t have any snags or tears in your stockings/tights!

Turn off your cell phone. Better yet, leave it in the car.

If you need help finding the job for you, or if you have any questions about entering the workforce following graduation, please contact us.

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