How to Prepare for a Job Interview
Everyone wants to score a good job. But how do you do that? Make a good first impression. The job interview process is the most important part of starting work at a new place: not only do you get to market your talents, but you give your potential employer a sense of who you are and whether you’re the right fit for the position.
That being said, you have to come prepared. In order to land your dream career, you’re going to have to prove you deserve it—and you definitely want to be memorable enough (in the positive sense!) to warrant a call back. Here are some tips for preparing for a job interview.
Dress the part. Looking professional is a key part of your visual first impression on your employer, and it shows you really care about the job. That being said, dress appropriately for the work environment—if you’re applying for a job as a busboy, it might be a little weird to show up in a suit and tie. “Business casual” is usually your best bet: look presentable, but not like you’re about to go to the opera.
Bring your file. Print out two copies of your resume, one to give to your interviewer and one for yourself to refer to as you speak. Depending on the job, you could also bring other documents that you think the employer might want to see (e.g. a portfolio, past works, etc.). Don’t be pushy, though. Only bring out these extra documents if they happen to come up in the interview.
Know your answers. To make sure you don’t get blindsided, try to think of what may be asked of you. Don’t prepare a speech, but you should have an idea of what you’re going to say in response. Some classic interview questions include: Why do you want to work for us? Why do you think you’d be a good candidate? What are some of your strengths and weaknesses in the workplace? You can even try out a “mock interview” with a friend or family member.
Be confident—and be yourself. You may be nervous, but stay calm and speak clearly. Bring a bottle of water—if you feel like you’re losing track of what you’re saying, pause and take a sip before you continue. If you are levelheaded and rational during the interview, the interviewer is going to know you’ll act the same way on the job. However, don’t feel like you have to put on a charade. Let the employer get to know your unique abilities. If you act totally different during your interview and you get hired, chances are you’re going to have to maintain that disguise when you start working.
Good luck on your job searches!