How to Prepare Yourself for a Career Interview

With so much on the line, job interviews can be stressful and nerve-wracking. Sometimes they go great, and sometimes they don’t, and you never quite know which way your odds will lean. However, there are a few things you can do to give yourself a better chance. Whether you’re interviewing for a staff position at a hotel or a physician’s role at a medical center that performs heel spur surgery, by checking all the boxes off this list, you can all but guarantee that you will be ready for your next interview.

Do Your Research

The last thing you want to happen during an interview is to be asked a question about the company and not know the answer. Doing a bit of research beforehand will help inform you more about the basics and background of the business you wish to work for. You don’t have to know every single detail about the company, but having a decent grasp of who they are, what they do, and what they stand for will show that you are willing to put in the time and effort to know what you are talking about.

Make a List of Questions

It’s an interview, so naturally, there are bound to be plenty of questions being thrown your way. The best way to prepare for this is to think of the questions you expect them to ask and write them down. Look online for resources that will supply you with the most common interview questions and how best to answer them. You don’t want to lie or be inauthentic, but you also don’t want to unknowingly answer a question in a way that raises any red flags. Likewise, you should also prepare a list of questions that you would like to ask your interviewer when the time comes. Ask any burning questions that you might have, assuming they are appropriate for the interview, and it will show that you are genuinely interested in the job and are capable of thinking for yourself, as well as asking questions in a respectful manner.

Dress to Impress

If you wake up in the morning, throw on some sweatpants and a t-shirt, and think you’re going to nail your interview, you are sorely mistaken. For most interviews, you will want to wear something formal like a business suit. Depending on the job and environment, you might be able to get away with just a button-up collared shirt and khaki pants or slacks, or maybe even simple yet nice casual clothes, but never assume this is okay. Understand the company and the position you’re interviewing for and use your best judgment, but wearing formal attire is almost never a bad option.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Unless you’ve done plenty of interviews before, it is in your best interest to go through with a mock interview or two before attempting the real thing. Have a friend or family member conduct a mock interview with you by asking the list of questions you believe will be asked and give the answers the way you would hope to deliver them when the time comes for the actual interview. If you find yourself stumbling over certain questions, stop and really think about your answer, write it down if you have to, and then try again.

The Early Bird Gets the Worm

It is generally a bad rule of thumb to show up to an interview late, so don’t even take the risk and show up early. By arriving to your interview ahead of schedule, it will show that you value the time of the interviewer as well as your own, and you might even be able to get in early. Make sure you also have all the necessary documents with you before you head out, like an updated resume, references, or a portfolio.

Come Prepared and Confident

By coming to your interview fully prepared and confident, you will give yourself the best possible chance of nailing the interview and getting the job. It’s your job to sell yourself, and if you look good, arrive on time, and can articulate your skills and experience in a cohesive and professional manner, the interviewer is sure to be impressed. Good luck!

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