Going to a job interview is simultaneously exciting and nerve-wracking, but it can also reap incredible rewards. Getting that call from the hiring manager that they’d like to meet with you and learn more about you certainly kicks off a series of events that should happen to ensure you’re as prepared as possible for your big interview.
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Interested in learning how to prepare for a job interview? Read on!
Research the Company
One of the questions you’ll surely be asked is what you know about the company. If your answer is, “I don’t know,” or “Not a lot,” you are going to look as if you probably don’t care so much about the potential role. Learn about the company! Learn its culture, its mission statement, its core values. Learn who its clients are, awards the company has won, and other interesting facts. The reason behind this is that they want to know that you actually want to work for them, and don’t just want to fill a chair in their office. If you can remember three main points to discuss, that’s great.
Prepare Your Resume
Even if you don’t have a lot of experience, or relevant experience to this position, a resume is going to show who you are. List your education, and include schools you’ve graduated from or are in the process of attending, as well as your degree or area of focus. If you have any certifications, relevant workshops you’ve attended, and other training that would show your ability to do the job, that is also very important. List the past three jobs you’ve had, including dates of employment, positions you’ve held, and the skills you learned or used. Finally, if it’s relevant, list software programs you know, equipment you know how to use, and other relevant skills you have. Print 3-4 copies of your resume on nice paper and put them in a folder to protect them on your way.
Get Your Outfit Ready
It doesn’t matter what role you are interviewing for—dress to impress! Make sure your clothes are neatly ironed and that you look sharp. Even your shoes matter, so don’t wear a nice outfit and a pair of flip-flops or dirty boots. Your outfit is just one of the few ways you will show your attention to detail, and it matters. Finally, if you wear makeup, make sure it’s toned down and professional, right down to your nail polish. And the same goes for your hair style. Even if the business is more laid back and casual, you want to exude professionalism. Once you land the job, you can dress more to fit in with the culture, based on the company’s dress code.
Being nervous is natural. Being prepared will help to temper your nerves, so it never hurts to be too prepared. Smile, shake hands, and make eye contact. Be yourself, and show your eagerness for the position. Come armed with at least three questions to ask the interviewer, as well as a few backups if the questions you came up with are answered during the interview.
When the interview draws to a close, ask the interviewer what the next steps are, and when you should expect to hear anything. Collect business cards and contact information, and send a thank you note to the interviewer within 24 hours. Finally, follow up with them after the date they said you would find out the results–sometimes they haven’t made a decision yet, and when you show your follow-through, they will be impressed.