Being invited to interview for a job you’re really excited about is a big deal. Anything but a formality, your performance will determine whether you get hired, so you need to put your best self forward.
Prior to the big day, there are several steps you can take to set the stage for interview success. Find out what you can do in advance to lower your stress levels and present yourself as the best person for the job.
Decide What You’ll Wear
First impressions are everything, and you won’t make a great one if you show up to the interview dressed inappropriately. Generally speaking, you should dress one level up from the standard employee attire to show respect for the job and the interviewer. For example, if it’s a casual work environment, wear business casual clothing.
Your effort to wear appropriate attire will be canceled out if your clothes are wrinkled, stained, have holes in them or don’t fit properly. Planning your outfit in advance gives you time to make sure all components are clean and ironed, or if necessary, go out and buy something new.
Map Your Route
Being late to a job interview will likely ruin your chance of getting hired. Even if you know exactly how to get to the building, you might not be knowledgeable about traffic at that time of day. Use Google maps to plan the best possible route during the hour the you’ll be arriving. If you have time, take a test drive to familiarize yourself with it and find a convenient place to park.
Rehearse Answers to Common Interview Questions
You can’t escape tough interview questions, but you can practice responses to those commonly asked. Without preparation, questions like “What is your biggest weakness” or “Tell me about a time you failed on a project” can cause you to become flustered, but they’re a breeze when you’ve planned exactly what to say.
Conduct Background Research
The hiring manager will ask you questions about both the company and the job, so if you haven’t done your homework, it will be readily apparent. Review the company website, blog and social media pages to gain a solid understanding about what the business does and its culture.
Prepare Questions for the Interviewer
At the end of the interview, the hiring manager will give you the floor to ask questions. If you don’t have any, you’ll appear uninterested in the position. You might come up with questions during the interview, but in case you don’t, prepare a few in advance so you have something to fall back on.
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