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How to prepare for a job interview

Prepare job interview

type-awaySo, you've been job searching for a while and luckily, you've finally landed an interview. However, you may be nervous, if not a little scared, and are wondering how to make it spectacular. Luckily for you, there just happens to be ways you can achieve this and land the job of your dreams. If you want to know how to handle any interview with ease, try out these 5 effective steps.



Step 1: Do your research

Information is power, meaning you need to extensively research the company you applied to before taking the interview. Go online and read current press releases related to the firm, visit their website, get the reviews of other people about the company and also don't forget to consult any contacts that you may have who are associated with the company.

Being on the know-how gives you an edge over other interviewees since it is a sign of interest and initiative. If the company focuses on product production, try as much as you can to test it so that you get a feel of what you may be working with. Additionally, since companies have different ways of carrying out interviews, you should try your luck and ask the recruiter what interview format they have and the type of skills they are looking for. It may just give you that much-needed edge.


Step 2: Work on the interview questions

This involves both the questions you're asked and those that you will ask yourself. Most modern interviews are not one way, meaning the interviewers may require you to actively participate in the question-asking process. However, before that, what are some of the common questions that you should expect? Here is a list of 11;

a.) What are your strengths and weaknesses?

b.) Why are you interested in working for the company?

c.) Why do you wish to leave your current firm? (if you are in one)

d.) What are your accomplishments so far?

e.) What sets you apart from others?

f.) Are you versatile enough to relocate or travel frequently?

g.) Describe yourself.

h.) Discuss your resume and educational background.

i.) What are your career goals and where do you see yourself in 5-10 years?

j.) What drives you?

k.) How do you handle conflict and/or pressure?

Those are just but some of the most common questions asked during interviews. When it comes to formulating your questions, don't tense. Be unique. Ask questions that show your interest in the job e.g. "Which are the new markets the firm is looking to explore?" or "How will the company help you grow as a professional?". Five or more such questions should do the trick.


Step 3: Mentally prepare yourself

Doing your research and sorting your papers are both essential in preparing for an interview. However, when it comes to performance, your confidence speaks volumes.

Like any other process, practice is needed to perfect your performance. The best way to do so is through role playing, where a friend or colleague pretends to be the interviewer, takes you through the entire process and gives you their view on your performance.

This process not only boosts your confidence, it also helps you think faster to anticipate the interviewer's questions. Additionally, it also makes you articulate your words better.


Step 4: Work on your dress code

A recent study showed that your clothing contributes to up-to 7% of the whole interview. Why so? Through providing a first impression. You know there's no second chance at making a first impression, so if you're going to do it, do it right.

Professional business clothes are the order of the day when it comes to interviews. That means a suit and tie (preferably with dark colors), and a light-colored shirt (preferably white). Remember, this applies to both sexes. If you're woman, especially, go slow on the make-up and opt for closed-toe shoes. It shows how much of a professional you are.

Additionally, both men and women should avoid applying strongly scented products, as they may be irritating. All in all, make sure to pay attention to even the least of details. If you dress for success, it will surely follow you.


Step 5: Do your best

When the day of reckoning comes, make sure to be punctual. Arriving at the interviewing venue 20-30 minutes early helps you compose yourself before the actual interview. When you get there, wear a smile and say hello to everyone (including the tea-lady). This not only breaks the ice, it might also earn you some extra points.

During the interview, make sure to be yourself. However, this doesn't mean you shouldn't be professional. Sit naturally on the chair (don't slouch), maintain eye contact with the interviewers and confidently (and also honestly) answer their questions. Think first before making any responses to separate your personal "problems" from professional "problems". Additionally, if you don't understand anything, seek clarification, you're only human. Nevertheless, don't be arrogant. Even if you are vastly skilled, arrogance offsets even your best qualities.

After the interview, stand confidently and shake the hands of your interviewers, thanking them for their time. After that, don't linger around. Go home.


Eventually, getting through an interview is easier said than done. It is understandable to be anxious because of the obvious reason that you're human. However, by following these simple steps you may just have a better chance of landing that job. Therefore, why wait? Get out there and show employers just what you can do.

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