How to Prepare for a Job Interview

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A job interview is an important part of the hiring process. Knowing how to impress potential employers is just as important as having work experience when it comes to landing a job.


A Brief Overview of Job Interviewing

After applying on a company's website or through a recruiter, the applicant may be invited to a job interview. This invitation demonstrates the company's interest in the skill sets and qualifications of the potential candidate.

At this point, the employer can determine whether the applicant possesses the personality, problem-solving skills, and professionalism required to succeed in the open position. The applicant can ask the employer questions to determine if the job is a good fit. To increase his or her chances of being hired, the applicant must arrive prepared, dressed appropriately, and act professionally. A second interview demonstrates that the applicant is a strong candidate for the position.


5 Types of Interviews

Before landing their dream job, job seekers may have to go through several interviews with a hiring manager, potential co-workers, and a recruiter. The following are some examples of interview types:

1. Mock interviews: It is critical to practice your interview skills prior to the actual interview. Mock interviews allow you to practice answering common interview questions. Working with a career coach, trusted peer, or friend to interview you for a potential new job will allow you to practice answering various interview questions.

2. Phone interviews: Applicants are not required to dress up for phone interviews, also known as phone screens. Nonetheless, you must speak clearly and professionally, and you must be in an area with good reception so that you and the interviewer can hear each other. Phone interviews are sometimes used as a preliminary interview or a first-round meeting to get a sense of the candidate.

3. In-person interviews: This is the most common type of interview. You enter the company office and meet with human resources, a potential manager, or a recruiter. In-person interviews require everything from body language and articulation to curiosity and professional attire.

4. Video interviews: In-person interviews can be replaced with video interviews on digital platforms. Dress as if you were going to an in-person interview, and address your answers to the person on your screen.

5. Second-round interviews: If you advance to the next round of interviews, you may meet more potential peers and higher-ups at the company. Companies will sometimes fly qualified candidates to meet with them in person for the second interview.


How to Get Ready for an Interview

To increase your chances of getting a job offer, follow the interview tips below:

1. Make duplicates of your résumé and cover letter. Extra copies of your cover letter and résumés with your work history should be kept in a folder or briefcase in case the interviewer requires one.

2. Go over the company's website. Learn more about the company so that you are well-prepared for your interview and can ask thoughtful questions that demonstrate you have done your homework.

3. Rehearse your questions and responses. Spend some time practicing your interview questions and answers. Perform a mock interview with a peer or write down your responses so you know exactly what you'll be talking about.

4. Confirm the interview time and date three times. You don't want to be late or miss your interview entirely, so double-check the time (including time zone) for your discussion.

5. Plan your interview attire the night before. Even if the company has an informal dress code, dress up to demonstrate that you are serious about the position. Choosing an outfit the night before also relieves stress on the day of the interview.

6. Be on time. Allow plenty of time to get to the interview location. As you wait for your appointment, check in and go over your list of questions and answers.

7. Be professional. In a job interview, make a good first impression by giving a firm handshake, maintaining eye contact, and paying attention to your posture and body language.

8. Make inquiries. Come prepared with questions about company culture and the job description to demonstrate your interest in the interview process.

9. Follow up with a thank-you note. Thank the recruiter or hiring manager for their time at the end of the interview, and follow up a day later with a thank-you email or handwritten note. This small gesture can go a long way toward demonstrating your appreciation and interest in the role.

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