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How to Successfully Prepare for a Job Interview

28 November 2008 2 Comments

Organize a Timeline


It’s no secret that job interviews can be stressful. One simple thing that can ease the pressure and help you be a success at the interview, is to prepare a written plan. List everything you need to do to prepare for and bring to the interview and then add the time or date to have this completed by. Start your master list at least a week or several days before the interview.

For example, have your suit cleaned and pressed days before the interview rather than one day before. Store it in a closet along with your polished shoes, tasteful jewelry and the other items you’ll wear to the interview. Having your entire outfit ready days ahead can give you a great sense of relief and is one less thing to worry about in relation to your job interview.

Make sure you also have a tasteful bag and, depending on your climate, an umbrella in case of rain. Pack extra letterhead resumes in case you have more than one interviewer and also bring a stack of your business cards. Have transportation fare or gas in your car the day before the interview. Purchase thank you cards so you’ll be ready to follow up the day after your interview.


Practice Makes Perfect


If you’re nervous about what questions may be asked of you in the job interview, read books on the subject. It may help you to think about what questions will be asked and prepare responses to them. Having a friend or family member pretend to be the interviewer may also help you practice. Make sure you’re able to maintain comfortable eye contact and sit up straight without fidgeting. Also be sure to remind yourself not to babble during the interview, but rather listen carefully to the questions the interviewer asks you and answer them thoughtfully. You’ll need to promote yourself as the best fit for the job.


If you’re not sure how long it will take to get to the interview location, you may want to do a practice run. Get there early on the day of the job interview and wait in a nearby cafe until about five or ten minutes before your set interview time. You may also want to check out your parking options ahead of time if you’ll be driving and the bus stop location if you’ll be taking public transportation to the interview


Dress to Impress


Don’t just concentrate on having your job interview outfit cleaned and pressed in time. Give some thought to what you should wear. In most cases a business suit and dress shirt are appropriate. Try the outfit on and make sure it’s flattering on you and suitable for an office. If your job interview is for a position other than an office job, you may want to wear something less dressy such as a nice pair of pants and a dress shirt. No matter how casual the job, never wear jeans, dirty clothes, flip flops, revealing items or ripped clothes. 

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