How To Prepare for a Job Interview

Job interviews can be intimidating. That's particularly true if you've been out of the job market for a while or if you're a non-traditional job applicant.

Happily, the best way to nail a job interview is also the best way to ease your nerves and feel more confident: preparation. Here, we'll go over some job interview tips that will help you impress your interviewers and boost your confidence.

Do Your Homework

In the days and weeks before your interview, research the company and carefully review the job description. Familiarizing yourself with the company and role will enable you to ask thoughtful, knowledgeable questions during your interview. It will also demonstrate to your interviewer that you're engaged and interested.

Also, be sure to pay attention to the requirements and duties cited in the job listing, and think about how your skills equip you to meet them. The more you can tailor your qualifications and experience to that job description, the stronger a candidate you'll seem.

Step 2: Practice

Rehearse your responses to common interview questions ahead of time. It will help you to appear more poised and confident. Further, it will help you avoid any deer-in-the-headlights or blank-brain moments. Spend some time reflecting on the following questions and practicing your answers:

  • What interests you about this company/position?
  • Why do you think you would be a good fit for this role? 
  • What are your greatest professional strengths? Weaknesses?
  • Talk about a time when you solved a problem or navigated conflict in the past. 

If you're able, you might also consider asking a friend or family member to conduct a mock interview with you.

Step 3: Plan the Logistics

Being on time and prepared for your interview is essential to making a good impression. Days before your interview, get directions to the interview site and plan your trip, taking into account things like traffic and transportation. Plan to leave early to avoid surprises.

If the interview is virtual, prepare a space in your home that is quiet, uncluttered, and well-lit. Make sure your computer and internet connection are working properly, and familiarize yourself with the functions of the software you will be using (such as Zoom).

It's also a good idea to choose your outfit ahead of time. If the interview is in-person, prepare extra copies of your resume to take with you.

Step 4: Relax!

Being nervous is normal, but you'll perform better and appear more confident if you are calm. To help, try to do something that helps you relax before interviews, such as meditating, exercising, listening to music, or talking to a supportive friend or family member. Picture the interview as another conversation with someone who believes you are worth their time.

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