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How to Get Ready for a Job Interview

A little advanced preparation makes a big difference

If you are in the job market right now, you know that getting a job interview is a key step in securing the job you’ve been looking for. The interview is your first opportunity to meet the hiring manager. It’s your chance to make an impression and convince the interviewer that you are the best candidate for the job. Given how important it is, you will need to spend a little time preparing yourself. Follow these tips to get ready for the big day.

#1. Learn about the employer
The first step is to learn more about the employer. This is important for two reasons. First, the interviewer will expect that you know something about the company. And second, you yourself will want to know if the company is actually somewhere you’d like to work. Here are some ways to do your research:

  • Read the website
  • Read the webpages about the division where you will be working
  • Learn more about the person who would be your supervisor
  • Know the company’s mission statement
  • Know the core business that the company does
  • Look for a list of their key clients or customers
  • Do a Google News search to read any recent articles about the company
  • Search financial statements or annual reports to learn about their financial stability
  • Find out how long the company has existed
  • Search for reviews of the company to get a sense of their reputation

#2. Read and re-read the job description
If the company has provided a detailed job description in the job posting, be sure to read it very carefully. This will give you a good sense of the employer’s expectations of you. This way you will be able to talk knowledgeably during the interview.

#3. Practice responding to sample interview questions
What questions is the interviewer going to throw your way? There’s no way to know for sure, but if you do an online search, you should be able to find a lot of sample job interview questions. Once you have a list of sample questions, try these practice tips:

  • Have a friend ask you the questions
  • Practice your responses in front of a mirror
  • Jot down key phrases that you like and practice them repeatedly
  • Videotape yourself answering the questions, so you can critique yourself
  • Set up a mock interview with a career services professional

#4. Write down questions for the employer
In most interviews, the employer will give you a chance to ask questions. This is not only a chance to get your questions answered, but it also gives you a chance to impress the interviewer with thoughtful questions. Good questions show that you are serious about the job. To get started, try this sample list of questions to ask at the interview.

#5. Avoid common job interview mistakes
Afraid of doing the wrong thing? It never hurts to look at a list of common interview mistakes. If you’ve never been on a job interview before, it’s good to know what things to avoid!

#6. Plan for the day
Once you’re mentally ready for the day, you’ll need to take some time to get physically ready too. Do you need a haircut? Do you have an interview suit? Are your shoes in good shape? Try these suggestions on what to wear for a job interview. You should also figure out what you’re going to bring with you. Consider bringing:

  • A portfolio or folder
  • 5 copies of your resume
  • Business cards (if you have them)
  • List of references with email and phone contact information
  • Your list of questions
  • A pen

We hope these tips are helpful as you prepare for your next job interview. Remember, the more prepared you feel, the less nervous you will be. You’ll be glad you made the effort!

The Branford Hall Career Institute offers job training and career-focused programs for adults interested in starting a new career as a medical assistant, medical billing and coding specialist, massage therapist, and more.