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Preparing for an Interview

By M.J. Joachim,
Staff Writer

Your degree and resume can get you an interview, but it's up to you to be ready for it.

Having the proper mind-set helps the interviewing process run more smoothly. It is necessary to assess all aspects of the interviewing process, which include preparing for the interview, participating during the interview and following up after the interview. Job seekers are more likely to exhibit qualities of self-confidence and ability, communicate more effectively with the person interviewing them, as well as considering the dynamics of the company being represented in the interview.

Preparing for an Interview states that people should, "Think of a job opening as a set of problems to which you are the solution. Prepare for an interview by identifying problems hinted at in the job ad (if there's no job ad, research the company and industry) and preparing examples of how you will solve them." Background research helps interviewees correlate their skill sets with those needed by the interviewer (the company).

Understanding the company helps interviewees dress appropriately for their interview. According to All Business, "As it can be difficult to know the culture of the office environment beforehand, err on the side of conservative. Even if everyone's wearing jeans when you arrive, you're probably better off showing up in a suit." People interviewing for jobs should be clean, neat and prepared.

Preparing for an interview includes having all paperwork in order for the interview. Resumes, references, identification, college transcripts, portfolios and anything else requested should be readily available upon request.

During an Interview

There are several do's and don'ts during a job interview. Professionalism is a must, while being unprepared and acting too casual send negative signals. Job Interview Top Tips states, "Be sure of your abilities without appearing too cocky or narcissistic. You want to let the interviewer know that you're equipped to perform well at your job, without alienating other workers."

Good communication skills are imperative during the interviewing process. Honesty gets extremely high marks, because interviewers ascertain the characteristic of trustworthiness. It's acceptable for interviewees to surmise the company they are interviewing with as well. Virginia Tech says interviewees should, "Evaluate the interviewer and the organization s/he represents. An interview is a two-way street. Conduct yourself cordially and respectfully, while thinking critically about the way you are treated and the values and priorities of the organization."

After the Interview

Follow-up after an interview shows interest and regard for company interested in hiring new employees. While it is important to use proper manners and thank people upon completion of an interview, it is also advised to send a thank you letter or email. According to the

College of Business Administration

, University of Northern Iowa, "A follow-up lets the interviewer know you are still interested in the position and gives you the opportunity to emphasize your qualifications again."

Last edited: October 31, 2011, 5:47 pm EST
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