Preparing for a job interview can be anxiety-inducing. However, it’s important to remember that the more you prepare, the more confident and ready you will be on the day of the interview. Acing an interview takes time and practice, so we’ve compiled a checklist of pointers to help you with your interview preparation.
Preparing for Your Interview
Acing your interview starts well before the actual day you’ll meet with your potential employer. If you want to impress your interviewer, make sure you do the following:
- Bring Your Resume, Portfolio, & References:While your interviewer will likely have most of these items on hand, it’s always a good idea to bring a full copy of your application. Make sure you have a copy of your resume and any portfolio materials on hand, and it’s always helpful to have a printed list of references with you as well. Always make sure to double-check and confirm your references before you give out any contact information.
- Do Your Research:Make sure your interview preparation involves a thorough review of the company and specific department you’re interviewing for and a detailed understanding of the job description Before the interview, familiarize yourself with the company’s structure, values, and job requirements.
- Practice Common Questions: Prepare yourself by creating mock interview questions based on the advertised job description. For example, if the description requires financial management, brainstorm different financial management experiences and all of the skillsets you’ve mastered that will be necessary for the role. Don’t forget to prepare a list of questions to ask your potential employers.
Getting Ready on the Big Day
- Choose the Right Outfit: Make sure you dress the part and look professional on the interview day. It’s always better to overdress than underdress for the occasion, and if you look good, you’ll feel good!
- Get There Early:Plan to arrive for your interview at least 15-20 minutes early. This planning will leave some wiggle room for traffic delays and give you time to use the restroom or review any last-minute preparations.
- Bring Supplies:Don’t forget to bring yourself paper and a writing utensil so you can take notes during the interview, and bringing along some water is also a great tip!
- Use the STAR Method:During the actual interview, don’t forget to use the STAR method when answering questions- Situation (describe the context), Task (explain your responsibilities), Action (what actions did you take), and Results (what was the product or resolution).
- Be Thorough but Truthful:You want to make yourself look good, but don’t embellish! Speak truthfully about your experience and skillsets, but don’t overpromise.
- Next Steps: At the end of your interview, ask about their hiring timeline and next steps. This way, you can prepare for any follow-up that might need to happen or coordinate with other jobs you may be considering.
- Send a Follow-Up:Don’t forget to send a follow-up email after your interview! Thank the interviewers for their time; make sure to mention what you learned in the interview that excites you about the role, and highlight any points you want to drive home.
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