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Preparing for an Interview

Going to a job interview can be nerve-wracking for a couple reasons. Interviews don’t come around very often, so most of us don’t have much practice with them. Also, interviews are full of unknowns. We can’t know exactly what they’re going to be like until we’re in them. Fortunately, we don’t have to be afraid because we can do several things before an interview to help us prepare!

A good interview starts a week or two before you sit down in front of the interviewer. Here are five things you can do to make sure you are ready for your interview.

  1. Make sure you remember the job description. You want the interviewer to see that you can do the job. You have to remember details about the job so that you can show the interviewer why you can do the job well.
  2. Research the company. By showing that you know about the company, you prove to an interviewer that you are interested in this job, not just any job. Learn these three things:
    – What are their mission, vision, and values?
    – What products and services do they provide?
    – Have they been in the news recently? What for?
  3. Practice interview questions! Most interviewers ask similar questions. If you can answer quickly and thoroughly, you will sound confident, organized and knowledgable. Lots of sites give examples of interview questions. Click here or here or here for common interview questions. If you practice the interview with a friend or family member, that person can help you improve your answers. If you don’t have time for a mock interview, try practicing out loud in front of a mirror. Doing this will help you remember what to say and how to say it.
  4. Think of questions to ask the interviewer. Most interviewers will give you a chance to ask questions at the end of an interview. Asking questions shows that you’ve been thinking critically about the job. Try to think of anything you would like to know about the company or your job. Ask yourself, “How will I fit into this job?” “How will this job fit into my life?” “Was there anything in the job description that I want to know more about?” By asking yourself what you’d like to know, you’ll find good questions to ask the interviewer.
  5. Imagine Success! Deliberately imagining yourself doing well during the interview actually helps you do well.

If you prepare for an interview, you will feel calmer and more confident during it. Click here for more information about decreasing interview anxiety.

Whether or not you get the job, you can leave your interview knowing that you did well. You prepared as much as you could, and performed as well as you knew how. Every interview helps you learn more about being interviewed and gives you the chance to practice.

If you need a place to do research for a job interview, visit DECSA’s Community Resource Center. We provide free access to computers, Wi-Fi, fax machines, photocopiers, newspapers, reference materials, and a job board.

Good luck, and stay tuned for Tuesday’s blog post.