12 Ways to Prepare for That Big Interview

John Krautzel
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A job interview is one of the crucial steps for candidates seeking employment. In fact, how you present yourself personally and professionally is one of the most important deciding factors for employers. Consider using these 12 strategies when practicing for an interview so you can put your best foot forward.

1. Be Present

It's common to start thinking about interview questions and responses when talking to an employer, but if your mind is wandering, you could miss some key information. Stay present during the job interview by listening intently and making direct eye contact.

2. Conceal Nervousness

You'll likely be nervous during a job interview, but it's important to conceal those nervous jitters. Pay close attention to your body language, and avoid wearing accessories that prompt fidgeting. Take deep breaths regularly and smile often.

3. Conduct a Mock Interview

Tap into your professional network. Find someone who understands your industry, and ask for help with interviewing. Get pointers about your responses to common job interview questions, your body language and your overall appearance.

4. Record Yourself

Prior to your first meeting with an employer, record yourself. Study your facial expressions, and listen to your tone of voice closely to detect any signs of nervousness. Do your best to correct any flaws you detect.

5. Be a Storyteller

Craft a few anecdotes and narratives you can share that illustrate your experience, skills and ability to work well with teams.

6. Give Details

Relay stories that are job-focused. Explain how you produced results in previous positions. Provide facts and figures, and describe the processes you used to deal with common issues.

7. Focus on the Positive

Turn the negatives into positives by detailing what you learned from workplace problems in the past. This helps employers view you as a positive, optimistic worker.

8. Analyze the Job Description

Keep the job interview on track by referring back to the job description often. Show the employer that you are fully prepared to discuss the company and the duties of the position.

9. Prepare for Tough Questions

Be prepared for the curve balls that may come your way during a job interview. Ask your mentor to challenge you during mock interviews. See if he can stump you or help you think more critically when answering difficult questions.

10. Redirect Tough Questions

Be ready for questions about your weaknesses, and be honest about any skills you have that still need to be developed. Explain how you are working to improve these skills.

11. Eliminate Fear

If you have a job gap or questionable items on your application materials, eliminate the fear and anxiety regarding these issues by addressing them early on. Craft a response that explains why you have a gap in employment or why you plan to leave your current employer so there are no questions left unanswered in the minds of potential employers.

12. Sell Your Skills

Spend time bragging about yourself. It may seem awkward at first, but employers need to know exactly why you're qualified for the job.

Prepare thoroughly for a job interview so employers can picture you working for the company. Spend time bragging about your qualifications, and present yourself professionally to make a positive impression.

Photo Courtesy of Ambro at FreeDigitalPhotos.net.


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