Are You Really Ready for Your Interview?

John Krautzel
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Preparing for a job interview is one of the most important steps of the job search process. Beyond creating a resume and a cover letter that impresses potential employers, you should also put time and effort into rehearsing common interview questions and choosing professional attire. Note these tell-tale signs that you may not be ready for your interview with a hiring manager, and make any necessary changes to ensure you're ready on interview day.

1. No Proper Attire

Even if your research shows that the company culture is relaxed, avoid showing up to your job interview in attire that is much too casual. It's better to be overdressed than underdressed when meeting with a potential employer for the first time. Pay close attention to your accessories, too. Dangling earrings or jewelry that is distracting can prompt you to fidget during the interview, ultimately taking the focus away from what you have to say while discussing your skills and qualifications.

2. You're Overly Nervous

It's common to be nervous when meeting with hiring managers, but being too nervous might make you appear unprofessional. Find ways to calm yourself prior to walking into the hiring manager's office. Before the job interview, take a few deep breaths. Smile often during the interview to mask your nervousness, and slow down your speech when answering interview questions so you can clearly explain why you are the best candidate for the position.

3. You Didn't Research the Company

Employers need to feel confident that you have done your homework and are thoroughly prepared for the job interview. A candidate who has researched the company's operations, products, services and culture has more opportunity to engage with the hiring manager. Prepare a few questions to ask that dig deeper into the company's operations and processes to show that you have done your research and invested adequate time into learning about the company. Employers take notice of individuals who have put in the extra effort.

4. You're Responses are Rehearsed

Even though it's important to practice your responses to common questions, if you sound too rehearsed, you will come off as too robotic. You need to be natural, yet professional during a job interview. Showcase your professionalism and your personality. Memorize only ideas or bullet points you want to point out during the interview, and then let the words flow naturally.

How you present yourself during your first meeting with an employer is crucial. It is your first opportunity to showcase your qualifications and connect with the hiring manager. Make the most of this opportunity by focusing on your skills, experience and talents when answering questions asked during a job interview, and be sure to avoid the common mistakes listed above.

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