Prepare Yourself for the Interview With These Essential Steps

Nancy Anderson
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Preparing for a job interview is a top priority for candidates immersed in the job search process. A request for an interview confirms that you captured the attention of a potential employer after spending ample time perfecting and submitting your resume and cover letter. Leave a lasting impression by displaying your professional skills, experience and personality with these top strategies.

1. Research the Firm

It's important for qualified candidates to learn about the firm prior to a job interview. Perform online searches to find out more about the products and services the firm offers, and learn a bit about some of the top employees and key administrators by viewing their LinkedIn profiles. Know the basics of the operations as well, and use this information to prepare an explanation on how you plan to contribute. A candidate who is knowledgeable about the company's culture, achievements and goals has the potential to further impress hiring managers and gain credibility as a viable applicant.

2. Anticipate Interview Questions

Prior to your job interview, rehearse answers to common questions employers ask applicants. Make a list of how your skills match qualities the employer is seeking before preparing questions to ensure you are better able to stay focused on the skills and experiences relevant to the job. Put a positive spin on your accomplishments in previous positions, and try not to sound robotic when rehearsing responses, since you want to appear confident yet relaxed during the meeting.

3. Inspect Your Social Media Profiles

In this day and age, employers have easy access to social media and won't hesitate to use it to learn more about you before your job interview. Ensure your social media profiles show you in a professional light. During your job search, remove any personal information that could be used to discriminate against you, such as family status information or photos of your children. Consider adjusting the privacy settings on your accounts, too. For example, if you only want to share personal information with friends on your Facebook page, adjust the settings to private versus public.

4. Eliminate Possible Distractions

From the moment you walk into the business, employers are assessing who you are as a person and a professional. Pay close attention to your dress and hygiene before attending a job interview. Avoid wearing jewelry or accessories that can distract from what you have to say. Cater your dress to the dress code of the firm, and comb back any flyaway hairs that could prompt you to fidget. Candidates who wear strong colognes or perfumes could also distract the hiring manager. Use a very light, subtle scent, or don't use fragrances at all prior to job interviews.

How you present yourself during a job interview matters, so preparation is essential. Put your best foot forward by rehearsing interview questions, gaining knowledge of the firm and dressing for success to increase your chances of securing a job offer.

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