The Ultimate Guide for Interview Preparation

John Krautzel
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After scouring position postings, sending out resumes and talking to all your industry contacts, you may think all your worries cease as soon as you schedule a job interview. Not so fast. This is when you really have to step up your game. A successful interview requires a great deal of groundwork. Follow this ultimate guide for interview preparation to ace your encounter.

1. Research Extensively

Learn everything you can about the hiring organization prior to your job interview. Find out about the company's products or services, read press releases and peruse the website. As you learn more about the company's mission and goals, you'll have a better idea of how to tailor your job interview answers to suit the organization's needs.

2. Study the Job Description

Go over the job description in detail. Figure out exactly which skills and qualifications the hiring organization needs the candidate to possess.

3. Determine Your Worth

Once you have a picture of the potential employer's ideal candidate, decide how you fit into the picture. List job duties, special skills, educational experience and impressive accomplishments that prove you're right for the job.

4. Practice Your Responses

Look up some common job interview questions. Decide how you might respond to each one. Practice your answers in front of the mirror until you sound natural.

5. Dress to Impress

Choose a job interview outfit that's professional. Make sure your shoes are clean and polished and your hair and nails are neat. Keep makeup, cologne and perfume to a minimum.

6. Arrive Early

Give yourself plenty of time to travel to the job interview and check in with the receptionist. Plan to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early so you have time to gather your thoughts.

7. Bring a Portfolio

Put together a portfolio that shows your best work. Include achievements you're proud of, certifications you've earned and awards you've won. If you have examples of your past work, add those in as well.

8. Calm Your Nerves

Picture yourself doing well as you get ready for the job interview. If you're extremely nervous, try meditating. Take a deep breath before you enter the meeting room or answer any questions.

9. Craft Your Own Questions

Decide on a few questions you want to ask the hiring manager when given the opportunity. Write them down so you don't forget. Ask questions that show your interest and enthusiasm for the position.

10. Follow Up

When you return home from the job interview, send a thank you note to the hiring manager. Call or email in a week or two to find out if any additional information is needed.

When it comes to job interviews, the effort you put in typically determines your success. To really impress the hiring manager and outshine the competition, consider this ultimate guide to being prepared. What other tips can you add to help prepare for that all-important job interview?

Photo courtesy of solargaria at


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