The Knowledge Nook

What Are Some Essential Tips For Preparing For A Job Interview

Posted by Tami Russell on Apr 11, 2017 2:56:05 PM

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Anyone who has ever been on a job interview knows that nervous jitters can get in the way of making a great impression on a potential employer.  What are some must-have preparation tips to make sure you are ready for anything an interviewer might throw your way?

Workitdaily.com advises that “people hire people they like.  Even if one candidate is more qualified and experienced than another, without a good relationship there is minimal chance at securing a job.”

Wow!  No pressure.  Our first thought when reading that was, how can a person like you, or dislike you, in the time it takes to conduct a half-hour interview?  Workitdaily writer Alison Green offers some tips to make sure you leave the interviewer’s office with a positive vibe.

  1. Use appropriate body language. Smile, engage the interviewer, be confident and listen carefully to the questions you are asked before giving an answer.  (We’d like to add a couple of other tips.  Make eye contact, dress appropriately, and be polite and patient as you work through the interview.)
  2. Seek more information. Learn all you can about the company and job before heading to the interview. Several job sites and employment writers agree - being prepared with as much information as you can BEFORE entering the job interview is a plus in your favor.
  3. Demonstrate you are up for the challenge. Tout your skills, mention any training or credentials you may have earned, don’t forget volunteer experiences, which might add a lot to your resume, and let the employer know why you are a good fit for this position. 

U.S. News and World Report agrees that being ready for an interview is one of the best things you can do to boost your confidence, and your job chances.  “One of the strongest differentials between job candidates who do well in interviews and job candidates who don’t is whether and how they prepare ahead of time.  Preparation is crucial to coming across well; if you simply wing it, you risk coming across poorly and losing the job.”

We’d like to add, any sincere question is a signal to your potential employer that you are interested in getting to know more about the company and what is required to be successful. If you’ve done your research, and you are unclear or unsure about an answer, don’t panic.  Be truthful, saying things such as "I’m not sure but I would love to know more," or "Can you give me a little more background about that situation?" Honesty is a big plus for interviewers.  Remember, people new to a job or organization are not expected to know everything about it before they begin, although all the advance preparation you can complete prior to entering an interview will work in your favor.

How You Dress May Make, or Break, the Interview

A lot has changed since the 1960s, when workplace attire was strictly suits, dresses and heels, but it’s a good idea to take your attire seriously.

Monster.com recommends “get out your best interview clothes and check them over for spots and wrinkles.  Even if the company has a casual environment, you don’t want to look like you slept in your outfit.  Above all, dress for confidence.  If you feel good, others will respond to you accordingly.”

It’s a truism that we are judged on first appearances, and you want to make a great first impression. A put-together look will go a long way in that important first impression.

Other common-sense tips for making a great impressions:  Be on time.  Give specific examples of your experience or background.  And, as an afterthought, FOLLOW UP.  Once you’ve finished your interview and left the building, it can be smart to email or text your potential employer, saying you enjoyed the interview and look forward to earning the opportunity to work at the organization.  Even a hand written note can help.

Good luck!  One final tip! If you are looking for additional training to boost your professional resume, check out some of PDI's certificate programs.  Click the link below for more information.

PDI's Certificate Programs Offer Training in a Number of Exciting Careers.   Learn More Now!

Topics: careers

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PDI - The Professional Development Institute of the University of North Texas - is dedicated to your desire to never stop learning!  "The Knowledge Nook," our blog designed to share best practices, trending topics and other tidbits of information, is a tool to help you as you plot your career path. If you have specific questions, blog topic ideas or comments on particular topics, please let us know! We look forward to learning together.

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