When you’re looking for a new career opportunity, you’ll most likely be invited to one or more interviews as part of the candidate selection process. To make a great first impression, it’s a good idea to prepare in order to have a better chance of convincing hiring managers and recruiters that you’re the best candidate for the job.  As you launch your new career search campaign, consider the following tips on “How to Prepare for an Interview”:

1. Do your research

Let’s face it, the marketplace is full of qualified candidates, so you’ll need demonstrate value and create a competitive advantage if you want to outpace other job search candidates. I would suggest you start by researching the company ahead of time. Review the company’s website, their background, values, and mission statement. There are several websites that you might find helpful, such as Wetfeet, The Riley Guide, and Hoovers. Also, search for recent press releases regarding new services, major initiatives, or projected growth. Lastly, make a list of meaningful questions or notes about the company that you can ask or discuss during the interview.

2. Review and compare the job requirements

Read and re-read the job description and compare your skills and qualifications. Are you qualified for the position? What minimum and desired skills do you have that are noted in the job requirements outline?

3. Practice your responses

Most likely, you’ll be asked some common interview questions along with a few tougher ones, so prepare ahead of time. Some questions may be related to your resume and others may be scenario questions.  Practice answering questions such as:

  • Tell me about yourself?
  • What makes you the most qualified for this position?
  • What are your biggest strengths? Weaknesses?
  • Why should we hire you?

4. Dress to impress

Conservative business attire is best. Also, go light on fragrance/cologne and makeup. What you wear can make a huge difference when it comes to the selection process.

5. Don’t show up empty handed

Bring several copies of your resume, a portfolio with a notebook, a good writing utensil, a list of references, brag book, etc. Be sure to get the interviewer’s name/s or ask for their business cards. You’ll need their email address to send a thank you note.

6. Be prepared to be present

From the moment you arrive, be present. Pay attention to your non-verbal communication like your posture and facial expressions. Make eye contact with the waiting room receptionist and the interviewer, and use good judgment when it comes to emotions and behavior.

7. Prepare a list of questions

Most interviewers will end the interview by asking if you have any questions. It’s a good idea to prepare a list of questions beforehand. Keep in mind that you should not ask questions that you could have easily found out by doing your earlier research.

Common interview questions include:

  • If we are going to have a successful 2016, what will that look like?
  • What are the key accomplishments you’d like to see in this role over the next year?
  • How is performance evaluated?
  • What is your proposed hire date?
  • What is the next step in the interview process?

As you prepare for an interview, be confident as you move forward, and commit to doing your best. If you have an interview scheduled, or just want to hone your skills, call Elite Resume Writing Services today. Our Certified Employment Interview Professionals facilitate mock interview coaching sessions that will help polish your skills as you practice in a safe and encouraging atmosphere. Remember, if you want to influence favorable hiring decisions, interview coaching can help you make a lasting, positive first impression.

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