Job Interviewing: Best Practices

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The process of finding a new job can be stressful, arduous, and frustrating. Preparing for an interview takes more effort than just brushing up on your resume. It’s also important to make a good first impression, dress sharp, and know the company.

Here are a few best practices for preparing and having a job interview:

Dress Professional, but Accordingly

Study the company before deciding on an interview outfit. Does the company have an extremely professional vibe? Stick with a classic outfit – such as a suit and a button up top. Is the company a creative startup? Consider throwing in a colored blazer or a fun necklace. Look at what the employees wear on the “team” page, and tailor the outfit to that.

It is also important to remember to make sure your outfit fits well, is ironed, and has no stains, tears, etc. Examine the outfit before putting it on to make sure it is in top shape. Clean up facial hair, and remember not to wear too much perfume or cologne.

Bring References and a Copy of Your Resume

Even if they don’t ask for it, bring a printed copy of your references. Each reference should include a name, phone number, email, company, and the reference’s job title. Always remember to bring one copy of your resume for you to look over, and one for whomever is interviewing you. They may have a copy, but it is always good to come prepared.

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Study the Company

Some interviewers will quiz you on your knowledge about the company, while others don’t. Either way, it’s good to come prepared. If they ask the questions, you’re ready, and if not, throwing some of that knowledge out there looks impressive. Make sure to always know with whom you are speaking, what they do, the names of the top executives at the company, and what the business actually does.

Go to Bed Early and Arrive Early

It’s not very professional to be yawning during an interview. Getting enough sleep will make you feel better and cause you to be more alert for the interview. Also, always remember to show up early! Give yourself extra time depending on how far away it is. If it’s normally a 15-minute drive, give yourself 10-15 extra minutes for unexpected delays; if it’s a longer commute, an extra 20-30 minutes is good. You never know if the building will be hard to find or there will be an accident slowing down traffic.

Be Confident

Even if you are incredibly nervous – act confident. The interviewer is there to talk about you, so it is okay to brag in a humble way. Give a firm handshake, make eye contact, and smile.

Ask Questions

Come with questions prepared. If you forget to do so, try to ask at least a few questions. Ending an interview with no questions is always a bad sign to the interviewer. Ask clarifying questions about the role, what the company does, and company culture. Remember, you are also interviewing this company to see if you want to work for them!

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