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Practice Makes Perfect: Preparing for Your Job Interview

An interview is just a question and answer session, right? Wrong. An interview is the last hurdle to getting that job you’ve applied for; and with that in mind, it takes a lot of preparation beforehand to ensure that the impression you’re making is positive and lasting.

At the same time, you may be at a loss for how you can prepare ahead of time. Check out the following job interview tips to get ready.

1. Identify your answers to common interview questions.

The International Business Times identified five of the most common interview questions:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What do you know about the company?
  • Why did you leave your last job?
  • What’s your greatest strength?
  • What are you expecting to get paid?

Before any interview, go over these key questions with yourself. Write them down and ingrain the answers in your memory. Your ability to answer these questions will show interviewers that you’re not only prepared, but that you’re capable and confident in yourself.

2. Record yourself.

Get a camera or tape recorder out, and record yourself answering interview questions. You can find a friend to help or you can play the role of both the interviewer and interviewee.

The point here is to see how you react to questions where you get hung up on your answers, and what seems to work for you. Getting your mock interview on camera will enable you to assess not only how you sound but your body language as well.

Plus, this type of job interview preparation will payoff for video interviews, which you could definitely encounter throughout your job search. In a live interview, it’s over when it’s over; but with video interviews, potential employers are able to look back at the interviews as often as they need to. With that in mind, practice the way you look and sound.

3. Choose an interviewing outfit.

You know the old adage: Don’t judge a book by its cover. Unfortunately, that doesn’t apply here. Potential employers are looking at how you dress and present yourself; so that requires just as much job interview preparation as your answers to common questions.

Choose an outfit that is professional and appropriate for that type of environment. Most potential employers will favor candidates that wear suits or business casual dress. No matter what kind of job you’re interviewing for, jeans make the wrong impression.

If you have a video interview scheduled, your dress is just as important in this scenario too. You may be interviewing from home, but that doesn’t mean you can wear your pajamas. Treat the interview just as you would if you were interviewing in person.

Job interview preparation requires that you put in some extra time before the actual interview, but it could mean the difference between getting looked over or getting the job.

How do you prepare for an interview? Weigh in below!

IMAGE: Courtesy of Flickr by Tulane Public Relations

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Written by

Kathryn is a freelance writer currently living in Chicago, Illinois. She holds a B.A. in English Writing from DePauw University and has five years experience writing for major job search and higher education websites. When she's not writing for the web, Kathryn is hanging out with her new baby girl, traveling, cooking, reading and running. She believes that the perfect job is out there for everyone and hopes to help Spark Hire job seekers discover their career passion and pursue it.

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