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Interview Prep Part 1:~Before the Interview

In most cases interviews can be intimidating. Take a walk with me. You have sent your resume to a million companies, taken a ton of assessments, and you finally get the call. Ms. Doe, Mr. Doe we would like to schedule an interview with you. You get so excited because you have been in the job market for quite some time. You hang up all smiles with that warm fuzzy feeling inside, then you get hit with a feeling of anxiety. All of the questions rush in. "What am I going to wear?" I haven't been on an interview in a while..."What if I mess up?" I haven't heard of this company. "What do they do?"

There are steps you can take to better help you with all of these questions, plus more. Interviewing can be scary especially if you have not interviewed in a while or are a career beginner. Here are some steps to take before you go out on your interview:

Before the Interview Preparations

Step 1: Do you meet the minimal qualifications of the job posting? One clear way to find out is to dissect the resume. Dissecting the resume can save a lot of time when it comes to your job search.

Review the Name of the Job, Summary, Minimum Qualifications, and Education Requirements

Step 2: Review your resume, and do a comparison of your qualifications, skills, and education vs. the job description’s minimum qualification and education. What do you bring to the table? Do you meet the qualifications?

Step 3: Research the company. It is important to research the company mission statement, vision statement, values, culture, history, stock information, etc. It is equally important to determine if the company is a right fit for you.

Step 4: Dress the Part. Have you determined what you will wear to your interview? This could be any interview. It is important to be prepared at a moment’s notice. If you are serious and vigorous about your job search you should have at least two outfits in your closet ready to go if you are called.

Interview Prep Kit

To better help you at a moment’s notice for an interview develop an interview success kit.

  • Personal hygiene products: deodorant, subtle body spray, cologne, or perfume, lotion, tooth paste, toothbrush, small travel size mouthwash, and floss, (Men additional solid color tie), comb, and brush

  • Additional copies of your resume at least 3 to 5

  • Business cards if you have them-if not make an investment

  • Portfolio or business notebook

Step 5: Traveling to Your Destination. It is important to know where you are going to cut down on time delays. Research a couple of days before the address and make an attempt to drive by the location to scope out the length of the location, how much time it took you to get there, and parking.

More on Interview Prep Kit

  • Include directions on where you are going or a map if available. If you have a portable GPS or a GPS in your cell phone lock the address in. (NOTE: GPS units are not 100% reliable.) Have a backup plan such as a map or directions.

Step 6: What to Bring? What not to Bring? That is the Question

What to Bring?

  • Yourself

  • Portfolio or Business Style Notebook

  • Additional Resumes

  • Reference List

  • Business Cards

  • Your “A” Game

  • Questions

What Not to Bring?

  • A Bad Attitude

  • Cell Phone

  • Gum-if you have it in your mouth to freshen your breath get rid of it before the interview.

  • Food/Drink

  • I-Pod

  • Backpack, Tote bag, Briefcase

Step 7: Communication-Are you a good communicator?

What do you think consists of good communication? Communication is verbal and non verbal. It is important to be aware of both types.

Verbal Communication is when you speak words. Clarity, tone, grammar, and punctuation all play a intricate part in how you communicate verbally. Speak loud enough to where your audience/interviewer can hear you. Try not to speak too loud. A conversation voice is fine. Utilize correct grammatical phrases when you speak, and leave the slang at home. Use friendly tones in your voice. When you speak your voice should have a smile in it.

Non-Verbal Communication is when you communicate without using your voice, but through your body language. The most common utilization of body language is your facial expression. When you arrive at your interview put a smile on your face. Smiling is the friendliest way to communicate. Handshakes are another way to communicate. When you are in a business setting shake hands. The universal business handshake language is firm, but not too hard. It says you mean business. Eye contact is another form on non-verbal communication. Eye contact suggests that you are listening, and interested in what the speaker is saying.

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