Preparation Tips for Interviews

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These tips for interviews outline some of the best strategies to help you prepare yourself before you actually get to the interview.

Getting the Call

When you are called to the interview, keep in mind that even at this stage in the hiring process you are being assessed to determine whether you'd be a good fit for the company.

Here's how to make a good impression:

  • Ensure your voice mail message is simple, brief and professional. Avoid any cute or funny voice mail messages; they may be fine for your friends, but they don't make a professional impression on employers. If it has been a while since you recorded your voice mail message, listen to it and ensure it conveys the kind of image you want to portray to potential employers.
  • When you're called for an interview, it's fine to ask how much time you should set aside for the interview, who will be interviewing you, and whether there is anything you should bring with you.
  • Be polite and thank the person for calling. This person may be your coworker someday soon, and even if he or she is not the hiring manager, he or she probably will be asked to give an opinion about your suitability for the job.

Tips for Interviews: Immediately After the Call

  • Arrange for childcare if necessary
  • Clear your schedule for the day. Interviews may go longer than scheduled (that's usually a good sign!), so allow for plenty of time.
  • Let your references know you have an upcoming interview.
  • If you didn't research the company when you wrote your resume, do so now. If you have already researched the company, review your notes.
  • Practice answering questions, particularly difficult ones.
  • Get out your interview clothes and try them on.
  • If you're not familiar with the area, go to the location of the interview a day or two before. That way you'll know exactly where it will be and how long it will take you to get there. Use whatever transportation you plan to take on the day of the interview and try to leave at the same time as you would for the interview so you'll know what traffic is like at that time of day, how long it takes to get there and where to park.
  • Prepare copies of your resume, references and any certificates or diplomas that may be relevant.

Of all of the tips for interviews you will find, really the best tip is to simply be prepared. Think though everything you may need on that day, and have those things prepared at least one day before the interview. That way you won't be worried about being late, or finding a tie to match with your shirt. You'll simply be able to focus on doing a great job of answering the questions and making a great impression.

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