How to Effectively Prepare For an Interview?

Have you ever been invited to attend an interview for which you didn’t know how to prepare? What major aspect was the most confusing to you? Was it the dress code? Knowing what the business is about? Arriving on time? What type of interviewers are you going to be facing?

In this article we will be shedding the light on a list of ten of the most important tips you should seriously consider when preparing for an interview especially if you are a fresh graduate with limited experience in this field. The task is simple when you have clear guidelines and when you know what actions need to be done and when.

By keeping these tips in mind and by being well prepared you will gain a certain advantage over other potential candidates:

  1. Be prepared:After you apply for job vacancy, be prepared and expect to receive a phone call for the interview request. Keep a notebook and a pen handy and ready to write down the information provided over the phone. It is always recommended to confirm the information by repeating them to your caller. When applicable, you can always send an email confirmation to make sure that all information are right, or you can always call one day prior to the interview.
  2. Get to know the company or organization:check the company or organization’s website, read their mission, vision, services and background. . Ask about the company, if possible ask about the interviewers’ style, this will help you to be more prepared.
  3. Get to know the position requirements:When you are applying for different job vacancies, you might get mixed up. Therefore, remember to look back at the job announcement and refresh your memory about the position requirements before heading to the interview.
  4. Get to know the interviewees:when called or emailed for the interview, make sure to ask who will be interviewing you. Write down the name(s) of the interviewer(s), and then do a quick online research about these individuals. Google is your place to start with. Try searching for the on the social media platforms. For professional social media networks, LinkedIn is recommended. This professional network will inform you about your interviewers’ career path, and in case you have connections in common, you can always ask about the person(s). interview 2 - title
  5. Prepare an interview file: there are some items that you need to have ready with you in the interview, you might not use them, yet, it reflects professionalism to have them if you were asked about. In your file, make sure you have following items:
    1. CV, cover letter, and job announcement:despite the fact that your interviewee(s) have your CV, cover letter and job announcement with them, it is always professional if you have them for easy access.
    2. List of questions:Prepare a short list of questions related to the organization and position that you may like to ask if given the chance. Feel free to inquire about the next step.
    3. Pen and paper:you will need them in case you would like to take notes during the interview. It is very important that you seem ready and proactive in the interview.
  6. Dress professionally: concerning your appearance, the below tips will ensure that you look professional, neat, and uncomplicated.
    1. Wear formal clothes:a suit is recommended for men and women, however, you should always consider the position that you are applying for. Some work positions do not require a suit.
    2. Wear dark colors:dark colors are more professional and less distracting, besides, they do not convey any personality traits.
    3. Do not wear a lot of perfume: you want your interviewer(s) to focus on what you have to say and not on your looks and smell. You also do not want to be wearing a perfume that someone hates, plus, some interviewer(s) might be allergic. Therefore, wear a discrete perfume.
    4. Fresh and clean: When you are fresh and clean, you will feel better and people around you tend to enjoy your presence and your positive vibes.
    5. Keep your hair professional: it is preferable that women tie their hair, and men neatly groom them. For certain positions avoid funky haircut.
    6. Make-up and nail polish for women:Do not wear a lot of make-up for the simple reason: It is not professional, some interviewers will consider it misleading. In addition, it is preferable not to wear dark nail polish, Stick to simple regular colors, you do not want to distract your interviewer(s) by your nail colors.
    7. Shaving for men: Shaving is subjective. While it seems more professional for men to shave, some interviewers may consider a well trimmed beard as a professional style. Try to investigate as much as possible the organization’s culture and decide accordingly.
  7. Make sure you know the address:before your interview date, make sure to get familiar with the organization’s location, so you can forecast the time required to reach and to find a parking spot
  8. Arrive 10 to 15 minutes earlier:arriving earlier shows punctuality and good time management. Arriving late will affect your credibility.
  9. Turn off your phone:as soon as you go in the elevator, turn off your mobile and forget it. It is preferable not to be seen using your phone as you are waiting for the interview, and you do not want your phone to ring neither vibrate during the interview. Besides, you can always use the time you are waiting to familiarize yourself with the offices and the people you might be working in. Observe and try to form an idea about the organization’s business environment.
  10. Good luck:You know who you are, you know what you are capable of; be confident about it and convey that confidence in the interview.

You might be interested in these related articles:

Questions a candidate can ask in an interview

How to dress for a job interview! Dos and Dont’s!

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One thought on “How to Effectively Prepare For an Interview?

  1. Dear Chantal,

    Well I have applied now for a job in Switzerland, with my intro and project history and opened all the infos about my recent customers.
    I have handed out, over a week 3 working samples and my (new boss) have called one of my recent customers.

    According to that, I have left a very good impression with the result that we negotiated 2 days ago about salary, in which I receive soon my contract and have the 1st apointments next month. 🙂

    best, Tamer

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