How to Prepare for an Interview

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Congratulations! You landed an interview. Take a moment to celebrate this milestone then let’s get down to business. The hard work has just begun!

Remember planning > cramming

Most students have crammed a week’s worth of studying into one night, but most students are also experienced test takers. When it comes to interviewing professionally, cramming is a recipe for disaster — especially when you are new to it. You owe yourself and the company your personal best, respect their time and yours by fully committing to the process and taking proper time to prepare.

Set your timeline

Companies usually provide interviewees a few days to a week to prepare, but any number of time and availability constraints could require them to push for an immediate date. When scheduling, always be kind, flexible and transparent. Break out your preparation plan in three stages, whether your interview is in three days or three weeks.

Up to two weeks before:

  • Become an expert on the company’s brand and mission
  • Be familiar with the company Web site, any recent news or press coverage as applicable
  • Review their social media posts
  • Research who you will be meeting with
  • Research behavioral question examples and practice answering them
  • Identify three to five personal selling points
  • Prepare an ‘I’m thinking’ phrase to give you ample time to answer complex questions
  • Prepare thoughtful questions to ask the employer

The day before:

  • Print extra copies of your resume and reference list
  • Take a test drive to the interview location (as applicable)
  • Plan (and clean) your interview outfit and the bag you will be carrying
  • Review your materials and write notecards if helpful

The day of:

  • Practice mindfulness
  • Briefly review your notes
  • Leave yourself plenty of time to travel if meeting in-person
  • Silence your cell phone
  • Bring a portfolio to take notes
The preparation process outlined above will help you build confidence over time but remember that it’s normal to experience nerves. As long as you’ve prepared, you have no reason to stress. Practice positive thinking, listen to your favorite music and walk in the door ready to demonstrate your best professional self.
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Additional Career Resources

How to Dress for Success

How to Prepare for an Interview

You Received a Job Offer … Now What?

Questions to Ask During Job Interviews

After an Interview: Follow Up Best Practices

Conquering Job Applications

Crafting a Standout Cover Letter

Six Things You Should Do Before Starting Your Job Search

Writing Your Best Resume

Your Job Search: Strategies for Success

Developing Your Professional Network

How to Tell Your Story

How to Use LinkedIn Like a Pro

How to Conquer Career Fairs

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