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Interview Tips

Prepare | Perform | Wrap-Up
Before the Interview: Prepare!

•  Preparation is essential to successfully market yourself to a potential employer. An interview is an opportunity for you to prove that you have the personality, skills, and experience necessary for success in a particular position. There are several ways to prepare yourself for an interview.

•  Company Research: To succeed in an interview, you must have an adequate knowledge of the organization, its hierarchy, hiring needs, and the products or services it offers. Ideally, you should also try to find out a little about who will be conducting the interview. Be prepared to discuss this information and to demontrate why you are a good fit with the employer. Company information can be found on the Internet and at career resource centers.

•  Self-Analysis: Think about your skills, interests, and career goals. Are they compatible with the position you are applying for? Would you adapt well to the corporate culture of the employer? What skills do you have and would they serve you well in this job? Be prepared to convince the employer that you want this job and fit the company´s needs.

•  Practice: Because employers value strong oral communication skills, you must be prepared to answer questions clearly and effectively. Interviewing skills can be greatly improved through extensive practice and preparation. Though you should prepare answers to many questions in advance, you must demostrate enthusiasm and spontanaeity. Go into the interview with general ideas you want to communicate along with specific examples for supporting evidence.

Mock interviews are a great way to prepare for an interview. Make up a list of questions you are likely to be asked (examples follow), give the list to a friend and ask them to act as the interviewer. Also prepare a list of questions for you to ask the employer. Asking intelligent, informed questions will help you demonstrate your communication skills and ensure that you are an active participant in the interview. Record yourself with a video or tape player and then evaluate your performance after the interview. Continue to practice with mock interviews until you are confident that you are ready.

•  Appearance: In general, your choice of clothes should be conservative and professional. You should dress in a way that conveys your maturity, self-confidence and professionalism. Men should usually wear a suit, a traditional shirt and tie and dress shoes. Women should wear a suit with limited accessories. Both men and women must have hair that is clean and neat. Your goal should be to blend in so dress appropriately.

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