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Preparing for a Job Interview

It's only natural to get nervous before a job interview but you must remember that an interview is just another form of social interaction which is meant for you to know the company as much as for the company to know you. The employer is only trying to get a sense of the person you are and your professional work ethic. If you walk into an interview with a cool head and proper preparation, you can walk out with your dream job. Here are a few tips for preparing for your next job interview.  

Acquaint yourself with your potential employer

The golden rule of a job interview is that you should never walk into an interview without researching the company you are interviewing with. Not only does it leave an unpleasant impression, it also suggests a lack of commitment and an inability to work hard on your part. Therefore, spend some time and gather basic information about the company. Begin by visiting their website and reading the 'About Us' section. Linger on a little while and read about their branches, work culture, number of employees, etc. By the time you finish reading, you must have a clear idea of the kind of work the company does, their goals and ambitions, their standing in the professional world and why they are different from others.  

Don't ignore the job description

When you apply for a job, there is a distinct job descriptions with a list of skills that you are expected to have. While preparing for an interview, focus heavily on these skills and understand them thoroughly. Employers often ask candidates about the skills that make them suitable for a job. If you don't remember the required skills, your answer will be significantly off-key. Before going into a job interview, make a list of the required skills for the position you are interviewing for and specific examples of how you have demonstrated those skills.  

Learn to advertise your abilities

A job interview is all about advertising yourself efficiently. This doesn't mean that you boast of qualities you don't possess in the first place. Rather, it means that you focus on those qualities that will prove to be an asset for a particular job description. Make a list of your key qualities and think of examples that demonstrate these. For instance, narrate an incident from your former workplace where you stood out in a moment of crisis. Choose your qualities wisely; they must be in sync with the job requirements. Fifteen minutes into the interview, the employer must have a fair idea about the kind of person you are, your potential strengths and weaknesses.  

Prepare answers beforehand

Irrespective of the kind of interview, some questions remain standard. For instance, you will be asked about your former job, why you want to quit, how the new job interests you and why are you well suited for it. Prepare concrete answers for these questions, write them down and say them aloud in front of a mirror over and over again. You have to sound convincing for the employer to believe you. Moreover, a company will always prefer a candidate who comes prepared over one who blabbers things off the back of her head. The key is to demonstrate your potential to work in a professional environment and the ability to organize your thoughts succinctly is a big step forward in that direction. Be sure that you prepare for the specific type of interview that you will be facing. For example, if you are a computer programmer preparing for a technical interview, brush up on data structures in the programming languages used by the workplace you are interviewing with.  

Be curious and ask questions

Towards the end of the interview, your employer will ask you if you have any questions of your own. More often than not, candidates are so eager to get over with the ordeal that they pass this golden opportunity. Never make that mistake. Ask questions about the work culture, your responsibilities if you are selected, the team you will be working with, etc. Not only does this convey your interest, it also says a lot about your commitment to learn and improve over time. Be proactive and don't hesitate to clear any doubts about the company. Finally, visit the washroom once before the interview, look at yourself in the mirror, make sure everything is alright, take a deep breath and brace yourself for the upcoming challenge. Good luck!