Interview Prep

Going into your very first job interview can be exciting, but it can also be very nerve-racking if you have not prepared properly. There are some very basic things you can do in order to be at the top of your game when you meet your interviewer. Make sure to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early and be dressed professionally. Properly groom yourself beforehand, and that includes brushing your teeth, combing your hair and shaving. Get a good night’s rest and make sure to eat beforehand so that your stomach is not rumbling during the interview. Additionally, make sure to bring a copy of your resume and a list of references in case you are asked for them.

Your interview prep routine should also include things that need to be avoided such as turning your cell phone off before going into the interview or just leaving it in your car. Another distraction to avoid is chewing gum. Your utmost focus should be placed on the interviewer, so do not risk losing attention by bringing something that does not have to be there.

Preparing for Interview Questions

The exact questions that will be asked vary from interview to interview, but you should go over the most common ones so that you have a response ready. Although it is okay to occasionally take a few moments to mull over your answer, you do not want to constantly be pausing after every question. Therefore, you should have a family member of friend go over routine interview questions with you before your interview so that you can perfectly formulate a stellar response.

Some common interview questions include:

  • Why should we hire you?
  • What are your greatest strengths?
  • What are your greatest weaknesses?
  • Are you willing to work nights and weekends?
  • Why are you interested in working here?
  • If we talked to your teachers, what would they say about you?

    • What are you looking for in a job?
    • What is your favorite school subject? Why?

    These are questions that are typically asked to teenagers who are still in high school or are maybe just starting college. Workers with more experience can expect to be asked a very different set of questions.

    Tips for Handling Job Interviews

    Your responses to the above questions will vary depending on your particular background, but no matter where you are coming from there are certain things you can do to put your mind at ease before going into an interview. You should write down your answers to all common interview questions beforehand so that you are more likely to retain the information. You do not have to memorize everything and then repeat it word-for-word in the interview, but you should have a general idea of what you will talk about. Another handy trick is to record a mock interview between yourself and someone else. You may be taking a lot of pauses between your answers that you would not have been aware of otherwise. This is an excellent way of checking how you perform.

    Many employers ask for references before hiring someone on. This is done to get an honest appraisal of how someone works. If this will be your first job, then you will not have previous bosses to give. However, you can use teachers, coaches and other authority figures in your life. Just make sure to contact the people you use as references before your interview so that they can anticipate someone contacting them and asking about you.

    Plenty of research needs to be conducted before you go into your interview. Although you should feel free to ask questions to the interviewer, you should avoid asking questions that could easily be answered by visiting the company’s website. Questions like, “What does this company do?” and “What is your position in the company?” should be avoided at all costs.

    Some questions that are good to ask at the end of an interview include:

  • How would you describe the management style of the company?

  • What is a typical week like for someone with this position?

  • Are there opportunities for advancement and growth?

    • What is your favorite aspect of working here?

    You should also think of follow-up questions to ask during the interview that show your desire to learn as much about the position as possible. With the right amount of interview prep, you will feel a lot more confident meeting your potential employer.

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