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  • Laura Donovan

Job Interview Tips: How to be Prepared Before, During, and After

For an employer, interviews are key for understanding who their interviewee really is and if they want to hire them for a job. Most people go into interviews thinking they're prepared, but in reality, there are so many more things you can be doing to make sure you nail your interview and get the job without question. Each part - before the interview, during it and after - are all equally as important in the process, so make sure your effort is spread out equally between each time frame.

BEFORE:

You have an interview lined up. Great! But now what do you do? First, you should already know a lot about the company that you applied to be a part of. You can look at their social media, their website, or even a press release. Get to know the company like the back of your hand. Next, search for some generic interview questions. The reason they are generic is because so many interviewers use them, and you definitely don't want to whiff on an easy question. You can ask a friend or family member to play the role of the interviewer, have them come up with their own questions, and rate how you do. The more practice you get with people, the better off you will be in the real interview. Reread the job description a few times to really understand what you are applying for. With this, you should also know your resumé almost to the point of memorization. When being asked about your resumé, you do not want to mix up words and say something you don't mean. Be prepared with examples from both your work experiences and future experiences that you wish to have with the company. Additionally, come up with questions for the interviewer. Interviews are not just a one way street. Asking questions shows that you are actually engaged and passionate about your career. Though practicing questions may be hard given the context of a conversation, try to make your questions so general that you can implement them into any conversation.


DURING:

An underrated part of the interview process is what you are wearing. Researching the company can be a helpful tool to see what kind of attire you need, and if you really are struggling, you can always contact someone at the company. Along with planning what you will wear, plan out your day so that you can arrive to the site of the interview 10-15 minutes before. Next, making a good first impression is crucial. The big ones, such as maintaining eye contact and giving a strong handshake, matter just as much as the small details, such as if you have stray hairs on your jacket/dress or are showing nervous ticks. Sitting up and practicing good manners are key as well, and it is very important that you do your best to maintain these during the interview. Treat the interviewers with respect. This can be done by not interrupting or looking off while they are speaking. Your body language and enthusiasm should be genuine and make the interviewer feel welcome and excited to speak with you. When you speak, make sure to always speak clearly and not quickly, as sometimes information can get lost if you speak fast. Make sure to give truthful answers and tie your answers back to your skills. Keeping a concise answer while talking about your skills is a great way to maintain an engaging conversation and impress the interviewer.


AFTER:

You just nailed that interview! Now what? Usually the interviewer will tell you their timetable in regards to hiring, getting back to you, etc. If they don't mention that, you should speak up and ask. It isn't very efficient to finish the interview and then lose touch with them afterwards. That being said, you could send a personalized thank you letter to the interviewer afterwards. This shows that you really do care about being hired, and it is generally a nice thing to do. Usually sending the letter within the few days afterwards is good, but after that it may seem like an afterthought. Some people believe handwritten letters are more efficient because it shows that you took the time out of your day to sit down and write one, so that may be the best option.


Job interviews are can vary for everyone depending on many factors, but the one thing that shouldn't change is how you prepare for your interview, execute and then follow up afterwards. Do your best to not cut corners, as each of these steps can really make or break your interview process and land you that job you've always wanted.


For Educational Purposes Only – Not to be relied upon as financial, tax, or legal advice. The views expressed are those of the author/presenter and all data is derived from sources believed to be reliable.

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Laura Donovan is the Registered Representatives of, and Securities and investment advisory services offered through Hornor, Townsend & Kent, LLC (HTK), Registered Investment Adviser, Member FINRA/SIPC. 210 Park Avenue Suite 101, Florham Park, NJ 07932 (973) 538-9100. HTK is a wholly-owned subsidiary of The Penn Mutual Life Insurance Company.

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