Job Interview Coming Up? Read This First

job interview jitters
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Once you’ve got an interview lined up, you can take a deep breath. You’ve made some progress in the job search, so you can finally relax… right? Not so fast. An upcoming interview means you’ll need to spend time researching, planning, and prepping, but don’t sweat it. We’re here to help you through that process.

A good place to start is by doing your homework on the company. Learn as much as you can about its structure, management team, and any big news or announcements in the recent past. If you’re unsure where to find this info, check out Brazen Careerist’s “7 Online Resources That Will Help You Prepare for Your Next Job Interview.” Our former VP of Products, Teresa Torres, also has some great suggestions for how to research a company. Check out her short videos on that topic here.

One of the most important accessories you can bring to an interview is not an eye-catching statement necklace or a beautiful briefcase (though those types of accessories are important—we’ll get to them in a minute), but your freshly polished sense of self-confidence. Unfortunately, confidence isn’t something you can go and buy at the mall, but there are some techniques that will help you speak about yourself without embarrassment or hesitation.

Spend some time going over the most common interview questions, plan out your responses, and practice answering them. Ask a friend or family member to conduct a mock interview with you. Yes, this can be super awkward, but what’s worse—being super awkward with someone you know and trust or with a total stranger in a job interview? For a more detailed description of how to approach this, we like Careerealism’s “Practice Makes Perfect: Important Interview Preparation Techniques.”

I promised that we’d talk about fashion and accessories, and I’m no liar. The rules and expectations vary depending on your industry, but a good rule of thumb is to go clean, classic, and polished. Pinterest is a treasure trove of interview looks, and Ace My Interview’s Job Interview Attire for Women board is perfect for getting ideas and inspiration. If you’re a guy, check out AskMen’s “Dressing For A Job Interview” and Real Men Real Style’s “Proper Attire and Look for a Job Interview” for everything from how to style your facial hair to what type of briefcase or bag to carry. You might also want to check out our Pinterest board for some inspiration.

And that’s it! You’re all set for your big day. Be sure to get a good night’s sleep, leave yourself plenty of time to get to the interview site, and smile. Oh, and if you’d just like a quick rundown of everything you need to do to prepare, read Levo League’s “Job Interview? 10 Tips to Know Before You Go.”

P.S. Have any other pre-interview tips you’d like to share? Leave us a note in the comments!

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