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How to Prepare for Your First Interview

So you’ve applied, been through a screener call or two, and have finally landed an interview! Now what?

Walking into an interview with prepared thoughts, mind and body can go a long way in your career success. It not only helps you best showcase your talents, but it can also boost your confidence and improve your understanding of the job for which you’re applying.

How should I prepare?

A lot goes into interview prep, so be sure you’re giving yourself a few days to do it correctly. Here are 5 suggestions for prep work that will help you shine in your interview:

  1. Read the job posting. It’s important to cater your resume and interview answers to the specific role that you’re applying for. Do they use specific language that you can include in your answers? What responsibilities does the job entail? This will help you tweak your responses in order to show why you should be hired for that specific job.
  2. Research the company. You should have a moderate understanding of the company’s products, services, culture and history before entering your interview. You can find most of this information on the company’s site, or on other employment sites. Just be sure to paraphrase the details so you’re not copying their work. This will show your interest in the company and will likely help set you apart from other candidates.
  3. Look the part. As they say, first impressions are everything, so you want to make sure nothing distracts from your resumé’s potential- especially your look. Unless otherwise told by your interviewer, always assume that you should dress professionally: skirts and blouses for women, and suits for men. Then, be sure your hair’s in top shape. If you have a few weeks before the interview, consider addressing hair-related insecurities so you feel confident in your look, whether that be with a prescription for men’s hair loss, or a custom hair coloring kit for women. For more last-minute fixes, try pairing some shaping gel with a dry shampoo to appear put-together and thoughtful in order to leave the right impression.
  4. Stay healthy. It’s important to make sure you’re fueling your body and mind for a successful interview. In the days leading up to it, eat plenty of greens and whole grains for a more energetic disposition, use cushiony bedding to get better sleep, and practice relaxing techniques like meditation or yoga to de-stress. Maintaining your wellness will help you focus better and come up with more creative responses while on your feet.
  5. Practice your answers. There’s no better way to prepare than to practice! A few questions are pretty standard in interviews, so you should have answers ready for those. You should also look up some job-specific questions to get a better idea of experiences that you want to highlight in the interview. Share some real-world stories that showcase your talent and give you a little personal flair. Just be sure you’re not spitting out rehearsed lines during the actual interview; practicing is just a way to gather and focus your main points.

Finally, make sure you enter the interview with some confidence. You are clearly a qualified candidate, so this is the opportunity to really show off and make sure the job is right for you.

 Best of luck with your interviews and job hunt!

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