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5 Tips for Improving Your Job Interview Skills

In the current job market, an interview presents the best chance to shine. What you do and what you say during the session either knocks you out of the competition or moves you to the next round of consideration for employment. Therefore, even if you don’t have an interview scheduled yet, you need to learn how to thoroughly prepare for your interview. Doing so will help you maintain a confident demeanor, impress the interviewers, and gain a competitive edge over the rest of the pack. Here are five tips on how to prepare for your interview and sharpen your skills.

Do Your Homework on the Company

Before you go on an interview, it’s crucial that you have substantial knowledge about the organization. Ideally, take some time to peruse the company’s website and read the mission, values, and annual report. Check out the social media accounts (LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter), read up on the industry and competitors, and tap your connections to learn more about the company culture.  Researching the company will help you discover details about the employer that will better prepare you for the interview and make you a stand-out candidate during the hiring process.

Get Your Interview Clothes Ready

As you prepare for your interview, you need to know that you’re going to be judged, at least partially, by how you look. Therefore, it’s important to match your dress code with the position for which you are applying. For example, if the company you’re interviewing with has a business casual dress code, then, a dark-colored suit with a light-colored shirt is your best option. If you have an interview at a startup company, it might be a good idea to nix the head-to-toe formal business attire and sport something a little more hip or chique. Even if the company has a casual environment, remember to get out your best interview clothes and check them for wrinkles and spots, lest you’ll like you slept in your outfit. Dressing to impress is one step you won’t want to skip when preparing for the job interview.

Practice Interviewing

Before you go for the actual job interview, it might be helpful to conduct a mock interview in the same format as a real one. With the help of a family member or a friend, record yourself interviewing (dressed in interview clothes). Then, play it back to see how you did. This will help you calm your nerves and work out the bugs, ultimately instilling confidence. Confidence preparation goes a long way towards making a good first impression.

Practice Interview Questions

While you practice interviewing, remember to review some of the interview questions that might be asked. Come up with a set of reasonable questions and run through your answers. Ideally, you should always be able to answer questions like “Tell me about yourself,” and “Where do you see yourself in a few years?” If you do not know what else to expect, researching online might be helpful as you learn how to do interview preparation.

On the flip side, avoid memorizing answers, but prepare basic points on what you will say. This will allow you to be articulate, natural, and confident during the interview. Preparing for interview questions is a sure way to avoid scrambling for an answer while you’re in the interview hot seat.

Review Your Resume

As a final tip, take some time to study your resume and know everything printed on it. You don’t want to get caught off guard when the interviewer asks a specific question about a past job or employer on your resume. Be on the safe side. Refresh your memory, especially on old accomplishments.

In conclusion, it is impossible to prepare completely for a job interview. However, the more prepared you feel the more likely you are going to succeed. At the end of the day, there is nothing that replaces practice and experience.

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