The Interview: How to Prepare

En route
After sharing some helpful hints and tips on what to wear for your upcoming interview,  I wanted to follow up on that discussion and talk about how to prepare for the interview and land the job of your dreams!

1. Do Your Research. This might seem like an obvious statement, but you would be surprised at the amount of times I interviewed a candidate for a position and it was clear that they did not do their due diligence before the interview. Unfortunately, I made this same mistake when I was 22. I interviewed for a residence life position at a university in Philadelphia and I was definitely was not prepared for the questions that were specific to the university. As a result, I was never offered the position. At the time I thought the interviewers just didn’t like me or they believed that I wasn’t a good organizational fit. However, after doing some reflecting I realized that if I did more research on the college, the local community, and some of the best practices in residence life, I might have got the job.
2. Perform A Self-Assessment. A common question during an interview is, “What are your strengths?” Therefore, it is important to assess your own strengths and weaknesses as a candidate for the position. Be sure to identify all of the strengths that are closely associated to the position as well as being able to highlight any of your related experiences, qualifications, and other characteristics related to the position. In other words, you should be able to answer the question, “Why should I hire you?”
3. Ask Questions. At the end of most interviews you will have an opportunity to ask some questions of your own, so this is when doing your research really shows. Make sure that you ask a question that isn’t already mentioned on the company website. Also come prepared with at least 2-3 questions just incase your questions were already answered during the interview. However, if all else fails you can always ask “What is the timeline of the hiring process?” By doing so, it shows that you are genuinely interested in the position and your eager to get started.
4. Take Notes. This might not always be a viable option depending on the type of interview, but I always think it is important to write down some important information as the interview progresses, such as the name of the interviewer(s) so you know who to address your “thank you” letter to.
5. Practice Your Answers. You can find a list of frequently asked interview questions for just about any job title on Google. So practice answering some of those questions aloud with a friend to create a mock interview.
As always, thanks for reading and I hope these tips help you land your dream job. Feel free to add any hints and tips that you may have in the comment section below.
Yours Truly,
Akil McLeod
The Dapper Advisor
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