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Interview Preparation

Candidate Sitting At Computer Preparing For Interview

Interview preparation is not as easy of a task as you might assume. Companies have adopted several different interviewing techniques and strategies designed to make you think on your feet. While many companies still use the traditional one on one interview other companies are now using serial interviews, stress interviews, and even group interviews. These strategies are not as straight forward as the traditional method so preparing in any way possible will lessen the chances of you being taken off guard at the time of the interview.

Interview Preparation is Key

Exactly what questions are asked on most job interviews? There are a set of basic questions asked in all interview situations. These questions focus on your prior employment history, education, and other background questions. While you may not know the type of interview you will be involved in you can at least have some of the answers that the employer is sure to ask. This makes interview preparation a little easier and no longer such a guessing game. The basic questions at the interview may resemble these:

  • Have you graduated college? What was your major/area of study?
  • What is your previous work experience?
  • Do you have any prior experience in this field?
  • What are your goals or objectives for the future?

Interview Preparation Tips:

Are you wondering how to answer basic interview questions?  Answers to these questions should be short, simple, and honest. Do not elaborate or embellish too much as this will reflect poorly on your personality and integrity. Remember, an interview is more than just answering a few simple questions. It is a chance for prospective employers to get a look at your personality and character. These interview preparation tips on how you answer these questions is just as important as the answers. Interview preparation will enable you to provide answers in a way that will only work to your benefit.

The best way to develop your responses is to take the time and write down the answers. This way you will be able to review the answers and make any changes needed. You may need to edit your answers several times before you come to a response that is both short yet informative. Keep in mind that the answers need to bring your skills and experience to the attention of the employer while demonstrating that those skills will be beneficial to the position you are applying for.

If you have previous experience in the field make sure to demonstrate that through your answers. Having abilities that will benefit the company will go a long way in securing that position. While you do not want to become a braggart, a false sense of modesty will only do more harm than good. Keep this in mind as you prepare for the job interview.

Once you have your answers ready the next step is to read those answers out loud. The best method is to find someone willing to read the questions so you can reply. This way you can role play the job interview which will help not only to put you more at ease once the real interview comes along but it will allow you to see how the answers actually sound.

Reading the answers out loud will help to determine if they sound awkward or unnatural. You will be able to shorten or add on to the answers as needed. Try not to memorize what you have written verbatim as this will make your responses sound stiff and too rehearsed.

Interview preparation is possible even if you do not know which strategy the employer is going to use. By preparing responses to the most basic interview questions you will have at least a certain degree of control. This will allow you more confidence when it comes time for the job interview. Remember that interview preparation is the key to winning the job interview. 

Additional interview preparation material that includes sample interview questions are listed below:

Interview Questions and Answers

Job Interview Questions

Illegal Interview Questions

Source: The editors of McGraw-Hill and the U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics, The Big Book of Jobs, 2009-2010, Copyright 2009 by the McGraw-Hill Companies. “Adapted” with permission of the publisher. This article may not be reproduced in any form without permission of the publisher.
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