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How to Prepare for a Job or Internship Interview

Posted: 03/28/2012 6:08 pm

Whether you're graduating soon or interning this summer, chances are you have some type of job interview in the near future. And it's no little secret that job interviews can be stressful, complicated, hair-pulling experiences.
But they don't have to be. By preparing and knowing what you're getting into, you can rest assured knowing that you're going to give it your best shot. 
Read on and you'll learn some valuable tips to take you from nervous newbie to confident collegiate!

Research the company beforehand: It's incredibly important that you make the time to research three things prior to the interview: the industry/career field, the organization and the interviewer. 
Overall, knowing the organization is probably the most important, as you can bet you'll be faced with a "Why do you want to work here?" question. You should be prepared to answer questions about the organization's products, services or clients -- as well as more general knowledge such as when the company was founded, who the president/CEO is, etc.

Next, you should do some general research about the industry or career field. For example, you shouldn't walk into an interview with an advertising agency without knowing as much as you can about the advertising industry as a whole! To do this, you should Google trade publications, find industry leaders on Twitter or LinkedIn and refer to business publications (such as the Wall Street Journal or AdAge) for the latest news.

Plan a professional outfit: In most instances -- unless you know for sure that a company would want you to dress in a different way -- be as conservative as possible. The "Thursday night out dress" should not make an appearance in the Tuesday morning interview.
 Preparing for an interview might require some shopping if you don't already have an appropriate outfit, but it will be worth it when you land the job.

Arrive on time: 
It goes without saying that you really should not be late to an interview. But how early is too early? Most experts recommend not showing up any earlier than ten minutes before the start time. If you're one of those people who is paranoid about being late and needs to arrive early to every event, that's great. But wait in the car or at a local café. Arriving 15-20 minutes early creates an awkward situation for both you and the interviewer.

Practice answers to basic interview questions: For most people, being drilled with questions is the most nerve-wracking part of an interview. Your heart is pounding, your leg is shaking and you already know that you're going to come up with "much better answers" on the drive home. However, your best chance to do your best is to take a deep breath and answer each question completely and honestly. The one good thing about interview questions is that they're usually relatively similar. The interviewer isn't looking to throw you a curveball, he or she just wants to know what you've been doing, what you hope to be doing and why you are interested in the position.

To learn about common interview questions, as well as what specifically to wear to the interview, check out the full article at Her Campus. To read more from Her Campus, including how to write a resume and cover letter, click here.

 

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