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Interviewing 101
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Posted January 19, 2017
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! It’s time to enter the real world! After applying for your dream job and the start of your career, you’ve been offered an interview. Congratulations – you should be proud! But the work doesn’t end here; it’s time to prepare for your interview so you leave an amazing impression. Here are some tips that will help you on your path to success!
Do your research
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No matter the company or position you are interviewing for, it is imperative that you know about the prospective employer. The interviewer not only wants to know if your personality is a great fit for the company, but her or she is also testing to see how much you truly know about the company. Your preparation, or lack thereof, can leave a strong impression with the interviewer. Don’t limit yourself to knowing the company’s mission statements and values – research its current strategies, business plans, and projects. A wealth of knowledge regarding the company’s most current ventures will also show your interest in the position and allow you to make your interview more personalized and unique.
Make it personal
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If you are interviewing with a large company, the people interviewing you are most likely Human Resource recruiters. They’ve also probably interviewed multiple candidates for the same position. So, what makes you stand out from the crowd? After you’ve done your research, you should prepare different responses to questions you think they might ask to highlight how your experiences have molded you into exactly the type of person the company should hire.
Prepare questions
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At the end of the, the interviewer will usually allow you to ask questions. Please, don’t say you don’t have any! There is so much to learn about the ins and outs of an employer that you can’t possibly know everything. Here are a few questions that demonstrate curiosity and potential active listening:

Could you please describe a typical day for a person in this position?

This helps you to learn more about the position and determine if you can see yourself doing this job every day.

Is there a formal training or orientation process?

This is crucial to understanding how you are integrated into the company and how it will equip you to succeed.

What is your favorite part of your job?

This gives the interviewer the opportunity to show more personality, and gives you a glimpse into how he or she truly feels.

Do you have any hesitations about my qualifications?

This question is rather gutsy, but it shows confidence that you are the best person for the position. If you’re not confident that you’re the best person, you might want to reconsider!

 
Practice, practice, practice!
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Practicing is an extremely important part of the preparation process, though when your interview is scheduled will affect how much time you’ll have to prepare. Others who have interviewed at the same company may have posted online some interview questions they were asked, but you should also try to be creative and develop your own ideas of questions you think you might be asked. Asking friends and family is another great way to gain a different perspective on questions and potential situations that could come up during the interview.
Keep a clean record
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Interviewing can be rather exhausting, especially when you are starting your career. So why not try to make it easier on yourself? Create a document with all of your experiences – jobs, positions, competitions, difficult situations, etc. This gives you a wealth of information to pull from when preparing to answer interview questions. Then, create another document with all interview questions you actually have been asked and those you come up with yourself. Once you’ve done this, you can use your information in the first document to help you answer your questions in the second! These two steps can play a pivotal role in your preparation to achieve your dream job! 
 
Follow-up
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Woot, woot! You just nailed the interview, and you’re walking out like you’re on top of the world. So, now what? If you know the interviewer’s name and business address send them a thank you note. That’s right – paper and pen! This shows thoughtfulness and gratitude, and demonstrates your commitment to obtaining the position. If this is not possible, sending an email within 24 hours also works well. However, be sure to make it personalized and refer to your specific interview experience, as many other applicants will also be sending emails.
 
We hope that these tips have been helpful in preparing for your interview, and wish you nothing but the best! We believe in you!
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