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Last minute or a week in advance, the job interview is a pivotal step toward employment. Walking into unfamiliar territory with a stranger who makes hiring decisions is intimidating. Don’t let doubt and fear consume the thought process. Instead, score a personal win by preparing for the interview.

Research the Company

Review the job description and the company offering the position. Company research through their website helps candidates learn more about the company and the atmosphere it represents. Research contributes to finding questions to ask during the interview (asking questions show interest in the position). Research assists in approaching the answers an interviewer’s questions too. Go beyond the company website and read employee reviews, news articles, and social media pages related to the company. If possible, find out the interviewer’s name and research the person on the company website and social media pages.

Rehearse the Interview

Research common interview questions, answer all the questions, and rehearse. Include oddball interview questions too. Some interviewers can sense when a candidate sounds rehearsed, so interviewers change it up to get realistic and honest answers. Mock interview with a friend, family member, or spouse a day or two in advance in a professional setting to build confidence. Tweak unprofessional answers given and adjust body language to appear alert and interested. This eliminates improvising the perfect response during the interview.

Get Directions

Smartphones and laptops offer GPS apps, Google Maps, and MapQuest. GPS systems come equipped in cars and as separate devices to purchase. Not knowing the interview location and the direction to travel there is not an excuse anymore. Learn about parking arrangements through research or by driving to the destination. As always, arrive early to the interview.

Dress the Part

Whether it’s a casual or business setting, always dress in professional attire. Buttoned shirts, crisp pants, business suits, knee-length skirts, dress shoes, high heels, and stylish hair are excellent examples of acceptable attire. Jeans, graphic t-shirts, shorts, tank tops, wrinkled clothing, distracting makeup/perfume, and unkempt hair are not. Pick out attire the day before.

Regardless of the preparation, an excellent interview doesn’t guarantee a job, and a poor interview doesn’t mean the company passed over the candidate. Interview preparation gets candidates relaxed, comfortable, and prepared. Land a great first impression and become a memorable candidate for the right reasons through preparation.