business man holding a briefcaseThe interview process is one of the most terrifying and necessary things a person can do and will do to themselves at least once in a lifetime. No matter how menial the job, there is almost always a moment where someone sits you down and asks you a few questions. For those in the professional setting, this means getting dressed up, making sure you look like you’re well put together and not tripping over your words. Yet, no matter how confident we are walking into an interview room, there are always jitters and worries that you didn’t quite prepare enough. So how do you quell those feelings? Here are a couple ways of making sure you are prepared.

1. Dress the part. For most jobs, this means a shirt and tie with slacks, dress shoes for men and a dress, skirt or slacks for women with a blouse and professional shoes. If you walk into a job interview wearing jeans and a t-shirt, in most cases, you have already lost your chance at the job.

The best way to know how to dress is to check out the business itself. See if you can ask an employee before your interview or when you turn in your application what the dress code is and try to mimic it. Obviously, going too far in that direction can be seen as desperate, so wearing their exact uniform is a bit too much. It’s difficult to go wrong in business professional dress though, no matter what the company you’re applying for.

2. Know your employer. Make sure you have done at least a little bit of research as to what the job you are applying for actually entails. While it is common practice for people to walk into an interview knowing very little of the job description, the numbers of those experiences and the numbers of failed interviews are likely almost identical. Make sure you know what business they are in and what would be expected of you. Work out in your mind how you would respond to daily situations before they ask, and they will ask.

3. Practice your interview at home. For anyone who has been through interviews before, you know they are all basically the same. There are the greetings, the section where they tell you a little about the company, then your turn to talk about yourself. Make sure you know what you are going to say when that happens. Practice it a few times at home, making sure you have a speech down pat. Don’t over inflate yourself or make yourself out to be a big deal, but also don’t undercut your successes.

Also, if you are leaving a job, prepare to answer why. Most companies do not like taking risks on someone who bolts out of a job after a year or two, so make sure you have a good reason why you are leaving. No one wants someone who will quit if things don’t always go their way or the job is harder than they thought.

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