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Preparing for a Job Interview

Updated: Apr 13

Job interviews can be a source of a great deal of anxiety, and they can be especially intimidating for those who have never been to an interview.

young black male in a suit ready for a job interview

This has been a recent topic for the Adulting Group that I help lead at The Conative Group. Perhaps you or someone you know is anxious about or having difficulty preparing for an upcoming job interview. Here are some tips on how to prepare.

  1. Simple Tips

    1. Dress for the occasion.

    2. Takes notes during the interview.

    3. Bring your resume.

    4. Be on time.

    5. Send a thank-you email after the interview to set yourself apart from other interviewees.

  2. Research the Company Spend time learning everything you can about a company. This will prepare you to talk about why you’d like to work at the company and what you can do for them.

  3. Research the Job Role Read the job description carefully and make sure to understand all the requirements and responsibilities of the role. This will not only ensure that you are qualified for the job but also help you prepare your own specific questions about the job position.

  4. Consider Your Answers to Common Interview Questions A general guide to answer each of these is to be honest and to show your best self. If you think your answer seems less than desirable to the interviewer, try to show that you are self-reflective and working on yourself.

    1. Tell me about yourself.

    2. Walk me through your resume.

    3. Why do you want to work here?

    4. What interests you about this role?

    5. What are your greatest strengths?

    6. What are your weaknesses?

    7. Why should we hire you?

    8. Tell me about a time you had to deal with conflict on your team.

    9. How do you deal with pressure or stressful situations?

    10. How did you hear about this position?

    11. Do you prefer to work independently or on a team?

    12. Are you applying for other jobs?

    13. From your resume it seems you took a gap year. Would you like to tell us why that was?

  5. Prepare a Few Thoughtful Questions for the Interviewer These questions serve to give you information that you want to know as well as tell the interviewer that you are truly interested in the job.

    1. What does a typical day look like for a person in this position?

    2. Why do you enjoy working here?

    3. What qualities do your most successful employees have?

    4. I’ve really enjoyed learning more about this opportunity. What are the next steps in the hiring process?

  6. Conduct Mock Interviews Mock interviews serve as valuable practice for the real interview. These practice interviews are the places to make mistakes and learn from them without the pressure of a real evaluation. Ask a friend or family member to ask you questions from step four. Include greetings and give your own thoughtful questions from step five for thorough practice!

I hope these six steps help simplify preparing for a job interview and make it a little less intimidating. Good luck out there!

Jack Wang is supervised by Stefanie C. Barthmare, LPC-S.

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