5 Ways to Prepare for an Interview
1. Get comfortable
Okay, the biggest problem with going into an interview is the nerves. Before I went to do my interview, I couldn't stop moving, I was so anxious. This is ridiculous, because you are just talking to a person who wants you to do well. So, in order to calm down, you have to remind yourself of that and try to think of the interview as a conversation. I know. It is a bit cliché... But thinking about an interview as a conversation really does help.
2. Prepare your stories
The interviewer is going to be asking a lot of questions about how you handled certain situations and about your experience with one thing or another. The best way to prepare for this is to find common questions online and think of examples from your life that you could use to answer the question. ALWAYS use an example, even if they don't ask for one. It may seem like you are babbling, but if you keep close to the point, the interviewer will appreciate the evidence that you are providing.
Some common interview "questions":
-Tell me about yourself.
-Tell me a situation in which you have gone above and beyond.
-Have you ever been in a situation in which you were in conflict with someone? How did you deal with it?
-Tell me about a situation in which you have failed. How did you deal with it?
(There are many more, but I am not going to list them here. Google it!)
The most important thing is to remember that you want to put yourself in a good light. Don't give bad examples and always spin a negative into a positive!
3. Pick out an outfit
Interviews, like a dance or party, require careful clothes planning. You cannot run out the door wearing whatever wasn't in the clothes hamper. You want to pick something nice, but also comfortable (you don't want to be fidgety because your dress zipper is itching). You also want to dress in a way to fit the job. No, that does not mean wearing a bathing suit to a lifeguard interview (do they even have those?). It means not wearing a three piece suit to an interview for a position at a fast food restaurant. My interview was for a counseling position at a summer camp, so I decided to dress in a nicer casual outfit. I wore a black and white patterned shirt (not a button up) with a burgundy cardigan. Now, my interview was over Skype, so I wore a nice pair of yoga pants, so that I would feel comfortable, but if I were to interview in person, I would wear dress pants. Men, in the same position you would want to wear khakis and a polo shirt, or something similar. Just remember: the more dressed up you would need to be on the job, the more dressed up you should be in the interview!
4. Practice with a friend
You want to know a great way to get used to talking to another person about yourself? Try talking to another person about yourself. It is a little bit easier to talk to a friend, but it can still be uncomfortable. After a while, you will quickly get over it.
5. Groom yourself
There is nothing worse that talking to someone who has dirty fingernails, especially if they draw attention to them by gesturing (which, in itself, isn't a bad thing). Before going into an interview, make sure that your hair is trimmed and brushed, your make-up is tidy and muted, and your fingernails are clean.
Once you have these 5 things down, all you need to do is be confident in your abilities. You will do great!
Have a happy interview!
Update from yesterday's post: Below is a picture of the window of my room, with the light switch in the "on" position...