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Your interview preparation checklist

shutterstock_148631159You’ve written a fantastic resume to get you in the door, and the interview is scheduled. Now what? Use this checklist to get you moving in the right direction as you prepare for a job interview!

❏  Research, research, research – The more you know about the company/organization the better. The research you do will be some of the tools in your interview toolbox.

    • Company Web site
    • Watch the videos, read about the strategic plan, identify mission/vision, memorize a few statistics meaningful to the positionSearch for news about company/organization (Google News searches)
    • Who will you be meeting with? Google them and don’t forget about LinkedIn & Twitter!

❏  Dress the Part – Conservative and comfortable. Professional is key, comfort is equally important! Don’t be the candidate fidgeting with your jacket or pants in the lobby. Wear a suit that fits, is clean, and allows you normal movement.

    • Men: Suit with jacket, collared shirt, tie, dress shoes
    • Women: Pant or skirt suit, conservative blouse, heels no higher than 3”, avoid too many accessories
    • It IS appropriate to ask your recruiter about the appropriate attire if you are unsure.

❏  Tell me about yourself… – Never again stumble when responding to this request! This is a common way to open up an interview – expect it! Candidates should be answering 4 questions in 2-3 sentences, lasting about 30-60 seconds:

    • Who are you currently?
    • What are your areas of focus?
    • What are your experiences and/training?
    • What are your strengths?

Here is an example: I am a marketing and communications professional with expertise in the areas of public relations, business communications and company branding.  I’ve been successful in working in both for-profits and non-profits in mid-sized markets and have proven to be creative and enterprising in offering B2B solutions in both print and electronic media. I most enjoy identifying social media strategy, project management and strategic planning.

❏  Interview Questions

❏  Do you have any questions for us? Yes! A resounding Yes! You should ALWAYS have questions to ask. I recommend having 3-5 ready.

    • Avoid asking basic questions that can be found on the website or by doing your basic research
    • Use the interview itself to develop your questions
    • DO NOT ask about compensation
    • Asking intuitive questions leads to a much more fruitful conversation
    • Check out these sample questions to ask the interviewer.
Helen Roy

About Helen Roy

Helen is the Career Readiness Advisor at NLU. You can also find her @HelenLRoy on Twitter and https://www.facebook.com/helenlroy.med. Helen posts about the ups, downs, and everything in between of planning and managing your career.

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