Attending a job interview. Whether that phrase may make you cringe or you are merely seeking a few reminders on how to perfect your professional posture, this article will assist you in the tough task of preparing for a professional job interview. As the job market becomes ever more competitive, there is less room for mistakes, and as such it is very important that you take some time to set yourself apart from the rest of the crowd. This article, and the subsequent article “The Art of Successful Interviewing Part II: Acing the Interview“ will help you prepare step by step for the big day.
1) Research the company
a) Use any sources that are available to get an idea what the company’s atmosphere is like. Knowing what the company’s professional posture is will assist in dressing appropriately for their environment.
b) Knowing the company’s background, its competition, and it current problems and goals will help add to the conversation you will be having with your interviewer. Showing that you have a firm grasp of the company’s background will help you stand out as a person who is intelligent and understands their industry.
c) Researching the company’s current affairs in the news will give you a good idea whether or not to bring up a particular discussion point during the interview. Do not bring up anything that may be incendiary.
2) Prepare your personal presentation
a) Have clothing picked, cleaned, ironed, and ready the night before the interview.
b) Be properly groomed, from head to toe. This means make sure to shower, brush your teeth, and wash your hair, but don’t put on cologne or perfume. It is best to have a neutral, professional presence rather than one that is chemically overbearing. A scent you love may be off-putting to your interviewer.
c) Practice your posture. This will help you to broadcast confidence on the day of the interview. This article offers great advice to help you practice perfect posture.
3) Have a resume that fits the job opening
a) Assuming that you already have some experience that befits the job you are applying for, take extra steps to tailor your resume to your job position.
b) Highlight the skills that relate to the job opening at the top of your resume. Do not hesitate to push jobs that do not relate to the position you are interviewing for to the bottom of your resume. This type of resume is the combination resume, and may be of some great benefit if you have not had a steady employment history. More on this type of resume may be found here.
c) Place the most pertinent jobs you have had at the top of the resume, so that the interviewer may immediately see how qualified you are for the position.
Remember that the more time you take to prepare in advance, the less you have to worry about the actual interview. As the saying goes “The more you sweat in times of peace, the less you bleed in times of war.” Make use of your time and start preparing right now, as the clock is always ticking!
Written by Kevin Franklin, a Senior at the University of South Florida’s School of Mass Communications.