Whether you’re interviewing for your dream job or a part-time position, job interviews can be intimidating. From preparing answers to common interview questions to figuring out what to wear, preparing for your job interview is key to scoring the position. With that in mind, here are five tips that can help you calm your nerves and make the most of your time during an interview.

Research the Company


You probably researched the company before applying, but now is the time to put your best efforts forward. Explore the company’s social media page and website to gain an insight into workplace culture, current projects, and future goals. In addition, conduct a Google search to check for recent news about the company and reach out to potential connections who might be able to help you out.

If possible, follow the company on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms to stay up to date on their latest projects and gain an idea of how they interact with the public. Researching the company before your interview can help you answer questions, like “What do you know about our company?“ and “What attracted you to our business?“ The more you know about the company, the better prepared you’ll be to demonstrate your genuine interest during the interview.

Prepare Your Answers


To prepare for your interview and help you feel less nervous, come up with memorable answers to common interview questions, explanations about employment gaps, and anecdotes that back up your qualifications.

Consider the job you’re being interviewed for, and think of rare skills and unique experiences that can help you score the position. Be prepared to explain how your skills and experiences apply to the position, how you can use them to help the company, and how you can use them on the job.

After preparing your answers, try practicing your interview answers out loud or conducting a mock interview. Practice your answers out loud until you have them memorized, or enlist the help of a close friend to act as the interviewer.

Prepare Questions to Ask


Preparing the right questions to ask is an important—and often glossed over—part of job interview preparation. Use your company research to prepare thoughtful interview questions that highlight genuine interest in the position and the company you’re applying for.

If you’re not sure where to start, try asking about the biggest challenges associated with the position, the type of people that fit best with workplace culture, or the most important goals to accomplish during your first six months with the company.

Dress for Success


Make sure to plan your interview outfit a few days in advance to avoid panicking the night before or the morning of. For an interview, aim to dress in professional business attire, and consider dressing more professionally than you plan to dress on the job. Slacks and a button-up shirt is appropriate for men and women, and women can also consider wearing a skirt or dress.

In addition to preparing your outfit, make sure your keys, phone, portfolio, and resume are ready to go. You’ll be able to sleep better knowing you’re prepared, and you won’t run the risk of showing up late to your interview.

Take Care of the Details


After you apply for a job, successfully interview, and submit a list of professional references, you’ll probably be told that a background check is the next (and typically last) step in the hiring process. If you pass the background check, you can typically expect to receive an offer of employment.

To ensure there aren’t any blemishes on your background check, consider running a reverse background check on yourself using an online information search engine. Online search engine tools access public records to provide background check information on employment, education, and criminal records, as well as additional information on phone numbers, social media, addresses. Running a reverse background check before your interview can give you the peace of mind of knowing you’ll be able to seamlessly secure the position after your interview.

All in all, preparing for your job interview can help you calm your nerves and successfully score your dream job.

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