How to Prepare for an Interview

When you begin job searching you always have high hopes with every interview you go to. You leave the interview feeling confident and saying to yourself, “I can’t wait for that phone call to offer me the job.” But there are times where that phone call never comes or you get an email from the employer saying they went with another candidate. It is very important to prepare yourself for a job interview. From the way you dress, to completing an application, to just being honest. Here are some tips from a recruiter’s point of view for how you can prepare yourself to knock that interview out of the park.

Complete any pre-interview requirements.
You should never walk into an interview with an application or assessments not completed. When a recruiter sends you an email to confirm your interview appointment, make sure you thoroughly read it before you move on. Most of the time a link to complete an online application is in the email. You should always make sure that the application is completed in its entirety along with attaching your resume. A recruiter is going to check to see if that step is completed upon your arrival to the interview. This is also the case if any assessments need to be completed. These steps can be tedious, but if you want the position bad enough, you will go to great lengths to make sure any pre-interview requirements are completed.

Always dress to impress.
I don’t know how many times I have seen a candidate walk into my office wearing jeans, khakis, tennis shoes, and a casual shirt. This is a BIG ‘no, no!’ When going for an interview, you want to make the best first impression possible. I don’t care if you are applying for a position at the local grocery store, you should ALWAYS look professional when going in for an interview. Please do not come into my office dressed to go to the local bar to watch a sports event. I need to take you seriously and make sure that you want the position just as bad as I want to fill it with the right candidate. Ladies, if you have fake or long nails, please clean them up and take any messy polish off. Guys, if you have facial hair, make sure that you have shaved that day or just touch it up to make yourself look fresh.

Smokers, cough cough.
If you are an individual that smokes cigarettes or cigars, do not smoke prior to the interview. Believe it or not, as soon as you walk into our office, 98 percent of the time we can smell the smoke on you. Now, it is the choice of the employer to not hire an individual based on the fact that they smoke. You could be the most qualified candidate for the position, the whole package, but if the employer is not fond of smokers, then they will not offer you the position.

Be yourself.
When the recruiter is conducting the interview, they are trying to dig into your background. They want to know as much as possible about your skills, work experience, and personality to be able to make the decision as to whether you would be a fit. Do not leave out important details about your experience. We want to help you just as much as you want to find a new job. Also, be yourself during the interview. I know some people are more nervous than others when they go into an interview, but as recruiters we get nervous too! We want to get a glimpse into what your personality is like to make sure you culturally fit the position we are recruiting for.

The presentation.
When you walk into a recruiter’s office, don’t just walk up to the front desk and ‘check in.’ Clearly state your name and who you have an appointment with. Extend your hand by offering a strong hand shake. This is just appropriate business etiquette. During the interview, don’t look down at your resume every five seconds to tell the recruiter what you did in your last positions as you should already know this! One thing you can do before the interview is read over your resume until you are confident that you could speak about prior positions from memory. This shows that you indeed prepared yourself for the interview and it will impress the recruiter. Also, have good eye contact during the interview.

All in all, these tips could make or break your interview. Presentation and first impressions are everything for an employer. They want to hire the best fit candidate to join their organization and you could be that candidate if you fully prepare yourself!

interview, How to Prepare for an InterviewAmanda Pullen
Amanda joined Celebrity Staff in 2014 and currently serves as the staffing assistant for Celebrity’s Kansas City branch office. Prior to joining Celebrity Staff, Amanda was a closer for a mortgage company and prior to that was an administrative assistant for a construction company. As a staffing assistant, Amanda concentrates on assisting the sales team with their daily needs and enjoys the administrative part of her position very much. Outside the office, Amanda enjoys spending time with her daughter Jada, family, and friends.

3 comments

  1. Have a few questions ready to go before you walk in the door! Almost everyone will ask you what questions YOU have so don’t waste time fumbling for a response. Make it pointed and show you have done your homework.

  2. Another great way to prepare for an interview is to do research on the company. During those “test questions” in an interview, the representative will always be looking to see how well you know the company already, which tells them how serious you are about the position.

    Also–ASK QUESTIONS!!! One of the greatest lessons I have learned during job searches was to ask questions. You are not the only one interviewing. It is perfectly fine to ask the representative questions about their company’s policies, employee culture, etc. You can’t possibly know you would enjoy working somewhere simply by looking at a website and job posting. Asking questions and starting a professional dialogue turns a 30-minute interview into a 1-hour interview. Make sure you get all your questions answered before the handshake and walk to the door. Even if you don’t get a call back, take it as another learning experience for what you will and will not settle for in a job.

    Finally, always follow-up with the representative a day later, thanking them again for the interview. Gestures like this are subtle reminders and could put your resume at the top of the pile.

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