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How to Prepare for a Job Interview

You've got your foot in the door with a company and now it's time to prepare for the interview. The job search has many similarities to the degree program you went through at your online university, it requires you to study, test and perseverance. If you are preparing for a job interview, review the tips below to ensure your success.

Study
Prior to going on an interview, get to know as much about the company as you can. If it's a large company, get to know the different products or services they provide. For example, if you are applying to a school, what grades are served? If it's a corporation, what products or services do they provide? To Whom? Rather than telling you about the company, sometimes an interviewer will test your knowledge and interest by asking what you know about the company. Be prepared to share your research in a short and succinct brief, ensuring that you have thoroughly done your research.

Test
While you don't want to give yourself an actual test in your knowledge of the company, you do want to rehearse your answers. In general, you should be prepared to give an answer of 30 seconds - 2 minutes at most. The longer the question, the longer the answer should be, up to 2 minutes. Not every answer to each question needs to be long, however. You should also be prepared to answer short questions with a short answer. If the interviewer wants more information, they will usually ask a follow-up question.

While you can never prepare for every question, practice answers to the questions below to prepare for your interview.

  • Why do you want this job? Though everyone needs to work, there should be a reason why you want this particular job more than the same position at a different company. Be prepared to offer specific insights about the company culture or job duties itself. When researching the company, try to pick unique aspects of the job description, that wouldn't be available in the same position at a different company. 
  • What skills or experience do you have doing [insert skills required for job]? Rather than speaking of what you can do, point to specific experiences in your past about what you have done that you will also do at this job.
  • Tell me about a time when [insert situation you will encounter in a job]. Anticipate the types of situations that you are likely to encounter in the job, particularly the more challenging ones, and give a closely-related situation from your past and how you resolved it.
  • What is your weakness? Interviewers who ask this question are looking for you to reveal a weakness that is directly related to the skills required for the job. You can be honest and mention a weakness but one that doesn't affect an important part of your job.
  • What are your future goals? The best answers indicate you want to grow with the company by taking on more responsibility.
Perseverance
A job may not come right away, but don't be discouraged. Remain focused on the type of position that you want to attain throughout the job interview process.
During the job interview, remain upbeat and answer all questions with positivity. Don't forget to
send a thank you note!

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