How Do You Prepare for a Successful Interview?

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A job candidate prepares for an interview by researching the position and company, practicing common interview questions, updating her resume, and choosing a professional outfit. Thorough preparation shows in the way the candidate presents herself and the way she answers the interview questions.

Nailing down the logistics of the interview is one of the first preparation tasks. Being comfortable with when and where the interview is held allows the candidate to focus on the other aspect of interview preparation.

Many interviewers ask similar questions about strengths, weaknesses, goals and past experience. Practicing those questions helps the candidate develop thoughtful answers. Another helpful exercise is to write down specific examples of achievements or difficult work situations from the past. Companies often want to hear about those specific experiences during the interview to gauge how the candidate might handle a similar situation in the future.

A candidate puts herself ahead of others by knowing details about both the company and the specific position. The company's website and the job description are two valuable resources for the research. If possible, the candidate should also research the person conducting the interview. This background knowledge helps the candidate tailor her answers to match what the company wants in an employee.

An up-to-date resume is also a key to success. The resume should highlight skills specific to the position. Bringing along extra resumes even if the company already has a copy shows the candidate is prepared.