Preparing for the Interview  


Notes on Interviewing

There are few experiences filled with more anxiety and trepidation than a job interview. Thoughts such as "What if I don't get any job offers?," "What if I don't get the job I want?," or "Will I accept a position that isn't right for me?" can cause considerable upset. Here are a few notes and pointers on how to prepare for interviews and determine if this job is the right one for you. The key to reducing your anxiety is in being well-prepared for the interview.

The first step towards a successful job interview is self-assessment. You need to decide for yourself what kind of position you want. Since self-knowledge is the foundation of all decisions, a close scrutiny of your priorities, interestes, and short and long-term goals is necessary before any interview. Remember: if you're unsure of whether or not you want the position you're interviewing for, it will probably show.

If you don't have a reasonably clear focus, this is the time to do some hard thinking about what kind of position you want. The second step in preparation for your interviews is to research the companies you'll be interviewing with. You should know as much about the company and the position as you possibly can.

As you do your research, look for points where your interests, capabilities, goals, and personality match the company's needs (or what you guess their needs to be!). Every interviewer, whether directly or indirectly, will expect you to be able to answer these questions: Why do you want a position in this company? What can you do for my company? If you can't answer these questions adequately, the interviewer will assume you're not seriously interested in the organization.

Know something about the prospective employer's business--the type of product or services performed, overall reputation, location(s), size, philosophy, and opportunity for advancement. It's a good idea to be prepared to ask the interviewer questions about the company as well, as it indicates your interest in the position. It's also a valuable source of information for you about the company you're interviewing with. There are a huge number of resources for research, including the World Wide Web, directories, periodical indices, and books in the library. If the company is small and information is difficult to obtain, knowing something about the industry will carry you a long way. Industry trade journals, books, and talking with faculty in related departments at a university will help here.



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