Financial Answer Center
Your Job Search: It's a Process

The Interview

Now that you've made it to the job interview, it is important to properly prepare for the task. Here is a basic checklist of things you should do:

  • Research information on the employer with whom you are interviewing. Go to the company's Web site; not only will it have specific facts, it should give you a sense of the company's culture as well. Your local library or Chamber of Commerce may be able to supply you with information about the company. Try online resources such as hoovers.com and vault.com for business information including company summaries, competitor information, current news, etc. If you know someone who already works for the organization, ask if he or she has information you might look over before your interview.
  • Research the job. Make sure you understand the specific position in as much detail as possible. If the field is new to you, visit the local Department of Labor or library or search the Internet to do your research. Anything you can do to demonstrate a higher degree of knowledge about the position will provide you with an advantage over the other applicants.
  • Practice, practice, practice. In order to be as comfortable as possible during the interview process, we strongly suggest that you get as much practice as possible. Interviewing workshops are often available through schools and agencies. If one is not available in your area, have a friend or relative sit down and play the part of the interviewer. If there is a video camera handy, try taping a mock interview to identify areas in your interviewing style that need improvement. Thinking about the types of questions you may be asked and rehearsing your answers before the actual interview will help you prepare.

You may find jobs that you are only marginally interested in; go for the interview anyway. The interview may accomplish several things. First, you may find out more about the position and be truly interested. Second, you will obtain valuable interviewing experience. Finally, you have just created another possible contact that may help you in your job search.

Don't forget to write a letter, short and simple, thanking the person for the interview, regardless of how you think it went.
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