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Practice Makes Perfect – Set Yourself Up for Interview Success

by Melissa Small
 

The first step to riding a bike isn’t doing a marathon. You have to first learn with training wheels, gain the skills and confidence to take them off and soon you’ll be able to do it easily on your own.

The same goes for job interviews. You may have great communication skills and a very personable demeanor, but practice will always help you perfect the delivery of your message to employers at an interview.

Here are some tips to help make sure that you nail that next job interview!

- Be familiar with your specific resume and cover letter you submit to each job. When answering questions in a job interview, use the same language and examples you used in your application. It clearly attracted the employer’s attention for one reason or another, and repetition without having to glance down at your resume will help solidify the positive impression they’ve already started to build of you.

- Plan your day out before and leading up to the interview. Make sure to practice some self-care such as reading a book or having a healthy breakfast or lunch before you go to meet your employer. Plan out your route and allow extra time for traffic, construction, finding parking and being able to find the building, entrance or office. Plan to get there 5-10 minutes early. Early is always better than being late, but too early may make you nervous while you’re sitting and waiting for your interview, or make the employer think you got the time wrong.

- Get a friend or family member to help you practice. People that you talk to regularly or even worked with previously may be able to help you identify prospective stories, skills and experiences that you might have forgotten about. Tap into that knowledge to help you through the process!

- Research common interview questions. Look into what someone in this job field may be asked, make notes and practice how you might answer them. You could even bring these cue cards with you to the interview. Odds are even if you bring the you won’t need them, but just having them within your reach my help your confidence and help you to relax.

- Have backups in place. Try creating a portfolio that contains written letters of reference from past employers, teachers or friends, a list of references and their contact information, extra copies of your resume and cover letter, copies of training certifications that you’ve completed and anything else you can think of and bring it to the interview. This shows off some of the soft skills that you have to offer such as organization, commitment to ongoing learning and attention to detail.