10 things to know before going into a job interview

Recently I was interviewed for the position of pool manager at my workplace. Although I don’t yet know how I did or if I got the job, I’m really hopeful that I did. It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a year now, and now that I’ve finally had the chance to apply I can only hope that things work out for the best. Going into my interview, I thought I was ready… I wasn’t.

So, here are 10 things to know before going into an interview.

1. Wear comfortable, professional-looking clothes
I’m sure that everyone has gone outfit hunting before an interview. I sure did. I picked out the outfit that looked the best. It was stylish, professional, and made me looked a tad more experienced than I was. It included a tight pencil. What I wasn’t expecting was for it to be so uncomfortable! Trying it on the the dressing room was fine, but sitting in a chair for an hour? Not a chance! I would stay away from anything that constricts the waist.

2. Bring a water bottle
Job interviews are stressful! And stress makes your mouth dry. Let me tell you, there’s nothing worse than trying to answer a stressful question and feeling your tongue stick to the top of your mouth. A water bottle will help alleviate some of the dryness, which will allow you to be more confident when you speak.

3. Practice common interview questions beforehand
While some jobs might include more specific questions, most interviews will at least contain some fairly obvious questions. Most will include questions on your qualifications, your personality, and some situational questions. The obvious ones are: why have you decided to apply for this position, what are your strengths and weaknesses, and what sets you apart from our other applicants.

4. Don’t feel obliged to stick to the script
This one ties to #3. Just because you’ve come up with a rehearsed answer, doesn’t mean you need to follow it word for word. If anything, it can make you seem like your just rambling off points instead of genuinely trying to answer the question. Your interviewer can likely tell if you’re reading from a script, so while you should keep some general ideas in mind, don’t be afraid to go with the flow.

5. Realize that your interview isn’t a big deal
Sometimes, I’ll go into interviews or tests thinking that there’s just so much riding on it. For most interviews, there’s really not that much pressure. So what if you don’t get that job you wanted? There will be more opportunities down the road, so don’t sweat it

6. Your interviewer might be just as nervous as you are
For a lot of people, giving interviews is also nerve racking. If you have a lot to offer, the employer might also use this as an opportunity to convince you to come to their company.

7. Your skills are worth-while, and probably in demand
For employers, finding skilled workers can sometimes be a challenge. If you have a degree or experience in a field, keep in mind that you are valued, and don’t sell yourself short. If you have a degree, talk about how it relates to the position. Tell the interviewer about the experience you have, and don’t be afraid to go into detail. The more your interviewer thinks you are capable and knowledgeable, the more likely they are to hire you.

8. Prepare questions in advance
While you might think that you’ll be able to come up with questions on the spot, or remember the most pertinent ones, it’s always good to be prepared. It’s perfectly acceptable to ask about the salary, work hours, the company’s mission, or any unexpected difficulties you should be ready to encounter. Just make sure you’re not asking questions that were on the job posting, or that are on the company’s website: that will make you look lazy and unprepared.

9. Do your research
This is a big one. Not only for the asking questions, but also for the interview itself. Figure out what exactly the expectations are for someone of that position. Learn the roles and responsibilities. This will help you answer questions such as ‘name a difficulty you think you’d encounters’ and situational questions.

10. Don’t sweat it
You’ll do great. And once it’s over, treat yourself to an ice cream, you deserve it.

So those were my top ten things to know. Have anything to add? Let me know!


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