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what are some things to prepare for an interview?

Wondering what are some things that I can prepare early for an interview, like a resume.

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Meghan’s Answer

Hi Kailun!

Madisyn gave some great advice. I would like to add to that in addition to practicing your answers to questions, you should always come prepared with questions for the interviewer! By asking questions, you show that you are interested in the role. Some examples of questions to ask are what their training/onboarding process is, volunteer opportunities, room for progression, etc.

Another good way to prepare is by writing an "elevator pitch" about yourself. You want to be able to tell your story and give a nice background on yourself when an interviewer says "tell me about yourself". If your school has a career center I would recommend emailing/visiting to ask what resources they offer to help prepare you for an interview!

Meghan recommends the following next steps:

Search for questions to ask interviewers online
Write an elevator pitch or brief summary about yourself
Check if your career center has additional resources
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Madi’s Answer

Hi, Kailun.

You are on the right track! To prepare for an interview, there are a few things that you can do.

1. Have your resume on-hand: You should have an updated resume and print it before your interview. This way, you can refer to it during your interview and provide a copy to your interviewer.
2. Prepare your outfit: For an interview, you want to dress appropriately and professionally. Depending on the type of company you are interviewing for, you may have to wear a full suit or you may just need to wear business casual. You should do some research on the type of company so that you know what type of attire to wear.
3. Practice your answers: You can research the type of interview questions that are asked for your role. You can practice in the mirror so that you are prepared when it comes to answering.
4. Get a good night's rest: You want to be fully refreshed and ready to ace the interview.

Good luck!
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Niaz’s Answer

Everyone has given great answers
Know your resume/CV inside and out - be able to talk about all of your prior experiences and skills, and give reasons why they would make you a great worker at the company you're applying too.
Take a copy of your resume/CV with you to the interview
When you prepare for your "tell me about yourself" elevator pitch, it is important to focus on the topics that will sell you to the company. For example, don't just repeat what is on your resume. You can add in little bits about yourself and who you are, what you bring to the company, and what you hope to gain from working there.
Always have questions prepared about the company - and not questions that could be answered by looking online. Some good questions would be, "what are the strengths of the company and the workers?" "what would make me a successful employee?" "do you see any upcoming changes that would potentially affect my employment?"
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Sophie’s Answer

Hi Kailun

There are already some great answers in this thread - but I just wanted to add a few things that hopefully may help you even more

1) use the STAR method when answering questions. This is a great method to learn how to summarise your answers without going off track - an example question we can use today is an employer may ask you "Can you tell me about a time where you worked well in a team?"

S - Situation - try and summarize the situation you were in with your team (where you playing a sport? perhaps a team building activity? was this a personal or working experience?
T - Task - what was the task you were assigned to do? (Compete in a sporting event match? problem solving?)
A - Action - what Action(s) did you and your other team members take to ensure the task was completed correctly and in a timely manner
R - Result - what was the overall outcome of the task? What did you learn about yourself?

2) Try not to repeat your CV/Resume word for word when asked a question - It can be easy to just read what's on there word for word, buts important to try and put it in your own words so you are not repeating yourself.

3) Practice Practice Practice! - Is there anyone that can help do a mock style interview with you before you attend the real thing? perhaps a friend/family member - that way they can ask you some mock style questions and you can prepare the best you can.

4) Submitting a cover letter along with your CV - This is an important step that a lot of candidates tend to miss. A Cover letter doesn't need to be more than 1 page (a couple of paragraphs) and its your time to introduce yourself to the employer before your interview. A couple of key things to include in your Cover letter

- a summary as to why you are applying for the role?
- what existing transferable skills do you have that you can bring to this position?
- why does this role appeal to you?

hopefully you found these tips useful.
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Ben’s Answer

I wont cover what everyone else did here as this is all critical and sound advice. The thing I would add is to have stories ready for different types of questions. Fort example, you may be asked to provide an example of how you worked with a team to meet a deadline. Provide an example on how you disagreed with your boss on a project and what did you do? One of the things people struggle with the most is that they don't have user stories to tell. So I would search online for most common interview questions and then start thinking about stories that could accommodate that.

As someone who has conducted over 500 interviews, I would also say that people struggle the most with delivering a coherent answer. Someone on the thread here mentioned STAR/SAR/BAR . I know of the STAR method so Ill explain how that works. ST stands for situation. A is for action and R is for result. So for example, lets say the interviewer asked you how you handled an irate customer. You could answer as such:

The "Situation" was, the customer was upset stating they have had this issue for a while and were always told it would be corrected by multiple people but it still hasn't been fixed.
I took "Action" by apologizing to the customer and informed them that I would be taking ownership of their issue and would immediately escalate to Management.
As a "Result", the customer calmed down, I escalated the issue with my Supervisor and we were able to resolve the issue for the customer.

Using this method will help you stay on track as you will collect your thoughts and deliver them appropriately.
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Kimberly’s Answer

All of the advice previously given has been sound, so I won't repeat any of it, but rather add to it.
- Allow enough time for traffic, locating an office and parking for an in person interview and for an online interview prep and test your audio visual setup ahead of time. Bottom line...be on time, fresh and presentable!
- When answering questions you want to make sure to be relatable. If every answer is, "I am great at everything I do!" - it is not believable. Don't be afraid to mention experiences where you have struggled, as long as you can provide solid examples of how you have overcome the struggles and adversity.
- When leaving an interview I never want to exit wondering if they have doubts about me or my qualifications or if there was any miscommunication during the interview. I make sure I ask the interviewer the following questions:
~What are common struggles people in this current role face?
~Based on what you have learned about me today, do you have any concerns about my fit for this role that we can discuss?
-Lastly, when you have a moment to just speak about yourself, don't forget to speak about relevant experience that is not listed on your resume. Your day-to-day experiences may apply to the role you seek, in ways you haven't thought of. Thinking outside of the box isn't a bad thing if you can apply it to the position you are interviewing for. A mentor of mine once said, "I can hire anyone to do what I tell them to do, but it is hard to find someone who can THINK."
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Connor’s Answer

Hi Kailun,

There are some great answers in this thread!

Make sure you take some time to research the company and learn more about their values. Go into the interview prepared with plenty of questions; interviews are a two-way street and questions are always encouraged! Research and be prepared for common interview questions. There is a high probability that one of the first questions will be "tell me about yourself." This is a great opportunity to discuss your past experiences, skills, and education, and how they will be helpful in this job role.

It is important to be as specific as possible when answering various questions. For example, when discussing your strengths, try to provide specific examples of situations in which your various strengths shined through. I personally found it helpful to prepare a set of personal experiences and stories that could apply to a variety of different questions. You may end up getting "behavioral" questions, which are generally questions preceded with "tell me about a time when ____." For these types of questions, it was particularly helpful to have an arsenal of personal experiences prepared that could answer these various questions.

Immediately leading up to the interview, make sure to stay calm and get yourself in the right headspace. Eat a good meal beforehand, go for a walk, show up early, and do whatever else has worked for you to address your nerves. If your interview is in-person, it's not a bad idea to bring copies of your resume in a folder or padfolio.
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Terri’s Answer

Some simple often never thought about things.... Do your best not to "fidget", always shake hands firmly and with confidence, Never sit before your interviewer does, keep good eye contact and something that goes along with practicing your responses is be sure not to use "umm" or "like" between every sentence.
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Eleanor’s Answer

Great information shared so far. I will add that you need to familiarize yourself with how to answer Behavioral Interview questions. These questions sound like "Tell me about a time when [core competency behavior]" etc. You need to be sure to answer the question using the STAR/SAR/BAR method (it's all the same thing).

Background: you have to give enough background to the situation you're using so that a layperson can have a working knowledge of what you're talking about. Don't be afraid of industry or military terms so long as you can explain them so that a layperson can understand.

Action: clearly outline the actions YOU took in the scenario. It's very important to narrow down to your specific actions, not the team's actions. If you find yourself saying "we, we, we", you need to rephrase. The hiring manager is not hiring your team, they're hiring you.

Result: what happened. Quantify this in ANY way you can (how many, how much, by when, at what cost, whatever number you can tie). Don't forget this part! It's the "so what?" of your answer.

Also, the first question is usually something like "Tell me about yourself" and this is not a throw away question - your interviewers are scoring this one too! This is your chance to show how your experience has prepared you for the role you are interviewing for. Don't read your resume, but talk about your previous roles and specifically what you learned in each role that is relevant to this job you want.

Master the above and you'll nail every one.
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Javier’s Answer

Hi Kailun,

Great question! Here are a few pointers to help you:

1. Do your research - find out about the job /company your are interviewing for.
2. Understand the format of the interview/assesment process/competencies to prepare for.
3. Prepare for interview questions and practice, practice, practice.
4. Ask about timelines in the process
5. Remember to follow up after the interview.
6. Connect with your interviewer/s via LinkedIn

I hope this helps!
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Charlsie’s Answer

You'll definitely want to prepare and review your resume before applying to a position and interviewing. Also, do research on the company to have a full understanding of what they do, the culture, and day to day. Looking at employee reviews on Glassdoor is a great place to start with reviewing a company. Employees and interviewers usually will give pretty candid feedback and it will help you prepare.
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