Mastering the Interview: 12 steps to take before you meet with your interviewer

The Interview

Everyone dreads the interview process. It's nerve racking and brings out new levels of anxiety and stress. You have to impress someone with years of work you have done while telling them that you are right for their company, all in a short period of time. Interviews can make or break whether you get your dream job and it is extremely critical that you learn how to master the interview with confidence and grace.

The few days and hours before an interview can be really unsettling. The key is to prepare as much as possible well in advance. Here are some tips from the Artisan Talent Recruiters that will help you impress your interviewer and make the interview go more smoothly.

1. When the interviewer asks what time is available for you, be specific. If you can only meet on your lunch hour, tell them that. Some interviews are longer than others, so plan around that. Be specific and account for the time you need to get to and from the interview.

2. Research the company, see if they have won any awards, what work they do, any recent projects, and who works there. Be ready to pay them compliments and show your respect for the company.

3. Prepare questions for your interviewer. By researching the company you may come up with questions for them, based off the work they have done or what they are currently doing. Always ask questions. Ask what the work environment is like. The interview is to also see if you can work at the company and if they company fits your needs and career goals.

4. Connect with your interviewer on LinkedIn.

5. Always prepare a backup plan for your files and work you are planning to show. If you are planning to show your online portfolio using wi-fi connection make sure you have a printed or PDF version just in case technology does not work.

6. Bring pens with ink, blank paper, and your notes full of questions to ask your interviewer.

7. Bring at least 5 clean copies of your resume. You never know who you are going to meet in the office.

8. Know how to answer the "tell me about yourself" question.

9. Practice answering the basic interview questions. Know how to talk about your strengths, weaknesses, and what you can do for the company. Practicing answering questions beforehand can eliminate any awkward silence and ensures you tell your interviewer everything you want to tell them.

10. You want to look as neat and polished as possible so try on and iron your interview outfit a few days before. Check for runs in tights, holes, loose strings, stains, and make sure you can walk and sit comfortably.

11. Check the front and back of yourself in the mirror before you walk into the interview.

12. Bring along some gum or mints to chew before the interview or brush your teeth.

Print this out or write down these steps so you can create a check-list before your interview. By following these steps you will be prepared for the interview and will it will also show your interviewer that you take time to prepare, research, and care about them and the position you are applying for.

The interview process takes patience and practice. The more you interview the better prepared you will be to answer the questions asked and how to ask questions yourself.

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