Solid Preparation: The Key to Surviving an Important Job Interview

solid preparationYour resume is in hand. Your interview outfit is polished. Now it’s time to market your best skills and experience in a job interview. And what does it take to ace that interview? Solid preparation.

You’re ready to do battle on the job front, but you also know that curve balls can be hurled your way when you enter the gladiator’s arena known as the job interview meeting. You’re tense… and that’s understandable.

There can be a lot on the line in the interview like a job, a salary, and perhaps prestige. So you need solid preparation.

Location, Location, Location

Marketers know that the right location can make or break a retail business. But it’s just a critical to factor in the location before you show up for an interview. Find the proper address in advance of the big day. Overestimate the commute time. Leave early on the morning of the interview to avoid traffic and directional missteps guaranteed to add to your stress. Show up at least 5-10 minutes beforehand, but not more than 15. Respect your interviewer’s time and schedule.

Do Your Homework

Dig deep. Every tidbit related to staff, marketing, best business practices, a firm’s history, mission statement, goals, objectives – and everything you can dig up about the employer – deserves your attention, and can position you for success in the interview. Get a feel for whether you and the employer are compatible by reading through their website, and learning about their work, customers, and culture.

Dress to Impress

A suit or formal outfit may not be a proper wardrobe selection for all interview environments. It can show a lack of initiative or preparation if you show up for a creative gig wearing an ensemble best reserved for a funeral or a Fortune 500 company Meetup. Get a leg up on your wardrobe selection when you do your location reconnaissance: see what employees wear when they report for work.

Avoid the urge to surf social media while you wait. Stash your smartphone in a pocket or purse after shutting it off – and maximize the extra time beforehand without distractions to scope out the office vibe and get a sense of the work environment. Everything is an indicator of a business’s climate, from dog-eared magazines and rude receptionists to a cup of coffee and an on-the-mark interview start time.

Solid Preparation for Anything and Everything

While they may have your resume already on hand, always be sure to bring extra copies along to the interview in the event that additional individuals are brought into the meeting. Bring a pen and paper, particularly if you haven’t already completed an application. Tuck a list of personal and professional recommendations into your materials, just in case.

Master the Balancing Act

While you want to showcase your personality at interviews, everything in moderation. Ask everyone with whom you interact for a business card to ensure you capture names and titles for follow up. A firm handshake is usually appropriate. Channel your parental directives: sit up straight, make eye contact and no fidgeting or slouching. Also, save the jokes for friends and do everything possible to avoid using slang and incorrect English.

In order to reap the reward and perform at your best, it’s important to mind your IQ – your interview quotient. Solid preparation is key.  Then, you can avoid that post-interview anxiety of wishing you had a do-over!


For this post, YouTern thanks our friends at Brooklyn Resume Studio.





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