HR Insights

How to Prepare for an Interview

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April 29, 2014

How to Prepare for an InterviewAn interview can sometimes seem like the most terrifying thing you could ever face. But aside from the actual interview itself, preparing for the interview can be even more intimidating. What do you wear? What do you bring, if anything? Do you need to do anything special to prepare for an interview?

As you probably know, you certainly shouldn’t wing it. Having a successful interview means being properly prepared. That means knowing what to wear, knowing what to bring, and knowing how to put forth your best self.

Proper dress for an interview is of the utmost importance. Your interview attire will be the first impression you give to the employer, and it will largely be how they form an opinion about you. Men should wear suits of a dark color such as black, blue, or even grey. A freshly pressed dress shirt should be worn underneath the suit jacket, and should be white or another neutral color. Shoes and ties should be kept dark and conservative, and only a watch and wedding ring should be worn for jewelry.

Women should also consider wearing a suit to any job interview, with a jacket paired with either a skirt or dress pants. Colors here should be kept conservative and neutral, and little jewelry should also be worn. High heels are acceptable for women, although the heel on them shouldn’t be excessively high. Make-up should be applied minimally, and perfume shouldn’t be worn since different scents can be unpleasant to different people.

Once you have your wardrobe sorted out, you then need to know what to bring to an interview. A hard copy of your resume is essential, and it should be the most updated version you have, even if it’s not the same one you submitted when applying for the job.  The interviewer may have misplaced the original copy, and you may have additional experience you want to tell them about. Additionally, having them look it over at a glance will help set an organized and easy tone for the interview.

Along with your resume, also bring a list of references. Make sure you only include only individuals that were your supervisors or managers at other jobs, as these are the ones the interviewer will be interested in. If you needed to fill out an application or any other paperwork, make sure you also bring this to the interview, as you may not even be considered without it. Lastly, bring a fresh notepad and a pen so you can take any notes needed during the interview.

Preparing for an interview can seem like an intimidating prospect, but it’s essential that you take the time to properly do it. Not only will it boost your confidence and make the entire process much easier, it will also significantly increase your chances of being hired for the job!