Developing Your Career

Developing Your Career

New to the Job Market? Tips for Preparing for the Interview

By Jean Baur on September 9, 2013

New to the job market, you’ll often find yourself competing against more experienced candidates.  But that doesn’t mean you should feel discouraged. The reality is that the most experienced candidate isn’t necessarily the one to land the job.  During the interview you have an opportunity to distinguish yourself by using your education, internships and other work experience to convey confidence, skill and aptitude – and compete effectively.

  • Practice your interview answers. Use a web cam and record yourself. Share the video with a career counselor, friend or mentor. Hearing your answers out loud and seeing yourself will help you improve your communication style. And getting objective feedback will help uncover development needs you may not have noticed.
  • Always research the organizations you are targeting and tap your network to learn as much as you can about the position and company culture. Follow target companies on their social media channels and gain more insight into their strategy and how they’re perceived in the marketplace.
  • Dress appropriately. Wear a suit, be well groomed and ditch the flip flops. First impressions are difficult to change and you only have about seven seconds to make a good one!
  • Be ready for behavioral questions.  Prepare examples of your accomplishment. Details are what sell us. Tell a compelling story that demonstrates how you identified a problem, the action you took and the result you achieved.
  • Listen carefully. Actively listening – focusing your attention on the interviewer – helps to ensure you understand what’s being asked and that your response hits the mark.
  • Turn off all electronic devices. It is never OK to let a phone call or text message interrupt your interview.

Lastly, show enthusiasm. That is one of the most sought after attributes and will increase your chances of getting hired. Ask questions that demonstrate that you’re curious and interested. You’re at an exciting time as you begin your career. Be prepared to show it.

4 Responses to “New to the Job Market? Tips for Preparing for the Interview”

    • Jean Baur

      So nice to hear from you. Glad you’re passing it along. Check out my website for more: Best, Jean

  1. John Cardillo

    This couldn’t be more timely. I have a face to face interview this coming Monday afternoon. I have one question; I know it is important to research a company… but is it okay to research the interviewer. I know who I am speaking with and have gathered some information on him via social media etc. I have not really seen this addressed in other articles, I’ve read, that are similar to yours.
    I would think one would have to me very mindful and careful with how this information is used (in the context of the actual interview). On the one hand it may reflect the interviewee’s thoroughness in and “interest” in the company…. On the other, it may be interpreted as intrusive and an invasion of one’s privacy. What are your thoughts??


  2. Char Bossel

    A comment about the interviewer’s position (and recent promotion, if any) might be appropriate but any comment about family, etc., not so much. If the office is decorated with college or sports team memorabilia, a favorable comment might also be appropriate.


Leave a Reply