How to Prepare for a Job Interview


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Tara Dorlag, Staff Writer

The next biggest step for college students is a scary, three-letter word: j-o-b. University and college students have been preparing themselves for this since entering school. It is what students have based their futures, particularly their careers, on. And while universities prepare students for the basics of their study, as well as the in’s and out’s of their future careers, what is less talked about is the methods of the actual job interviewing process itself.

College kids might know how to dissect a human arm, or the demographic of a certain population, but they may be less likely to know how to properly convey that lack of knowledge to an employer. Therefore, the nerves begin to settle in as well as mass-googling job interview prep questions at 3 a.m. This article will go over five steps to ensure a successful interview and tips on how to suppress the butterflies in one’s stomach as they enter the job interview scene. 

  1. Study just like in school 

There should be a college course dedicated specifically to this subject, and while there might be courses similar to it or at least touch on it, it needs more attention and should be a top requirement. So, what students are left with, even after taking similar classes, is a need to teach themselves. This is where Google becomes your best friend. All employers, no matter what field, utilize the same type of questionnaire for potential employees. Students should research basic interview questions and come up with professional and concise answers. Googling and researching common and appropriate answers is also a good idea, as long as you spin it to your own version. Try to relate personal experiences without being too in-depth and always keep it professional. 

  1. Never insult past employers 

If the interviewer asks about your employment history, the worst thing to do, even if it is associated with a bad experience, is to bad-mouth previous employers. This should seem common sense to some, but in the heat of the moment, it can be easy to word vomit and potentially slip up. As mentioned previously, always keep answers professional even if they’re associated with a bad memory. This way, if you get the job then decide to leave in the future, the employer knows you will keep it professional in regard to their business in the future. This establishes you as a trustworthy and professional individual. If anything, speaking positively about previous employers without overdoing it will leave a positive impression. 

  1. Breathing Exercises 

Whether you need this before, during or after your job interview, it is always helpful to know anxiety-reducing methods. Knowing certain breathing techniques to calm nerves is the best and quickest way to reduce any sudden fears or impending anxieties one might have. There are several breathing techniques recommended by doctors and therapists around the world. A few examples are box breathing, 4-7-8 breathing, alternate-nostril breathing, mindfulness breathing, etc. The best way to go about learning these methods are to google sites specifically associated with these methods or watch videos if you are more of a visual learner. Controlled breathing sends endorphins to the brain and slows your heart rate. Both of these effects reduce anxiety almost immediately if done correctly. 

  1. Know your worth 

Employers want to see potential workers excited about their future with the company. Knowing what you can bring to the table is knowing your worth to the company. Highlighting past experiences that will make you a good fit for the role and showing confidence are seen as positive aspects by future employers. Knowing your worth will be a crucial factor in establishing yourself within a company. It’s important to remind yourself of the benefits you can bring to the company. Make a list of all the attributes that make you a perfect candidate and what you would be willing to bring even if you don’t have the experience yet. Knowing your worth significantly boosts your confidence. 

  1. Lastly, take it easy 

Jobs are important, but they’re not the end all be all. Whether you are interviewing for your dream position or something to get your foot in the door, ultimately, there is no reason to worry. Life is short, whether one chooses to see it this way or not. Do not sweat the small stuff, and stay optimistic about the future. Whether you ace the interview or feel as though you could have done better, what is meant to be is meant to be. There will always be so many opportunities in life, so why worry about the inevitable? That’s not to say you should go into an interview with a so-so attitude. Instead, you should go in with a realistic mindset. Work hard for what you want, and in the end, if you know you did the best you could, what more could you ask for! 

Adulting is hard; that is a fact. But hopefully these small and simple, yet effective steps will help future employees prosper. Not only should you train and know what to expect before going into an interview, but you should also enjoy the opportunity itself. There is a lot expected of college graduates, but life will handle itself, so what’s there to worry about?