March 7th, 2010
If the idea of having a complete stranger ask you a ton of questions you might not know how to answer causes you to hyperventilate, you may have interview anxiety. The interview process is challenging, competitive, and eye opening, especially for recent graduates who may have never been through it before. When the person who is sitting across from you has the power to determine your future, or at least your next paycheck, you want to be able to make a good impression on them. You can successfully get through your first interview, and many more, without having a panic attack by being prepared.
Prepare by knowing about the company. Do research on the company you are interviewing for beforehand. Understand not only the business the company conducts, but also what sets them apart from others in their industry. Employers don't just want to know why you want a particular job. They want to know why you specifically want it with their company. The most hard working and dedicated employees are those who are the most enthusiastic, so the more you know the better you will come across. Also, learn as much as you can about the position you are interviewing for and the duties, skills, and responsibilities involved. The more you understand about the position, the better you will be able to show that you are qualified for it.
Prepare by knowing your answers. When the interviewer asks you a question, you want to be able to give him more than just a blank stare. The best way to avoid this embarrassing situation is by preparing for questions you are likely to be asked. First, go over your resume and reflect on your education, work experiences, extracurricular activities, and skills. Come up with specific examples of accomplishments and contributions you made in each of your experiences. Know why each thing you listed on your resume is relevant and how it is proof of your abilities. Also, research the types of questions that are commonly asked during interviews and have an idea of how you would respond to each one. How you answer those questions can reveal a lot about your knowledge, competency, and character. By having well thought-out responses, you will be able to calmly and confidently reveal to a potential employer just how valuable of an employee you would be.