Congratulations if your reading this, you have found a job that interests you, so the next step will be to submit a resume and cover letter showing your interest in the postion. Once you complete the first few steps, you will get an email from the hiring manager requesting that you complete an application and submit it for review. After you apply, you will get a call or email from the hiring manager to come in for an interview because your resume, cover letter, and the application shows you are a possible good fit for the company. The final thing you will need to do is go to the interview to get final consideration for the postion.

If everything goes as planned, you will get a call or email offering you the postion if you’re still interested. However, if you notice weeks have gone by and you have not received a job offer, you will get an email stating the following ” Although we are impressed by you and your background, we have decided to go with some of our other candidates at this time. Feel free to apply for any of our future job openings. Have a nice day!”

If the scenario above sounds familiar and you weren’t the candidate chosen, don’t feel bad, it happens to all of us. The one thing the other candidates did that you forgot to do was get prepared for the interview. So let me give you some tips on how to get prepared for the interview:

  • Research: A good thing to do is to research the company you have applied for before the interview. Doing research will help you tailor your answers to the questions the hiring manager may ask you during the interview. Showing you know about the company will let the hiring manager know you are interested in working there, and you are not just looking for a job. The company website and Google are great ways to research a company. Make sure also to understand the job description you are applying for because this will help you tailor your past employment experience to what the employer.
  • Rehearse: Early in my employment career, I had always heard that its a good idea to role-play with a friend or family member and have them ask you interview questions. I have to admit I never followed through because I was too embarrassed to role play with anyone. I learned a trick that works just as well that should help you. First, find a list of possible interview questions. Write the questions down and answer each one reflecting your past work experience and what the postion your apply for entails. I found a website called Kununu that has a great list of questions hiring managers may ask during the interview. Even if you don’t have an interview yet, you can start answering the practice interview questions to get prepared when you do get an interview.
  • Quiet Place: If the job you’re interviewing for is a work from home postion, having a calm place to talk with no distraction is essential. Make sure that everyone in your house is aware you have an interview today, and you can’t have any distractions. If possible, send everyone on an errand during the time of your interview. If you got kids that will be at home, make sure your door is locked so the little ones don’t run in during the interview. My experience is most work from home companies do understand things happen. However, you want to make a great first impression to make sure you get the job.
  • Working equipment: If you are interviewing for a work from home job, make sure you have a reliable phone, headset, internet connection, and a webcam. Like most people, the only means of communication you may have to use is your cell phone, so make sure your call will not drop during the interview. For some turning the wifi on your cell phone can help prevent your phone call from dropping. Also, finding the right spot in your house to take calls may help. If you will be interviewing from home, making sure the computer, headset, and webcam are working before the interview is essential. If you have never done a video call on your computer do a test video call to a friend or family member using Facebook, Skype, Google Hangouts, Viber, and or Apple face time to get the feel of how a video call will go. If your computer doesn’t have a webcam, you can find a webcam as low as $20.00 at Walmart or Amazon. You can find a headset as low as $10.00 on Amazon.
  • Know where you’re going: Some work from home positions may require you to meet and train in the office before you get to work from home. To make sure you are not late for the interview, get familiar with the area. If your not familiar with the city, do a test drive to the location a day before the interview, so there are no surprises. Remember, Google maps and Waze, don’t always get it right.
  • Dress for Success: This is very important, especially if you will have to meet the interviewer in person or over the webcam for the interview. Also, studies have shown that if you dress up for work even if you are working from home, you will do a better job than if you wear pajamas and flip flops. What I’m saying is dress up for at least the interview and if you want to put on pajamas and flip flops once you get the job more power to you. Make sure you have your clothes laid out and ironed the night before. If you are unsure of what to wear, business casual is usually the best way to go. If you don’t have any business casual clothes, you can get some for a great bargain and discount retailers like Ross, TJ Max, or your local Goodwill. Finally, if you don’t know what business casual is, google it to get some examples.

Hopefully, these tips have shown you how to get prepared for the interview. Maybe now you have realized that it’s the little things that we forget to do that can make the difference between being the candidate that gets the job offer and the candidate that’s told to have a nice day!

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