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How to Prepare for an Interview

Your performance in an interview can make or break landing a job, so you always want to be on your A-game. Check out this list of nine things you can do to effectively prepare for your interview.

  1. Remember that the interview is your opportunity to show how you fit.
    The rapport that you build with your interviewers and your ability to connect with them is extremely important to civilian hiring managers. Consider your target audience. What are they looking for in a candidate? Check out the video tutorial Thinking about Your Target Audiences for more detail.
  2. Develop responses to probable interview questions.
    Review probable questions, come up with your answers, and practice saying them out loud. See 10 Interview Questions You Must Be Prepared to Answer for commonly used in the interview process.
  3. Practice interviewing.
    As with most things, practice can improve your performance. You can schedule a free mock interview with your installation’s Transition Readiness team or Family Member Employment Assistance staff.
  4. Prepare a few questions to ask during the interview.
    Interviewers often ask potential hires if they have any questions before closing the interview. Always have a few questions that you are prepared to ask that show your engagement and interest in the opportunity and the organization. For some ideas, check out the article, You Should Ask Questions During an Interview Too!
  5. Do some recon.
    If you have never been to the interview location before, if at all possible, take the time to go to the location. You don’t want to get lost or be late on the day of the interview. If you can’t physically go to the interview location, check it out online, and allow yourself plenty of time to get to travel.
  6. Take all of the interview information with you.
    This includes the name and telephone number for your point of contact and the address of the interview location. That way, if something happens you can reach out and if you get lost, you can use your phone to get directions.
  7. Get your interview outfit ready the day before.
    Try it on, especially if it’s been a while since you wore it last. Make sure everything looks and fits the way it should. You’ll want to feel your best at the interview, which is difficult to do if you’re frazzled because you just spent an extra half an hour pulling together a back-up outfit, pressing a fresh shirt, or trying to find a pair of stockings. Check out the interview attire suggestions for men and women from Career Spark.
  8. Get your briefcase organized the night before.
    Have several copies of your resume ready to give to your interviewers, as well as a pen and paper for taking notes during the interview.
  9. Get your head in the game.
    Check out other articles about interviewing, such as Transition Like a Pro: 10 Best Practices for Interviewing, and Interviews: How to Prepare for Any Situation.

Still searching for more in-depth assistance with interviewing? Contact your installation’s Transition Readiness and Family Member Employment Assistance staff and ask the Marine For Life Network on LinkedIn.

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