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How to Prepare for an Interview

Lady being interviewed by two employers

Congratulations, you got an interview!

Don’t sell yourself short, getting an interview is much harder than it looks! Now that you have your foot in the door, it’s time to impress your potential future employer. By taking the right steps and preparing for this interview properly, you will give yourself the best chance possible at getting a second interview, or the job itself!

Now, let’s prepare for your upcoming interview!

The Importance of Pre-Interview Research

You should never go to an interview unprepared.

The first step in properly preparing yourself for any interview is doing research. First, research the company or business that will be interviewing you. Note how long the company has been around, where they are located, and anything else that will leave you with a well-rounded idea of what they do.

Next, research the position you’re interviewing for. See what the most common responsibilities are that come with that position, and anything else that makes your potential job unique.

If you know who will be interviewing you, it doesn’t hurt to quickly take a look into their professional history either. By taking a look at their LinkedIn, you might notice that you both went to the same school, worked for the same company, or have mutual connections.

Prepare Yourself for Possible Interview Questions

Think about yourself and your job history. What do you bring to the table? What can you improve on? This is where you need to be brutally honest with yourself. If you genuinely do not have the skills for this position, you should be honest with your interviewer. It can be a waste of time for both and your interviewer to move forward if you aren’t the best fit for the position.

In saying that, if you landed the interview, chances are you have a clear shot at the job. Think about some of the things you’ve done in the past that helped you get the interview in the first place. What has made you stand out at past jobs, and what did you learn while you were there?

A potential employer will be happy to hear that, along with any other examples of you taking initiative at your past or current position.

What Should You Bring?

A big part of being completely prepared for an interview is having all the right documents with you.

You should have a crisp copy of your resume and cover letter, along with any letters of recommendation. You can also bring notes along with you. This indicated that you did research about the company in advance. It’s not uncommon for interviewees to write down a few questions of their own to ask at the end of the interview. Store these safely in a manila folder to bring with you to the interview. If possible, print these in colour using a high-quality printer!

If you don’t have a printer at home, head to your local library! More often than not, a public library will have computers, printers, and scanners available for public use, at a small price and with a library card.

Doing this can show initiative, and provide your interviewer with a hard copy of the documents that can help you get the job.

Look the Part

You’re almost ready for your interview!

Prepare your interview outfit several days before your interview. Don’t forget to plan a backup outfit, just in case you spill something on your clothing on your way out the door.

While getting ready, you should do your best to make sure that you look presentable. Neatly fix your hair and/or makeup, iron your outfit, and use a lint roller before you leave the house. Also make sure that your bag and shoes are clean and interview appropriate!

Looks like you’re all set for your interview! Make sure to leave with more than enough time to find the office building, with a minimum of 15 minutes early for your interview. For more information about interviews, staffing agencies, employment in Canada, and more, browse the ABL Career Blog!