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The job application process is daunting, but learning how to adequately prepare for an interview makes it much less so. The job market is full of available jobs for qualified candidates, but missing the mark on an interview can be a deal breaker. An interview is a chance to show your potential employer that you are the right pick for the job. Read below for some tips on how to prepare for an interview and blow away any employer.

Research the Company

Building a working background knowledge about the company you are interviewing with is paramount to interview success. By this point in the application process, you are most likely familiar with the job description for available jobs within the company. This is not enough. Knowing what makes the company tick makes you stand out from other applicants who stopped their research after finding the job posting.

In this research process, you should first and foremost visit the organization’s website. A company’s website is almost always the most comprehensive source of information on the company. You stand to gain the most background knowledge by first understanding what information the company wants to be seen by the outside world. Later on, you should also take some time to look at the organization’s presence on other websites, such as social media sites and broader industry websites.

Compare Yourself to the Job Requirements

In any interview, your job is to show the company the ways in which your particular skills and experience would be a perfect match to the available jobs at the company. In order to do this, you must align yourself with the qualifications set out by the company. Make both mental and physical notes about the skills you bring to the table and the position. Jotting these down beforehand allows you to make sure your qualifications stand out during the interview.

While it is acceptable (and sometimes even looked favorably upon) to bring notes to the interview, you should review your list of qualification matches at least a few times before the interview. Go over them again right before the interview begins, too, so it is fresh in your mind. You want these qualities and skills to stand out when answering interview questions. Memorizing exactly how you would be a good match for the job is a surefire way to show the interviewer that you are ready for the job.

Visualize and Practice

Practicing your answers to common interview questions gives you a basis on which to answer questions in the actual interview. Thinking about your answers beforehand, makes it easier to calm your nerves on the day of the interview. You will never know exactly which questions the interviewer will ask you beforehand, so for this step you should brainstorm common questions and those you might be relevant to this particular job. Even if none of these questions are actually asked, you will have practice getting into the mind of the person on the other side of the table.

You should also visualize yourself in the interview as a measure of preparation; simply work out the interview process in your mind. Alternatively, try taking it a step further and ask a friend or a family member to help you practice. Playing through the interview scenario makes the actual interview less nerve-wracking.

The interview stage is potentially the most important in applying for available jobs with a company. Your first impression is usually the one that lasts, it’s important to take it seriously. Adhering to these tips is a great way to get started on preparing for an interview, ensuring success in the process.

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