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Job Search Preparation

For the best assistance in preparing for an interview, create an account using Big Interview, a free resource for Southern students, alumni, faculty and staff. Big Interview is a proven, step-by-step system that combines expert video lessons with interactive interview practice tools. In a rush? Check out some interview tips below.

Know the employer and the job
A crucial step toward obtaining employment is knowing about the job you are pursuing. Research the company’s website and be knowledgeable about the business and its purpose.

Review common interview questions
Rehearse concise and intelligent answers to different interview questions and be prepared for any questions the interviewer might ask.

Dress for success
Own a wardrobe that fits well and has a professional appearance. Your attire is key to making a good first impression. Men should typically wear a dark suit to interviews; women should typically wear a dark suit with a skirt or slacks. Keep your colors and style conservative and matching. Do not be too casual.

Arrive early for the interview
Never be late for an interview. Aim to be there about 15 minutes early.

Put your best foot forward
During the interview, answer questions that showcase your skills and demonstrate why you are a good fit for the specific job you are interviewing for. Make a list of several qualities you want to emphasize about yourself and incorporate those attributes into your responses.

Good body language is important
Make sure you are smiling, keeping good eye contact, maintaining strong posture, nodding, and actively listening.

Ask insightful questions
Review the job description and prepare a few questions to ask the interviewer. Inquiring about the job and company emphasizes your interest in the job.

Sell yourself and close the deal
An interview is a competition. You are already being considered because you are at the interview. The hired candidate is often the person who answers the questions best and showcases that he or she is the best fit for the job.

Thank the interviewer
Thank the interviewer in person. Also, send an email and thank the interviewer for taking the time to interview you. This gesture demonstrates your politeness and sincere interest in the position.

What to bring
Copies of your resume; notepad and pen; portfolio/sample work; list of questions to ask; list of your best qualities to emphasize; references; your identification; and a positive attitude.

If you would like to learn more about job interviewing or to schedule a practice interview, make an appointment on your HANDSHAKE account, then click on "Career Center" in the top right-hand corner and click on "Appointments"  then "Schedule a New Appointment". Follow prompts and submit in order to book an appointment.