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Interviewing, for even the most experienced job candidates, can still be nerve-wracking. Stay on top of your game with these tips to make sure your next interview goes smoothly and ends in success:

 

Research the job.

Don’t walk into that interview without extensively researching the company, the job itself, and the industry they work in. Interviewers often ask questions about how you think you align with the company’s mission, how you perceive the company to be doing in its field, or how their competitors are measuring up. Given the amount of time it can take to research a company thoroughly, focus your attention on a few selected industries.

 

Be clear about why you want this job.

Even if the interviewer doesn’t explicitly ask why you’re the best candidate for the job, go in prepared to answer. Have three to five solid reasons in mind that you can expand on, and loop those reasons into what about the job appeals to you. If the interviewer can’t sense a strong interest in the job and company, it doesn’t matter how good you are: you likely aren’t getting an offer.

 

Anticipate potential concerns.

One of the challenges of interviewing is that there are more applicants than spots available, and that means the interview is as much a getting-to-know-you process as it is a screening. Interviewers are looking for ways to weed out people who don’t fit certain criteria. By anticipating what these concerns are, you can then speak to why you are a good fit, regardless.

 

Familiarize yourself with common interview questions.

There are lots of “how to interview” books and articles out for consumption, and any one list or book has dozens of questions. Try to find the ones that are most applicable to you given your current status, and figure out answers to those ahead of time.

 

Come with questions.

Questions for the interviewer indicate sincere interest and attentiveness, and a lack of questions can be taken to mean a lack thereof. In the case of having a series of interviews with the same company as part of the potential hiring process, it’s okay to reuse some of the questions. Make sure to come up with one or two original questions, however, which you can think of and cater to each specific interview.

 

Practice!

If you’re worried that practicing your answers ahead of time will sound rehearsed, don’t worry about that, because they won’t. Instead, practicing allows you to grow more comfortable with your answers and will increase your confidence. Speaking with confidence will come off as more convincing and smoother than it would otherwise. Practice in front of a mirror or with a friend, but make sure you practice out loud, whatever you do.