Authors: Ruth Mayhew, Demand Media
A personal interview is the reward for a successfully presented cover letter and resume. Recruiters and hiring managers generally don't interview every person who applies for a job. Therefore, the fact that you've been selected to meet face-to-face with a prospective employer is proof that you appear to have the qualifications a hiring manager wants in her next employee. Preparing for your interview is the best way to ensure you'll make a good impression.
Learning about the company you want to work for must be part of your preparation because you need to know the philosophy and culture of the company you're interested in joining. Remember, the interview process is as much about the company determining if you're the right candidate as it is you deciding whether this is a company with which you want to be associated. Read newspaper articles, trade journals, online postings and the company's website to become familiar with the company's reputation, mission, products and services.
Search for typical interview questions. There are many online forums and print resources that help job seekers prepare for interviews with specific companies in addition to just general interview preparation. Create a list of practice questions based what you've learned about the organization and the kinds of questions typically asked for your occupation. For example, if you're a registered nurse, look for standard questions related to clinical expertise, medical specialties, medical records privacy, direct patient care do's and don't's and health-care facility policies and procedures.
Write your answers to interview questions and read through your responses several times before you begin rehearsing them. Practice your...