Preparing for a Job Interview
If you have been called for a job interview, congratulations! Your resume, letter, or phone call has gotten the employer interested in you. Your interview will allow the employer to get a better sense of whether you’re a good fit for the job. The interview is also your opportunity to learn about the job responsibilities and expectations, get a sense of how it might be to work for this employer, and discuss ways you could be a valuable employee. From the interview, you’ll determine if the job is right for you. You’re also likely to better understand how your learning disability might or might not present challenges in this job and workplace.
Most interviews are face-to-face. You meet with an interviewer at a scheduled time. Some employers, however, conduct telephone interviews, particularly if the job you’re applying for is out of town. Telephone interviews are just like in-person interviews and can be prepared for in the same way. Remember that during a phone interview, you’ll need to make a favorable impression without the benefits of a professional appearance, facial expressions, eye contact, and so on. Remember to:
- Go to a quiet place where you won’t be distracted
- Keep your resume and the job description next to your phone so you can refer to them
- Have pen and paper (or computer) handy to take notes
- Turn off call-waiting so you won’t be interrupted
- If your cell phone service isn’t always reliable, use a landline phone
- Have a glass of water nearby
- Speak slowly and clearly
- Don’t interrupt
If you’re having a video interview, make sure you’re dressed as if the meeting were being conducted in person. Be aware that the camera will pick up anything that’s behind you, so find a place that is tidy and free from distractions (such as someone walking behind you or a pet jumping on your lap).
After thanking the interviewer, ask if you might arrange a face-to-face meeting. In-person interviews are the best way to make job decisions, both for you and for an employer.
Follow any form of interview with a thank-you note, either sent by regular mail or by email. Direct your note to the person who interviewed you. If you’re still interested in the job, be sure to mention that in your note. Follow up with a phone call about a week after your interview.
PracticeJob interviews are stressful for anyone. To reduce the stress, prepare for your interview by considering in advance what you will say when asked typical questions. Download “Practice Questions for Your Job Interview” and use it to take notes.
It’s also valuable to role-play an interview with a friend or family member. You might tape or film the role play so you can evaluate your performance.
- Job Interview Questions and Best Answers
- Tips for a Successful First Job Interview
- Ten Tips on Preparing for a Job Interview