Tips for a Successful Interview

By Christy Eichelberger

Whether you're preparing for your first interview or you've been on more than you can count, your end goal is always the same- you want to get the job. Having a successful job interview is an essential step in getting hired for a job, and no matter how many interviews you have been on, you can't be too prepared.

Everyone has personal strengths and weaknesses, but it's how you present yourself that makes the difference in the interview. Whether you have a disability or not, job interviews are tough for everyone. Each interview that you get will require you to put in some time and effort preparing ahead of time.

One of the most important things you can do to prepare for an interview is to review some of the most commonly asked interview questions and practice your responses to them. Having good responses prepared ahead of time will not only help ease your nerves when it comes time for the interview, but will also enable you to answer with more polished and well thought out responses. Focus on answering questions as directly as possible and making sure that your responses completely answer the questions asked. Whenever possible, you should also do your best to make sure your answers relate to the position for which you are interviewing.

Another important step in preparing for an interview is to research the company ahead of time and be prepared to ask some of your own questions. During the interview you should be able to show that you know something about the company and the importance of the position for which you are interviewing. Researching the company ahead of time might also give you an idea of some questions you might want to ask about the company, its competitors, or the position you're applying for.

In addition to practicing your responses to interview questions and researching the company ahead of time, there are a few other things to keep in mind in order to be prepared. Make sure to print out a few extra copies of your resume to bring with you to the interview, as well as any relevant samples of your work. Plan out what you are going to wear ahead of time, and know where you're going and who you will be meeting once you arrive. If you require special accommodations, make sure you let the company know at least a couple of weeks ahead of time.

Employers take interviews very seriously, so make sure you arrive a few minutes early. This will show them that you respect their time and you are serious about getting the job. Turn off your cell phone before going into the interview and make sure you are completely focused on the interviewer.

For those who have a disability, the interview process can be both challenging and intimidating. But keep in mind that it's also intimidating for the interviewer, especially if they don't have a lot of experience communicating with someone with a disability. They might be worried that they will say or do the wrong thing or that they won't be able to communicate effectively during the interview.

To ease any anxiety, it's important for the job seeker to know that the interviewer is doing his or her  best to communicate, and as the interview goes on, it will get easier for both of you.

View each interview as a learning experience, and even if you don't get the job, you will take away something that will help you on the next interview. For additional assistance preparing for an interview, visit GettingHired.com's free online interview training course.