Today I went in for an interview with an insurance company. Was I nervous? Yes, mostly because it was the first formal interview I’ve been to in a while. While it gave me good experience and I’m happy to say, led me to a second, there are so many things I wasn’t prepared for. So I thought I’d hand out some tips and advie.

Step One: Preparation. Always prepare a few days in advance. Have several copies of your resume printed out and in a folderl You should also have a notebook and pen available in case you have questions or need to write down information. And of course, try to sleep!

Step Two: Day Of. Get up with enough time to eat and get ready. You should eat so one, your stomach isn’t growling during the interview, and two for energy. Dress professionally, no matter what the interview. Employers like to see that you have good hygeine and that you feel the meeting is important enough for you to look nice. It’s also a good indication of how you are in everyday life.

Step Three: Interview. Dont’ be afraid to interact. Ask questions, smile, be confident, laugh. It’s easy to do when you are confident and comfortable.

I also have noticed there are a few questions that get asked repeatedly.

What’s a unique characteristic that makes you different? You could give the generic BS OR you could be real. Pick something you’re proud of. For instance, I’m running a marathon in a few days.

Why should we hire you? You might be the most driven person in the world, but come up with something that pertains to one particular talent that would be good for the job. I’m applying for a management position, so I talked about my experience managing the college newspaper.

What’s your biggest accomplishment? I would say graduating college is good, but anything you have done that further enhances your education, training, or you as a person is right on.

Don’t be nervous! Look for my next posting about women in the workforce…