6 Tips On How To Get Ready For An Interview

1. Research the industry and company.
An interviewer may ask how you perceive his company’s position in its industry, who the firm’s competitors are, what its competitive advantages are, and how it should best go forward. For this reason, avoid trying to thoroughly research a dozen different industries. Focus your job search on just a few industries instead.

2. Clarify your “selling points” and the reasons you want the job.
Prepare to go into every interview with three to five key selling points in mind, such as what makes you the best candidate for the position. Have an example of each selling point prepared (“I have good communication skills. For example, I persuaded an entire group to …”). And be prepared to tell the interviewer why you want that job – including what interests you about it, what rewards it offers that you find valuable, and what abilities it requires that you possess. If an interviewer doesn’t think you’re really, really interested in the job, he or she won’t give you an offer – no matter how good you are!

3. Anticipate the interviewer’s concerns and reservations.
There are always more candidates for positions than there are openings. So interviewers look for ways to screen people out. Put yourself in their shoes and ask yourself why they might not want to hire you (“I don’t have this,” “I’m not that,” etc.). Then prepare your defense: “I know you may be thinking that I might not be the best fit for this position because [their reservation]. But you should know that [reason the interviewer shouldn’t be overly concerned].”

4. Prepare for common interview questions.
Every “how to interview” book has a list of a hundred or more “common interview questions.” (You might wonder just how long those interviews are if there are that many common questions!) So how do you prepare? Pick any list and think about which questions you’re most likely to encounter, given your age and status (about to graduate, looking for a summer internship). Then prepare your answers so you won’t have to fumble for them during the actual interview.

5. Line up your questions for the interviewer.
Come to the interview with some intelligent questions for the interviewer that demonstrate your knowledge of the company as well as your serious intent. Interviewers always ask if you have any questions, and no matter what, you should have one or two ready. If you say, “No, not really,” he or she may conclude that you’re not all that interested in the job or the company. A good all-purpose question is, “If you could design the ideal candidate for this position from the ground up, what would he or she be like?”

If you’re having a series of interviews with the same company, you can use some of your prepared questions with each person you meet (for example, “What do you think is the best thing about working here?” and “What kind of person would you most like to see fill this position?”) Then, try to think of one or two others during each interview itself.

6. Be ready to handle illegal and inappropriate questions.
Interview questions about your race, age, gender, religion, marital status, and sexual orientation are inappropriate and in many areas illegal. Nevertheless, you may get one or more of them. If you do, you have a couple of options. You can simply answer with a question (“I’m not sure how that’s relevant to my application”), or you can try to answer “the question behind the question”: “I don’t know whether I’ll decide to have children in the near future, but if you’re wondering if I’ll be leaving my job for an extended period of time, I can say that I’m very committed to my career and frankly can’t imagine giving it up.”

Six Ways to Declutter Your Windows PC

1. Search for and Remove Old Apps

Older, unused applications take up space on your drive that could be used for other purposes. On top of that, many applications–especially those that have not been updated recently–pose security threats. If you want to keep your machine running as smoothly as possible, take the time at least once a year to remove applications you have not used. Open Settings > Apps > Apps & features to see the list of currently-installed applications on your PC. You can sort by name, size, or install date. We recommend sorting by size. Since your digital spring cleaning is focused on efficiency, look at the largest programs you have installed.

2. Clean Up Your Browser

Your browser automatically stores cookies that can slow down your browsing experience. These cookies enable automatic logins on different websites, as well as form autocompletes. The browser also stores the cached version of different websites. Sure, while the content might change each time you visit Reddit, the images and specific settings do not. These are stored in your browser and load almost instantly. A cached version of a website hastens load times and reduces the amount of time you spend staring at progress bars. It’s good to clear your cache at least once a year, though. Not only does this eliminate many of the problems that arise from cached information (after all, one of the main troubleshooting tips is to clear your cache), but it also ensures you have the most recent versions of web pages and increases the performance of your PC.

To clear your browser in Chrome, click the three buttons in the top-right corner and click Settings. Click Clear browsing data and choose Cookies and other data and Cached images and files. Once you have chosen these two, click Clear data.

3. Delete Unnecessary System Files

Your system accumulates a variety of different files during operation. Some of these are related solely to the installation of an application and are never used again, while others are log files and error reports that are only valid until the next time you launch a program. The problem is that many of these files are never deleted. The good news is that Windows 10 has an integrated, built-in tool that helps you clear out these files and free up storage space. Open Settings > System > Storage > Temporary files. This displays a list of all temporary files on your PC. You can choose between individual sections or select all of the files and delete them.

Select Temporary Internet Files and Temporary files and then click Remove Files at the top of the window. This will permanently delete these files, but don’t worry–any necessary files will automatically be generated and configured when you launch a program that needs it.

4. Clean Your Inbox

Every Spring-cleaning day has at least one task you don’t want to tackle. Maybe it’s the bathrooms, or maybe it’s that upstairs closet you haven’t opened in two years. In your digital life, this obstacle to getting your digital life organized is most likely your inbox. The ideal goal is to reach Inbox Zero, but if you have a limited amount of time just aim to delete older emails. Anything more than a year old is likely safe to delete. If older emails contain something you want to keep, download it to your computer. Your inbox has a limited amount of space, whether you host your own address or use a Gmail account. Deleting old emails and their attachments frees up space for new messages.

5. Run a Virus Scan

Another thing you should do is perform a virus and malware scan on your system. Often, the most harmful digital infections are those that don’t make a splash–they sit on your drive for weeks or months collecting information. Passwords, credit card numbers, and more can all be put at risk and you might never know until someone begins spending your money. If you don’t already run periodic virus scans, you should schedule one at least once per month. Perform both a virus scan and a malware scan on your PC as part of your digital cleaning. This will let you know if anything is hiding out in some dusty sector of your hard drive and help you remove it.

6. Update Your Software

It’s never a glamorous job and it can sometimes lead to more problems, but updating the Windows operating system and all of your hardware drivers is normally going to make things run smoother. With the big Windows updates that come out every 6 months (usually around April and October), it’s best to wait at least a month after the release before updating. Whatever issues and bugs are in the first release will usually all be fixed after a month or so. Updating your drivers is important as there manufacturers are always releasing updates to improve performance, compatibility and stability.

Take the chance this spring to straighten up your PC. You’ll find that it runs better, is easier to navigate, and safer to use. It doesn’t have to take long–most everything on this list can be accomplished in an hour or two.