Today is the start of a new school year for my kids and probably most kids around the country. It is a time of excitement and can also be a little frightening too . This is a big year in particular for my youngest since she is starting High School. This means she’ll be in a new building with new teachers, new students, new lockers, new curriculum and new pressures.

To help her prepare for a successful first day and high school experience, we attended an open house last week which gave students a chance to find and practice opening their lockers. It also gave them time to walk around and get a better feel for the layout of the school.  During our visit like most of the kids, we completed a walk through, going from my daughter’s 1st hour classroom to her 2nd hour, and 3rd hour and so on. This dry run helped her learn her route and offered a chance to meet her teachers and check out the classrooms.

The open house didn’t eliminate fears but it did put them into perspective and is one way to prepare for the big event and new changes to follow. Job seekers can benefit from preparing for upcoming interviews in the same manner.

If you have an interview coming up in an unfamiliar part of town or in a different city, take a drive to the company before the interview to confirm the directions and estimated time it will take to get to the location. While there notice the type of employees, their dress and mannerisms as they enter and exit. Do they seem to look forward to their day or do they have a look of dread as they come and go?

Prepare also by checking out the website and researching the company on the internet. What image are they trying to convey? How did the company do last year or the year before? How are they handling the current economy? What are others writing about them? Are there particular projects, issues or problems currently hindering the success of the company? It is worth your while to find out what you are getting into and make sure this is  someplace you’d like to work.

Search out present or past employees on the social and professional networking sites to see what their own employees are saying about the company. If possible introduce yourself and find out what their thoughts are and what the attitude or atmosphere is within the company. Does it fit with your personality and goals?

Planning and preparing before you go to the interview so you understand the scope, environment, and management style of the company is your best chance for a successful interview. Just like my daughter and other high school kids getting ready for their first day, your new world will consume you for the next several years, so make sure you are heading where you want to end up.

Shine On Job Seekers!

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