How Americans Prepare For Job Interviews

How Americans Prepare For Job Interviews

Job interviews can be a mentally taxing experience, even for the most prepared job candidate. It may come as no surprise that 93-percent of people say job interviews cause them some degree of anxiety.

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Preparing For Job Interviews

Before an in-person or phone interview takes place, there is a lot a candidate needs to do to prepare. From compiling examples of their best work to researching a potential employer and their team there’s no shortage of preparatory steps.

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To learn more about how Americans prepare for the process, including their biggest interview fears, JDP surveyed 2,018 people. The study revealed people spend an average of seven hours researching a company before an interview. Where are the top places candidates look for information? Eighty six percent of people say they research on a company’s website, 75-percent look for info on Google, 54-percent check LinkedIn, 53-percent look at Glassdoor, and 33-percent look at Facebook or other social media profiles. When asked what they’re hoping to find, people said they were most interested in learning more about customer information, leadership content, press releases and financials.  Two-thirds of people say they attempt for find information about their interviewer.

Besides learning more about the company and its team, many candidates take extra steps to make themselves as polished as possible ahead of the interview. To ease their nerves, the majority of people say they rehearse their responses to potential interview questions aloud, while 37-percent go so far as to conduct mock interviews with another person. And it’s not just practicing responses to work-related topics and questions, 2-in-3 people said they prepared anecdotes ahead of time, and 1-in-4 planned a joke to use, just in case.

Before the actual interview, most people say they listen to music to relax, roughly 4-in-10 say they practice visualization, 3-in-10 practice a mantra or positive self-talk, while others mediate, exercise, or strike a power pose to get their head in a good space.

Interview Timings

One of the trickiest parts of job searching is making time for the interview. JDP found that 58-percent of people have taken a job interview during their regular workday. When asked how they handled it, 23-percent used PTO to take time off, while 10-percent went to the interview during their lunch break, nine percent made up an excuse (i.e. doctors appointment), seven percent said they called in sick, five percent worked from home, and only four percent said they were honest with their current employers and told them the truth about having an interview.

When asked what their current employer would do if they found out they were looking for a new job, many (36-percent) said it would likely strain their current working relationship, roughly 1-in-5 said it would make it harder to advance, while only five-percent said they would actually get fired. But employees aren’t in it alone. Roughly 64-percent of employees currently looking for new jobs said they had a coworker who offered to serve as a reference without giving away to their company or boss that that individual wanted to leave.

The study was conducted in January 2020, surveying 2,018 people about their experience in preparing for job interviews.

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Jacob Wolinsky is the founder of, a popular value investing and hedge fund focused investment website. Jacob worked as an equity analyst first at a micro-cap focused private equity firm, followed by a stint at a smid cap focused research shop. Jacob lives with his wife and four kids in Passaic NJ. - Email: jacob(at) - Twitter username: JacobWolinsky - Full Disclosure: I do not purchase any equities anymore to avoid even the appearance of a conflict of interest and because at times I may receive grey areas of insider information. I have a few existing holdings from years ago, but I have sold off most of the equities and now only purchase mutual funds and some ETFs. I also own a few grams of Gold and Silver
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