Job Interview Preparation
Job interview preparation tips are a dime a dozen on the internet these days. You can find volumes of "how to" information from
the internet, books, and magazine articles. How do you decide what advice provides the biggest potential to
actually get you hired?
After years of interviewing candidates, we've assembled our top ten interview tips that we
think can make a difference. Here they are:
Since first impressions are hard to counter, make a lasting impact by getting out of the
gate quickly. This means:
a) Show up on time
b) Dress the part - shoes shined, appropriate attire, etc. If you need help with this,
review our section on Interview Attire;
c) Smile - and use a firm handshake. No "wet fish" grips need apply!
Be prepared. Spend time researching the company and the industry. If you're not sure where to find good
information, check out Job Interview Advice that Works for some suggestions.
Know your resume cold. For each position, be able to speak concisely on 2-3 specific
accomplishments that distinguished you in that role. This is key job interview preparation. You don't want to appear as
a deer in the headlights when talking about your experience! Think about your resume as a story about your background. Be prepared
to tell a short story about each experience - and a more in depth story in case the interviewer probes.
Ask good questions. See Interview Questions to Ask if you need help.
Send a thank you letter to everyone you meet with. It's a good idea to ask for business cards -
that way, you'll have names and titles for your follow up notes. Our Interview Thank You Letter section
will give you some good tips. Our Interview Thank You Letter Samples shows what
the finished product should look like.
Listen to the question asked - and then answer it. This is not like a political interview where
if you don't like the question, you just talk about something else. A good interviewer won't let you get
away with that.
Avoid talking about salary, benefits, vacation time and similar "what's in it for me" issues.
During the interview, you want to focus on what you can bring to the organization. There will be plenty of
time to understand and potentially negotiate what's in it for you.
Avoid talking about anything negative, including any former boss or any former organization.
Roll with the punches. If something unexpected happens during the interview - the hiring manager has a
crisis and needs to cut the meeting short, the hiring manager is late, substitutions are made to your
schedule - be flexible. How you handle the unexpected will be noticed!
Close the sale! As the interview draws to an end, ask about next steps and time frames.
Ask how your background matches what the organization is looking for. Don't be afraid of the answer here.
If the interviewer points to something that's missing in your experience, you'll have an opportunity to
correct the record or explain how you can apply what you've done to meet the position's requirements.
Follow our top 10 job interview preparation tips and you'll
be on your way to landing that next opportunity!