Preparing for Your Interview

Interviews are a vital part of the hiring process, employers use them to get to know you and see if you are a good fit for their job and company. This is your big shot to show them that you are right for this job so prepare appropriately!

Dress for Success: Even for phone interviews, especially for Skype/video calls. If you aren’t sure how fancy to be, do some research into the company online. Regardless, dress in a manner you think is appropriate and professional.

Have Questions: A huge red flag in interviews is interviewees not having questions. Always a have a few ready, you may not get to all of them, but they are important to have. Some options include:

  • What would a successful candidate look like to you in three months? Six months? (this question will give you a more specific overview of what the employer is looking for long term and their goals for the position)
  • Why is this position available? Have you changed it in anyway when you posted it? (this is a great question to discover more about how the company works. They may have tweaked the position after the last person left therefore making it something new that may not be fully formed yet)

Remember, some of these may be answered during the interview. If you only have one left, bring that up at the time “you answered most of my questions already but…” You may also think of more questions during the interview so be sure to file those away. Never ask about pay, benefits or vacation unless it is brought up. Do let them know your schedule issues if it going to be an extreme factor (eg: can’t work graveyard, only available for certain times on certain days).

Look the company up on social media, including LinkedIn: How they present themselves online is a great way to understand their tone as a company.

Don’t just look at their social media, but all aspects of their website as well: Look at who is on their team, if there are photos, get to know the faces so you are familiar with the roles of your interviewers. Read their “about us” section but also look at their client pages (if applicable) or work examples. Scroll through their blog to see what topics they find important. Understanding the company is a great step towards becoming a great fit with them

Look at all parts of the job posting and think about how you are qualified for each: If you don’t think you are qualified in one thing, don’t lie! Always say you are willing to learn, that you are not afraid to ask questions or say, “I don’t know.”

Decide on a trip plan! Look it up and leave early! You never know what kind of delay there might be. If you think you are going to be even a bit late call, (don’t email unless you have no other contact info) to tell them, if you don’t end up being late great and if you are, they will know that you value open truthful communication. If you end up arriving super early, don’t go in right away (weather permitting). Being very early can throw off your interviewers and cause awkwardness up front.

Don’t Look at your Phone! In your interview or in the lobby. Even if your notes are on there, interviewers don’t know that and will assume you are playing a game or scrolling through Instagram. Remember receptionists are a vital part of the company and may be asked for their opinion of you. If you do hope to have a chance to look at your notes one more time before the interview, (don’t assume you will always have this), write them out on paper or look at them on your phone before you go in the building.

Take the last 5 minutes before your interview to breathe and relax: This is just an interview. The worst thing that can happen is that you will not be successful in getting this job.

Send a thank you email once you get home: “It was great to meet you, I enjoyed our conversation and learning more about the company/the position. Please let me know if you need any more information from me and I look forward to hearing from you” Remember that they may not always respond, and you may never hear back if you are unsuccessful. As frustrating as that can be, don’t hold out hope for too long. Keep looking and applying.

Remember that interviews are not one way: You also need to feel that the job, the people and the company are a good fit for you. If you feel the need to turn down a job offer, don’t go into specifics, thank them and say that you are no longer available.

Good Luck!


Career Seeker Coaching Advice, Interviews, Job Tips