Prepare for a Job Interview

It’s been said that it’s better to prepare for an opportunity and not getting it than it is to get an opportunity and is not prepared for it. The job interviewer is prepared for you so you should be prepared for them too.  Once you have set up the job interview use some time to get prepared for it.

Review your resume. The interviewer will have a copy of your resume on hand especially if you applied online or if you are contacted through a job site.  Think about the questions that you might be asked from your resume and how you will be able to answer them.

Review the job qualifications and duties. Prepared to answer questions on your qualifications for the job and how you will fulfill the duties.

Write down at least 3 of your professional strengths and 3 of your weaknesses and memorized them. That question usually comes up in the interview.  However, stay away from weaknesses that might hurt your chance of getting the job.  Keep is light doing go into too many details.

A common question that might come up is where do you see yourself 5 years from now?  Think about how you will answer such a question. You don’t have to go into great detail.  One example of answering the question is I am really excited about this position. Because I think that it will give me the opportunity to grow and develop in this company to take advantage of any other opportunity that comes along.

The question of what you know about us (the company) might come up. So, do your research on the company you will be interviewing with.  The internet makes it easier to research companies. So get on the internet to see what you can find out about the company that might help you in the interview.

Get your information together such as ID, social security card or eligible work ID/ documents, referral contact information, address and contact information of past jobs, copy of your resume, a note pad, and a pen.

Contact your referrals let them know that you are going on a job interview and ask if it is ok for you to use them as a referral.  Remember the best referral to use is people you know in a profession or educational capacity. Example: former boss, supervisor, attorney, teacher, or college professor.

Decide what you will be wearing the night before the interview.  Make sure it’s clean, neat, and is appropriate for the interview.

Decide how you will be getting there. If you will be taking public transportation you want to get a time schedule and give yourself as much extra time as possible.

Make sure you know the location of where you are going for the interview. Don’t be late.  GPS makes it much easier to get to your location, however; GPS timing doesn’t take into consideration traffic, stoplight, or anything that might happen on your way to the interview.   A 30-minute drive can easily turn into an hour or more and worst if you do not know the exact location of where you are going.  Check parking availability you don’t want to waste time searching for parking. Pay for parking if you must. Stay away from the parking meter.  Remember you want to give your interviewer your undivided attention. So, you don’t want to be sitting there worrying about time expiring at a meter.

Get there 10-20 minutes before the time of the interview announce yourself give whoever you speak to the name of the interviewer and let them know that you are there for a job interview.

Once you are called in for the interview turn off your cell phone or mute it.

Interview Preparation Worksheet Download


Additional Reading
To Ace Your Job Interview, Get into Character and Rehearse
by Cathy Salit
April 21, 2017