Nail the Interview

I Have a Job Interview, Now What?

Visit the cartoon contest at for more job laughs

Your work has paid off, you have a job interview, but are you prepared? Many people think they can “wing it” at an interview without any preparation, but very few people can pull this off. There are thousands of articles on this topic, but the basic points are generally the same. There are several types of interviews: initial interviews with recruiters, telephone interviews and “in-person” interviews, and final round interviews. Some of the basics interview tips. are:

  • Be Prepared – Research the company before the interview –  There are many resources you can use to get a better understanding of the company’s products and markets. It is easier to do this with public companies, but you can find out information on almost any company these days.

  • LinkedIn – There is an excellent chance that the company has a listing on LinkedIn.  Take a look and find out all you can. You will most certainly find current and former employees on LinkedIn who may be linked to someone you know (see below).
  • Talk to the People You Know – Maybe you know someone (or know someone who knows someone) who currently works at the company (or maybe worked there at some point).  Leverage LinkedIn for this as well.
  • Talk to Your Recruiter –  Recruiters want you to get the job, talk to them about company background and what you may need to know on the interview.
  • Know Your Interviewer – Knowing something about who is interviewing you would be a plus. Take a look at their work history, schools, majors, etc. (LinkedIn is a great resource for this). This will help you find some common areas of interest as well as get a better understanding of the individual.
  • Know Your Resume – Sounds basic, but make sure you know everything on your resume (you’d be surprised about the points you may forget). Review your resume prior to the interview and focus on those areas that are aligned with the role. It’s never to late to check one more time for typographical errors on your resume.  Lastly, bring a copy of your resume with you.
  • Review Potential Interviewer Questions – look at the most common (and not so common) questions asked by interviewers and know how to answer the questions.  There are a number of interview question lists you can review to get an idea as to what to expect. Tough questions like “What are your salary requirements” and “Why did you leave your last job”.
  • Prepare Your Own Questions – Be prepared to ask a range of questions during the interview. Have a comprehensive list in case the interviewer answers some of your questions before you’ve had the chance to ask some of them. You will want a wide range of interview topic questions, such as company culture, how success is measured, challenges, is it a new role or existing, etc. Take a look at 10 Questions to Ask at an Interview.
  • Know the Job Description – Study the job description and be prepared to convince the interviewer why you are the perfect person for the job.  Make sure you understand all aspects (there is nothing worse than not fully knowing the details of they job for which you are being interviewed.
  • Strengths and Weaknesses – Know what you are good at (and not good at) and be prepared to discuss them. Prepare to speak to those strengths and experiences which align with the job description.
  • Dress Properly – generally speaking, you can’t go wrong with proper business attire. This may not be the case all of the time (such as Internet startups), so use your judgement based on the industry, position and company.

You think you’ve done everything right but you are just not getting any job offers. The following list includes some of the most common reasons people fail on an interview:

    • Failure to read background material on interview techniques
    • Not knowing the answers to common interview questions
    • Not dressing properly
    • Chewing gum during the interview
    • Arriving late (or arriving too early)
    • Not knowing the details of their own resume
    • Discussing compensation requirements without being asked the question
    • Saying that your are “rushed for time”
    • Displaying a negative attitude or generally being negative about your current employee
    • Vague interview answers
    • Wearing too much perfume or aftershave
    • Forgetting the name of the interviewer
    • Lying about your skills or experience
    • Lying about your education
    • Yawning (get plenty of sleep)
    • Not making eye contact or making too much

hopeless job seeker turns to magical thinking

Visit the cartoon contest at for more job laughs.

We are always eager to hear from our readers. Please feel free to contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding CareerAlley content.

Good luck in your search,

New Careeralley Full Logo Small Cropped

Visit CareerAlley Job Search

What's next?

home popular resources subscribe search