En Route: A Career Blog

How to Prepare for the Big Interview

AUTHOR: Darlene Zambruski
POSTED: July 29, 2008 at 5:22 am

Aside from having an effective resume prepared, one of the most important aspects of your job search will be knowing how to get ready for a face-to-face interview. There are several tips that will help you maximize your communications skills and leave the hiring authority ready to make you a job offer.

1. First of all, usually a telephone interview will be arranged by either the company representative or your personnel recruiter. You will want to be in top form on the phone, listening intently and giving enough information regarding your background to entice the hiring authority to bring you in and learn more about what you have to contribute.

2. When arriving for your interview, be sure to be on time, bright-eyed and bushy-tailed. If you are late for your appointment, know that the prospective employer will see this as a sign that you will be late to work. Be sure to greet everyone you are introduced to with a smile and a firm handshake. Image is important, so dress professionally and remember that you get one chance to make a good first impression.

3. As the interview progresses, be attentive and ask questions in a manner that will keep the conversation balanced. The last thing you want to do is talk too long and go on about details the employer may not be interested in. Watch and listen to make sure you are holding their attention by offering answers that are brief and to the point. It is always an excellent idea to do research about the company ahead of time so that you can ask intelligent questions and make reference to information you have learned about your prospective employer. The interviewer needs to hear that you are impressed with their organization and the direction they are headed in the marketplace.

4. By searching on the internet, you will find possible questions that might be asked. This will give you a chance to think over how you will respond on the day of your interview. Study the job requirements and if there is something you are familiar with but not proficient in, you can search these topics as well to be sure you will have knowledge in these areas. By preparing yourself ahead of time, answers will come much easier and the conversation will flow without hesitation. Of course, you won’t know exactly what they will ask, but you can have a bit of a heads up on some things that might surface by doing a little reading before you meet with the company.

5. Before leaving, be sure to acquire business cards from the key people you interviewed with. It is crucial to have this contact information so that you can follow-up with a thank you letter when you return home.

Keep in mind that it may take several interviews before you find the right career opportunity that best suits your expertise and interests. When you do, be sure to let the hiring authority know you would like to have an offer and that you will prove to be an asset to their team.

Darlene Z.

Darlene Zambruski is a resume writing expert and CPRW (Certified Professional Resume Writer) with more than 13 years of industry experience. She has authored 10,000+ resumes in every industry and at every career level.

» Read Full Bio

Sign Up for the En Route Newsletter

Career articles, resume advice, and interview tips delivered every month!

Propel Your Career

Get to the next level faster with professional Resume Writing or Editing products.

My writer took the time to get to know me and was able to provide input in areas I had not thought of. It was tough because I had to let go of some of my old identities to start in a new career, but she took me over the hump and captured who I am--and what I can give.

— Stephanie L.
Healthcare, Practitioner and Technician
New Jersey
» See All Testimonials

We're Busy Little Bees

Resumes Written This Month
Resumes Written Since 1998