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8 Tips to Help You Prepare for a Job Interview

Job interviews can be unnerving, making you feel jittery and anxious. But they certainly don’t have to be, and there are several things you can do ahead of the interview to make you feel more comfortable and better prepared. Preparation is half the battle. When you properly prepare for the interview, you can present your best self and demonstrate why you’re the right person for the job.

Remember that job interviews are a two-way street. You’re sizing up the company to see if it is a good fit for you and will meet the expectations of what you’re looking for in your next role. At the same time, the company wants to determine whether you’re the best candidate with the necessary skills and if you’ll fit in with the company culture.

Here are 8 tips to help you stand out at your next interview.

  1. Research the company on its website. Go to the company’s website and read about the company’s history, its leadership, its mission statement, and its values. If corporate social responsibility is important to you, see where they engage in helping others. Learn about the company’s products and services and figure out how your goals and skills align with the company’s goals and the job you’re interviewing for.
  2. Research what others are saying about the company. Look at the company’s profile on social and digital platforms and see what employees (present and former) are saying about the company. There is a wealth of information on there about the interview process, work/life balance, salary ranges for certain job titles, and the pros and cons of working for the company.
  3. Carefully review and dissect the job description. You want to be able to speak to how your experience and skills make you the best candidate for the job. Pick out the requirements of the job that you can relate to and be prepared to tell the interviewer how you tackled that aspect of the job in a previous role. Think of questions that the interviewer might have for you and be ready to give examples from your experience that demonstrate you have what it takes to do the job.
  4. Find out the names and titles of those who will conduct the interview. Look these people up on LinkedIn to see what they do for the company, where they have worked before, their education, and volunteer interests to see if you can draw a parallel to your own background. When you say something like, “I see you went to ABC University. What a coincidence, my brother went there as well,” you break the ice, and the interview becomes more personal and friendly.
  5. Prepare answers for commonly asked questions. Some questions will most likely be tactical in terms of your skills and experiences, while others will be behavioral to see how you might act in certain business situations.

Here are a few that interviewers often ask:

  • What about the job interests you?
    • Why do you want to work for our company?
    • What makes you the right choice for this job?
    • What’s something you’ve done in your last job that you’re proud of?
    • How do you manage a disagreement with your manager/coworker?
    • What do you do when you’re given something to do that you don’t understand?
    • What are your salary expectations?

Coming in prepared with answers to these more frequently asked questions will help you stay calm and focused during your interview. If you need a longer list of possible questions, offers one with answers as well.

  • Make a list of questions for the interviewer. These might include:
    • How long have you worked here?
    • What do you like most about working here?
    • How will you evaluate my performance in the first 30/60/90 days?
    • What does a typical day look like in this position?
    • What is the logical career path for a person in this role?
    • What do you think about the management style here?
    • Does the company value transparency and an “open door policy”?

Interviewers expect that you’ll have questions you want to ask. Remember that you are interviewing them too!

  • Polish your resume. Consider having a professional review your resume and rewrite it, if necessary. Make sure that you include all relevant information for the role you want. Consider removing job titles/responsibilities that are over 10 years old, especially if you have had or are looking for a career change. Perform a spell check to avoid appearing like you did it at the last minute and didn’t proofread it. If you are 50 or older, you may want to remove your year(s) of graduation from a college or graduate program.
  • Make sure you arrive on time. Whether you are meeting face-to-face or via Zoom, be sure that you arrive on time and dress professionally. Arriving late sends the message that you don’t care about wasting the interviewer’s time. It’s not a good look and you might be wasting your time because the interviewer has already made a judgment call about you. If an emergency arises, be sure to let the interviewer or recruiter know that you need to reschedule and give as much notice as possible.

Follow these tips to make sure you are as prepared as you can be to sell yourself well. Be sure to make eye contact during the interview and be aware of your body language (i.e., folding your arms means you’re not interested).

Make sure that you follow up with a thank you email, and inquire about the next steps in the process. Reiterate why you’re the best candidate for the job and what you bring to the table. If you forgot to mention something important during the interview, here is an opportunity for you to bring it up. You may need to follow up several times if you don’t get a response right away. Remember not to get discouraged. The perfect job is out there for you; it just might take a while to land it.

If working with a recruiting partner make sure you are in constant communication with them, debriefing and sharing insight at each step in the interview process.

If you want to learn how Core Resource Group can help you find your next role, please reach out to Dorothy Schoening at or call 908-789-9400.

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