Preparing for a Job Interview

I’m sure each one of us would agree that one of the most stressful events in our lives can be not only going on job interview but also preparing for a job interview.


From the moment a face to face meeting begins, everything is about you – your appearance, speech, ability, personality, even your smile – is being assessed. It’s up to you to create a favorable impression. And preparation is the only sure-fire way to make an important job interview a winning experience.

By following just few simple steps, you can better prepare yourself before the interview:

  • Select and layout your complete interview wardrobe. Carefully go over what you plan to wear the day before.
  • Sort out the credentials you plan to bring with you. Be sure to include several copies of your resume, letters of commendation. Be sure to include any achievements you received in your field.
  • Have a notebook and pen handy. Review notes and other data you compiled to help prepare you for the interview.
  • Most importantly, get a good night’s sleep! You never want to arrive late for an interview.

As an applicant in any job interview situation you are bound to be tense no matter how relaxed the interviewer may try to make you feel in his attempt to have you reveal yourself fully. During the interview, the interviewer will take note of your knowledge of the company, the manner in which you respond to questions as well as in the kind of questions you ask him. He will observe how you talk, sit, and smile. You always want to listen attentively. He will observe your enthusiasm (or lack of it). You always want to present a positive attitude. You shouldn’t talk too much during your interview; you don’t want to talk yourself right out of the job. One of your biggest goals during the interview (besides being offered the position) is to get the interviewer to like you. All these observations will be the basis for determining whether or not you are rejected, placed in a doubtful category, maybe be invited back for a 2nd interview, or in some cases, you’ll actually be offered the position.

What are the Most Common Job Interview Questions

When heading in for a job interview, it is always important to try and be prepared for the types of questions that you will be asked. The more prepared you are, the better you look to your potential employer. Below are some of the most common questions that are asked during job interviews. We are sure that at least a couple of them will be brought up in your next interview!


  1. Why do you want to work for this organization?
  1. Why do you think you should be hired for this position?
  1. What is your means of transportation?
  1. What are your goals?
  1. What words would you use to describe yourself?
  1. Do you like teamwork?
  1. Are you available to work overtime if requested?
  1. Where do you see yourself five years from now?
  1. What is your greatest strength?
  1. What is your greatest weakness?
  1. Do you prefer multi-tasking or concentrating on one project at a time?
  1. What do you like/dislike about your present job?
  1. What are your goals for the future?
  1. What are your salary requirements?
  1. What can you contribute to this company?
  1. What did you like/dislike about your previous job?
  1. Are you willing to relocate?
  1. Do you have any questions for me?
  1. If I were your supervisor and asked you to do something you disagreed with what would you do?

Top 5 Job Interview Tips

You’ve found the job of your dreams and you got yourself an interview. We’ve all felt the stomach-churning mix of excitement coupled with terror when that coveted interview is circled in red on the calendar. Take a moment to review our Top 5 Job Interview Tips to help turn that interview into your new job.

job interview

Tip #1:

Know the company.

Knowing as much as you can about the company you’re interviewing for is an invaluable tool and can give you a leg up as far as understanding what they might be looking for in a potential new employee. Visit the company website to familiarize yourself with how the company views itself, its mission statement and history as well as specific products and services. can provide a ton of company-specific information, much of it from people with first-hand experience there. Even social media such as Facebook and Twitter can provide insights into a company you might otherwise not have access to. Many interviews begin with a general ‘So, what do you know about our company?’ and you want to be able to wow them with your knowledge, foresight and interest.

Tag-a-long Tip:  Be sure you understand  – at least to some degree – what the specific job you’re interviewing for entails. It might sound obvious, but having knowledge of the position itself allows you to tailor your answers to highlight your most relevant skills. This can be a critical preparation.

Tip #2:

Practice, Plan, and Practice Some More.

Having some idea of what questions might be asked and planning how best to answer to ensure that your particular skill set shines through makes a big difference and keeps the look of panic off your face. You don’t want to come across as scripted, but having some key thoughts prepared and at the ready should allow you to relax and your abilities to shine. Go over some hypothetical replies out loud when you’re in the car or otherwise alone so you can get comfortable with how you might answer.

Some common interview questions to be prepared to answer:

  • What did you like or dislike about your previous job?
  • What is your greatest strength? Greatest weakness?
  • Describe a difficult work situation and how did you handle it?
  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why should we hire you?

Tag-A-Long Tip: Be prepared for an interview from the moment you’re ready to make contact with a company. Your very first call could lead to an immediate phone interview or pre-screening, so review your resume and have some responses ready.

Tip #3:

Know your resume.

It’s a long-running joke that all resumes are ‘padded’, but if you really do have the skills required for a position, be ready to back them up. Fudging dates and skills, only to be backed into an uncomfortable corner during the interview doesn’t do anyone any good. Be prepared to answer questions such as why you left a previous position, and how particular skills listed on your resume helped you achieve specific goals. If you can’t answer these, you probably shouldn’t include them on your resume.

Tip #4:

Dress for Success.

It sounds cliched, but first impressions are critical when it comes to interviewing, because this may be the only impression you get to make. Any interview – even if is it’s at your local fast food place – necessitates dressing neatly and cleanly. The type of workplace will dictate whether you don Business Casual or more formal Business Attire, and this is where Tip #1 comes in, knowing something about the company. In either case, you want to look professional and convey the idea that you appreciate the time that’s being afforded you, as well as care about the image you present. One important note:  It doesn’t matter if you know the company has dress-down Fridays – leave the jeans and sneakers at home for the interview.

Tip #5:

Know What Not to do.

  • Don’t be late. This will be noticed and noted.
  • Keep your phone on silent and stowed away during the interview. In the same vein, leave your coffee, bottled water and gum in the car.
  • Don’t complain about a previous employer or job. It’s unprofessional, not to mention you never know who the interviewer might know.
  • Don’t get into anything personal during the interview. This isn’t the time to gush about your kids or complain about your medical bills and how much you need benefits.
  • Don’t be the first to bring up salary. Let the interviewer bring it up first, and only ask (tactfully) if compensation hasn’t been addressed by the end of the interview.
  • And most of all, don’t lose sight of why you’re there. This is your opportunity to show them your best and brightest self. Don’t be afraid to show some pride in your skills and accomplishments.

Bonus Tip:

Be sure to follow up after the interview, thanking everyone you met with. In this day and age a Thank You email is considered appropriate and couldn’t be easier. A handwritten note is also fitting and might help you stand out even more. This quick follow up allows you to restate your interest as well as bring your name to mind once again post-interview.

Most of all, take a deep breath, and good luck!

Thank You Notes After A Job Interview

We are living during a very competitive time, in which anything and everything you do can impact your current or future job. It’s quite difficult to stand out today among so many applications, all after that one position. But what if I told you there actually is a way to shine above the rest? It’s as simple as sending a Thank you note right after your interview. Yep, that’s right. Who would have thought something as simple as a Thank you card can go so far as to have you stand out at a possible job position?


Thank you cards show that you are genuinely thankful for the opportunity to have been interviewed at the job you applied for. It shows that you truly care about the position, and also shows you are the best candidate. It is very rare to receive thank you cards today. And so if you send one out to a possible employer, it shows you went out of your way to personally thank them for sitting with you on an interview. I have sent out thank you cards numerous times, and even if I hadn’t received the position I was always remembered throughout the years and was called first when a position opened up. It doesn’t take much time, but it leaves a lasting impression. Don’t be like the rest, take the time to write a thank you card…it won’t go unnoticed!