Congratulations for considering this dynamic opportunity. As every interview process is different, we have put together some tips, suggestions, and worksheets to prepare you for this opportunity. We want you to determine if this position is a right fit for you.

Before the Interview:

Know the Employer

Before you enter an interview, you should know everything about both the company and the role you are considering. This will demonstrate your genuine interest in exploring their career opportunity and help you determine if the organization meets your preliminary expectations. In today’s world of mass communication, there’s no excuse for lack of research. Your recruiter will be able to brief you on the company in the form of the position profile, the hiring manager and the selection team, but you should research multiple sources for additional information.
Start off by checking out the company’s website and reviewing press releases and related background information. If you know who is interviewing you in advance, familiarize yourself with their professional history as well. And thanks to social media tools like LinkedIn, company information, including details like turnover rates, are easily accessible.

In addition to making a great impression at your interview learning about the employer is recommended so you know who you are “getting into bed with”. You will want to be sure there are no skeletons in the closet before you start work or you might be looking for another new job in 6-9 months’ time. Much like a relationship, you will want to learn as much about them as possible before putting a ring on it.
After you’ve studied the company, generate a list of company specific questions to ask the employer (see worksheet provided on page 6).

What to Bring

  • Printed directions to the interview as well as your recruiter‘s phone number and the client‘s phone number (in case you run late)
  • A pad of paper and pen (preferably a folio)
  • Examples of work i.e. completed project, if relevant and appropriate. Never discuss or show proprietary information.
  • Copies of degrees, diplomas, certification or licenses
  • Three copies of your resumé (make sure the resume is identical to the one supplied to the interviewer) complete with a specific, targeted cover letter relating to the position.
  • Your prepared questions for the interviewer (see worksheet).
  • List of your professional accomplishments and achievements (see worksheet). Often individuals don‘t recall things significant during a stressful interview situation, having these written out to reference are beneficial.


What’s the appropriate dress code for an interview? Once you have a bit of an understanding about the company you’re interviewing with, figure out what will make the right first impression. The first impression you make on a potential employer is the most important one. Statistics indicate that 55% of another person’s perception of you is based on how you look. You’ll want that first impression to be not just a good one, but, a great one. It’s not so much that you’re trying to be considered with what you wear; it’s more a matter of not taking yourself out of contention with your ‘presentation’.

Career coaches also mention that dressing appropriately sets the tone.

A good rule of thumb is that you dress one level higher than the career that you’re going for. By dressing a notch above what’s standard apparel for the position you’re interviewing for, “you’re definitely showing that you care about this position, and that you know the game.”
Therefore, it does make sense to consider how successful individuals in this industry dress for success, regardless of the dress code at the organization. If you’re not sure, check with your recruiter and ask.

Attention to detail suggests that you have made the effort to create the best impression. Think about your hair (well-groomed), nails (clean and subtle), your accessories (limited), your shoes (polished and in good repair). Nothing is less impressive than a pair of scuffed shoes teamed with a crisp and professional outfit!

Avoid colognes or fragrances completely. Regardless of the work environment, always have a collar on a shirt. If appropriate, men, even if you don‘t wear a tie, put on a jacket.

Please note – Do not take your cell phone into the interview, or if unavoidable, make sure it is off/silent and ignore it until you are completely out of the office area. For ladies, avoid oversized purses if possible.

Your Arrival

  • Arrive five minutes prior to the interview. Late attendance is never excusable and being more than five minutes early can put undue pressure on all participants.
  • If you‘re late for an interview. Just say, ―I‘m sorry I‘m late. If I‘ve thrown off your day I will be glad to reschedule whenever it‘s convenient for you. Take ownership, don‘t make excuses, and offer ways to make things better. Nothing ever goes perfectly, and knowing you will take responsibility and work to fix problems is impressive.
  • Prior to entering the building, chew mint gum or a breath mint – but do not chew gum during the interview.
  • Allow adequate time for traffic, parking, and a last minute appearance check.
  • Treat everyone you meet as if they are the decision maker, including the receptionist.

Things to consider for Video Interview

  • Consider this like an in-person interview
  • Be sure to be dressed appropriately
  • Set up your computer, or smartphone on a flat, stable surface. Holding the phone increases the chance of movement of the camera and can come off as though you are unprepared.
  • Be sure you are in a quiet, private space.
  • Check your surroundings. You want to be sure that there is nothing inappropriate in view of the interviewer. Additionally, you want to be in a bright, well-lit space, but not backlit as this will make you appear in the dark to the interviewer.

During the Interview:


  • Immediately express your thanks for the interview and state your excitement. The interviewer wants you to be glad you‘re there and wants you to be excited to explore their opportunity. If you‘re not thankful and excited now you definitely won‘t be thrilled after six months on the job. Plus an overt ―let me see if this job is a good fit for me interview can often be painful for the interviewer; even if over the course of the interview you realize you really want the job, you probably already lost the advantage. Emotion — positive emotion — is good.
  • Try to maintain a 50/50 balance between talking and listening. An interview should be a mutual exchange of information, not a one-sided conversation. Ask questions throughout the interview.
  • With any open-ended question, clarify what specifically the interviewer would like you to cover. For example, if the question is ― “tell me about yourself”, your response could be, “I’d love to! Is there a specific area you’d like me to start?”
  • With any confusing or multi-angled questions, seek to confirm if you are responding with the type of information they are looking for. For example, if the question is ― “tell me about a time when you had a conflict with a supervisor”, your clarifying response could be “would you like me to discuss my relationship with my last supervisor?”
  • If you are even slightly unsure about a specific question, or need time to formulate and process your response, ask for clarification: “Can you be more specific? I want to make sure I respond accurately to what you are asking for.”
  • Be aware of body language; maintain good posture, lean forward slightly to indicate interest, and maintain eye contact. Smile. Maintain your composure and professionalism.
  • Although they will want to hear from you first, try to get the interviewer to describe the position and responsibilities early in the conversation so you can relate your skills and your background to the specific position throughout the interview.
  • Discuss your qualifications. Stress the accomplishments that are related to their sector, their industry, the company culture, and the job.
  • Anticipate difficult questions, prepare in advance so you can turn apparent weaknesses into strengths.
  • Listen. This is probably the most important skill of all. By concentrating not only on the interviewer’s words, but also on the tone of his or her voice and body language, you will be able to pick up on their style. Once you understand how a hiring authority thinks, pattern your answers accordingly. You will be able to relate better to him or to her.


  • Speak negatively about your past or current situation, boss, or working environment. It’s a small world, and you don’t know if your interviewer is actually a close acquaintance of the boss you just badmouthed. A bad attitude or sarcastic remarks won’t endear you to prospective employers.
    • This goes for your conduct on social media sites as well. HR departments frequently use Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn to get a sense of prospective employees, so you might want to rethink posting disparaging remarks about your company, employer or colleagues.
    • And while you’re at it, think about removing any unprofessional – and potentially embarrassing – photos from your social media sites. What happened in Vegas really should stay in Vegas and not on your Facebook wall.
  • Ask questions about or share information regarding current or expected compensation. The job interview is your time to shine, not negotiate. Jumping the gun and asking about compensation too early gives prospective employers the idea that you’re more concerned with money than how you would fit in with the organization.
    • The appropriate time to ask about salary and benefits is when you’re confident that the employer thinks you’re right for the job and is about to give you an offer. But once that time comes, make sure you have a good understanding of what your benefits will be. Is there a probationary period where you won’t have any company benefits such as medical and dental coverage? If so, find out if there’s a way to extend the coverage from the job you’re leaving until your new benefits kick in. Is the package offered comprehensive enough for you and your family? If not, do some research and make sure your new salary will enable you to purchase some additional coverage.
  • Interrupt the interviewer. If you don’t have time to listen, then neither does the employer.
  • Place anything on the employer’s desk without approval.
  • Be overly familiar, even if the employer is.
  • Ramble. Long answers can make you sound apologetic or indecisive. On the other hand, don’t answer questions with a simple “yes” or “no.” Explain yourself in clear and concise responses whenever possible.
  • Lie. Answer questions as truthfully as possible.
  • Be unprepared. Have your resume and everything else you need all set to go. Hit the ground running and immediately focus on the interviewer. “Work” is a verb. Make “interview” a verb too.
  • Take over. Feel free to subtly shape the interview and lead the conversation into areas that showcase your strengths, but don‘t try to take over. Employers need people who can lead and follow. Trying to take over is really irritating.
  • Get too comfortable. We want you to be relaxed and at ease during the interview, but we also want you to show the interview matters to you. Kicking back says you don‘t really care.
  • When asked if you have any questions, don‘t just create a few to try to impress the interviewer. If you have no questions, say so.
  • Don‘t ask about something you could have easily learned on your own. Don‘t ask questions designed to make you look good. In short, don‘t ask what you think the interviewer would want to hear. Interviewers can tell, and it ends the interview on a down note. (Please refer to Page 6 for some suggested questions).

Think of the interview as a formal conversation, where both parties are hoping for the same outcome – that you will be considered the best candidate for the job. With this in mind, good communication is important and not asking questions can make you look unprepared or uninterested. Employers look for enthusiastic people who can not only respond intelligently during an interview, but also ask knowledgeable questions. Find someone – a friend, family member, career coach or job search consultant – to put you through mock interviews to practice your storytelling skills. This will help you develop quality questions about the company and the job you’re applying for.

Questions to Expect

No one can predict the exact questions an interviewer will ask, but your recruiter should be able to give you a good idea of the hiring authority’s personality, his or her typical interview demeanor and a few examples of important questions that the employer is likely to ask. When responding, it is best to provide concrete examples, where possible, to support your statements.

Consider how you might respond the following questions:

  • “Take me through your resume.” The interviewer is trying to assess the following: your career transition and personal growth, where you were best leveraged / challenged / under challenged, your levels of responsibility, any employment gaps, etc.
  • “Tell me about yourself.” Keep your answer in short and in the professional realm only. We encourage you to address former experience, your education as well as any other strength pertinent to the sector.
  • “What can you tell me about our organization?” If you’ve done your research correctly, you should have no problem answering this one. Be positive.
  • “Why are you interested in this position?” Employers are interested in candidates who can clearly articulate how their skills or competencies relate to their sector! Explain how you feel your qualifications really match the requirements of the role. Communicate your passion for this type of work and express your desire to work for that company.
  • “What have been your most significant career accomplishments to date?” Select some recent accomplishments that relate to this position and its requirements.
  • “Describe a situation in which your work was criticized.” Focus on how you resolved the situation and let the interviewer know how what you learned as a result of it.
  • “How would you describe your personality?” Discuss and emphasize your most positive personality traits.
  • “What are your weaknesses?”
  • “How do you perform under pressure?”
  • “What have you done to improve yourself over the past year?”
  • “What did you like least about your last position?”
  • “Why are you leaving your present company?”
  • “What is your ideal working environment?”
  • “How does your background and qualifications match this opportunity?”
  • “How would your co-workers describe you?”
  • “What do you think of your boss?” Avoid making derogatory remarks about present or former employers.
  • “Have you ever fired anyone? What was the situation, and how did you handle it?”
  • “What are your long term career goals?”
  • “Where do you see yourself in five years?”
  • “What will you bring to the organization and why should we hire you?”
  • “What kind of salary are you looking for?”
  • “What other types of jobs/companies are you considering?”

Closing the Interview

Too many people second-guess themselves after an interview. By closing strongly and asking the right questions, you can eliminate the post-interview doubts that tend to plague most interviewees. Unless you are absolutely certain you would not like to move forward in the interviewing process, close for next steps. Ask how they perceive you fitting in to the organization and if there are any areas that haven‘t been covered that are important to the hiring decision.

Try something like the following:

  • ***“What would be the next steps?”***
  • I like what I have heard today and am very interested in moving forward. I understand you are looking for someone in this role who has (A, B, and C) and as we’ve discussed, I have (specific experience with A, B, and C). Before I leave, are there any more questions about my background or qualifications that I can answer or clarify for you to better assess my fit within your team?”

You have a right to be assertive. Create great closing questions as this opens the door for the hiring authority to be honest with you about his or her feelings. If concerns do exist, this is a great opportunity to overcome them. You have one final chance to dispel the concerns, sell your strengths and end the interview on positive note.

A few things to remember during the closing process:

Paraphrase and summarize.

  • Don’t be discouraged if no definite offer is made or specific salary discussed. The interviewer will probably want to communicate with the stakeholders first or interview other applicants, before making a decision.
  • Make sure you have answered the following two questions: “What can you offer?” and “Why are you interested in the company?”. The employer wants to know “what‘s in it for them”.
  • Express thanks for the interviewer’s time and consideration.
  • Ask for the interviewer’s business card so you can write a thank-you letter as soon as possible.

Following the Meeting

When you get in your car:

Immediately write down key issues uncovered in the interview. Think of the qualifications the employer is seeking and match your strengths to them.

Call your recruiter within 24 hours! Follow-up at this stage is critical. We will discuss what you liked, what questions you still have, what questions you perceive they have about you, and your interest in next steps.

Finally, write a thank-you email no later than 24 hours after the interview has ended to each person that you met, thanking them for their time. Cite specifics from the meeting and cover any areas further you think may need supplementation.

Call the interviewer within 2 days to confirm your interest and intent to proceed. It will show you are eager to work for their company.

Interview Preparation Worksheet

Sit down and put some thought into the initial list of questions that you would like to ask during your interview. To get started, think about what questions do you need answered to know if this is the right opportunity. What areas do you need clarified to feel comfortable that this environment is one in which you can thrive.

Example Questions:

  • How do you measure success in your company? Tell me about the best person you have ever had in this position and what made that person unique.
  • What are some of the common denominators that exist with the more successful employees of this company? What are the common attributes of your top performers?
  • What are the biggest challenges one will face in this role?
  • What are the two most important problems that need to be addressed/corrected in the first six months by the person in this position?
  • What are the key responsibilities for this position and which are most important?
  • What results are expected of this position? What are examples of the best results produced by people in this role? What are a few things that really drive results for the company?
  • Why did my predecessor leave this position?
  • Tell me about your background and what attracted you here.
  • What advancement can a person expect, in this company and in the industry at large, after doing this job well?
  • What are some of the company’s short and long range objectives?
  • In what areas does this company excel? In what areas does this company have some limitations?
  • What are the company or department goals for this year and next?
  • How will I be evaluated, and how often?
  • What do you expect me to accomplish in the first 60 to 90 days?
  • How do you plan to deal with…? (A great candidate doesn’t just want to know what the employer thinks; they want to know what they plan to do–and how you will fit into those plans).

List your professional accomplishments and achievements, as well as the strategy behind those results, below. Start with your most recent company and any other organizations in recent history.



List your Accomplishments/Achievements since holding your role or being with the company:

List the strategy, implementation, and development processes used to bring about these results:



List your Accomplishments/Achievements since holding your role or being with the company:

List the strategy, implementation, and development processes used to bring about these results:



List your Accomplishments/Achievements since holding your role or being with the company:

List the strategy, implementation, and development processes used to bring about these results:

Think Through:

  • Did you help increase sales, productivity, or efficiency? What was the percentage or dollar contribution? How did you do this? Did you have a unique approach or different results than others?
  • Did you institute any new systems or changes? What was the situation that led to the change? Who approved that system? Why was this system selected over others? What happened as a result?
  • Were you ever promoted? Why were you promoted? How long between promotions? Did you do something outstanding? How much more responsibility?
  • Did you get to manage people? How many? Were you promoted by more than one party? Were you given significant salary increases or raises?
  • Did you train anyone? Did you develop training technique? Compare your results to others. Is your technique being used by others? Why is that?
  • Did you help establish any new goals or objectives for your company? Did you convince management that they should adopt these goals or objectives? Why were they adopted?
  • Did you change the nature or scope of your job? Why or how did you redefine your position? Have others with similar positions had their positions redefined because of you? Were there responsibility changes because of this? What were they?
  • Did you ever undertake a project that was not part of your responsibility because you like the problem?

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