How to Prepare for the First Interview

interview tips

Preparation is a key component to acing the interview. Here is a quick checklist of 5 must dos to prepare. We cannot guarantee you will get the job, but this assures you will not get knocked out for lack of preparation. So print this out and check these off!

  • Bring 3-5 copies of your resume printed on nice paper. Even if you are scheduled to interview with one person, be prepared in case another manager decides to meet with you. Being prepared inspires confidence that you can handle the unexpected.
  • Check out the company’s website. Review the products, competitors and mission statement. It is very common for a hiring manager to ask why you want to work for them. You cannot answer that question if you have not at a minimum looked at the website. It might also be a good idea to practice talking to a friend or spouse about what the company does and why you want to work there. The more you’ve talked about it, the more comfortable you will be discussing the company and answering questions with your hiring committee.
  • Do your homework on who you are interviewing with. Check out their profiles on LinkedIn, find out where they came from and went to school. You may have things in common that can help in the interview. Interviewers are more likely to remember, and look favorably, on someone with whom they have a connection.
  • Come up with at least 3 good questions that demonstrate what you have learned about the company.  Asking good questions lets the hiring manager know you understand the industry you are in and that you have done your homework. It could be a question about a product, reimbursement or how they deal with the competitors. You could write these out beforehand, or practice with someone if you tend to get nervous in interviews.
  • This is basic, but get your clothes ready and make sure you know how to get where you are going. Being late because you were lost is not a good excuse. Since you’ve done your research you should know who your audience is and a little about the culture of the work place. If you are interviewing for a professional position, wear a suit and shine those shoes. If the work space is more casual, still show respect and dress it up a notch. If you are not sure, be conservative and wear a suit.

A little preparation can go a long way. Preparing for the interview is the first step in getting your dream job!

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