Before the Interview: Three-Step Interview Prep

Congratulations, you got the interview! Clearly, the company was impressed by the dazzling qualifications on your resume and the professional, yet friendly tone of your cover letter. Now they want to speak with you. How will you set yourself apart from the other candidates? What can you do to demonstrate your enthusiasm for the job and your passion for the industry? Stressful as it may seem, the key to a successful interview is preparation, in the form of 3 easy steps:

  1. Research the Company
  2. Rehearse your Story
  3. Reflect on your Questions

Prior to your interview, it is important to spend some time learning all you can about your potential new employer. The ability to discuss your knowledge of the company may give you a competitive edge over other candidates, so be sure to learn what the company does, the services it provides, the clients it serves, and some basic company history. You should also be able to demonstrate your interest in their products, services, and/or industry. While it is not necessary to memorize every aspect of the company’s website, that is an excellent place to begin your search. Social media is also a great way to get a feel for a company’s culture. Do they have a blog, Facebook page, or Twitter account? Also, don’t forget to check your own personal contacts. Maybe a friend or acquaintance currently works there and can give you some insight on the hiring process or corporate culture, or perhaps you can make a new connection through alumni networks or professional organizations. Finally, if given a list of interviewers, do a quick search on them as well. An individual’s blog and LinkedIn page can speak volumes and may allow you to prepare a few questions that will be specific to each interviewer, comfortably discuss current events in his or her specialty, or even casually mention an interest you both share.

Next, thoroughly review the job qualifications and description. Identify how your specific skills and abilities amoxil online order translate to the requirements of the position. Ideally, you should be able to discuss, in detail, everything that appears on your resume, without even looking at it. Be prepared to provide relevant examples of past work experiences or scholastic achievements. Your examples should specify measurable results that benefited your employer. Reflect on stories that demonstrate difficult-to-quantify qualities such as initiative, creativity, and teamwork. Always keep a record of previous employment evaluations, positive notes from your boss, clients, or coworkers, and descriptions of successful projects and accomplishments. Spend some time thinking about your strengths, weaknesses, interests and work values; this self-assessment is crucial to avoid being caught off-guard by an interviewer. Reviewing this information prior to the interview will keep it fresh in your mind and easily accessible, allowing you to project confidence in your answers.

Finally, organize a list of questions for your interviewer. The questions that you ask are a direct reflection of you, so be sure that they further demonstrate your interest in the company and prove that you will be a good fit. Ask the interviewer what they like best about working there, besides the people. Find out why the position is available. A department’s expansion indicates company growth, whereas internal promotions show movement. To show ambition, ask about the improvements or changes a new candidate will bring to the position. Inquire about performance evaluations to show that you are goal-oriented. Ask about immediate challenges and stresses of the job to show that you are prepared to think of helpful solutions and ready to begin contributing to the team. And finally, ask the interviewer to describe their perfect candidate. This will give you a chance to conclude your interview on a strong note by reiterating your amazing qualifications and time to add anything that you may have forgotten to mention previously.

Best of luck!



By |2018-08-24T13:06:30+00:00August 24th, 2016|Categories: Before the Interview|3 Comments

About the Author:

Kelly Low began working for PeopleScout in March 2016 – prior to that, she was a Candidate Selection Associate for Aon Hewitt for 5 years. Kelly has a Master of Science degree in Industrial Relations and Human Resources from Penn State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Psychology from the University of Akron. She currently works from home in Wichita, Kansas.


  1. Jessica August 24, 2016 at 2:56 pm - Reply

    Great advice to help go into an interview prepared and polished. Thank you!

  2. […] that as you are doing your research, job seekers are also doing theirs. Especially those who read my previous blog post 🙂 There are thousands of resources available at their fingertips. A quick internet search will […]

  3. Tanya November 23, 2016 at 7:08 am - Reply

    Very helpful indeed

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