How to Prepare for an Interview

Candidate is doing in-person job interview with two company representatives.The information below is not intended to be rigid regarding how to prepare for an interview. This interview could be a video or in-person interview. Rather, this information is a set of discussions based upon executive search activities conducted by Mid America Search over the past 45 plus years. The goal is how to be well prepared for an interview.

The sections below are meant to have the reader think about the process at hand. In addition, the sections are intended to set the seriousness of the process and assist in preparedness. By all means carefully listen to the interviewer and then respond to the actual question(s) asked.

A phone interview may have preceded this video or in-person interview. Thus, some of the information below will have been discussed in How to Prepare for a Phone Interview. Often however, video or in-person interviews are done without a phone interview.

General Points

A video or in-person interview is not a social get together; rather, it is a critical business meeting. This document explains what to expect in a job interview and how to prepare for a job interview. It is essential to have a strong or commanding presence during the interview. Furthermore, conduct one’s self in a manner that demonstrates complete confidence, calmness and a projection of being fully prepared. Do not present yourself as though desperate during the interview. Yet, avoid projecting aloofness or disinterest. Do not use bad grammar, slang, or profanity.

Adhere to the interview schedule. For an in-person interview arrive five to ten minutes early. For a video interview have the computer fully operational at the interview time.

For an in-person interview reliably know the interview location. This is whether you’ve flown in and have a driver, or you are personally driving to the interview. If you’re to meet a driver at an airport, make sure those details are covered ahead of time. If driving, be aware of any road construction on the route or in the area. Know where parking is available. Have parking meter money if needed. Contact us and/or the interviewer immediately should emergencies arise, and the interview must be rescheduled.

Because there may be ongoing phone communication, adjust your voicemail greeting. Assure it is framed in a professional and mature manner. Leave your greeting in that fashion during the entire interview/offer process.

Do’s and Don’ts

The items below are intended to be a guide for preparation. Consider these as job interview tips or how to succeed in a job interview. Furthermore, use good common sense when preparing. The items are:

  • Be efficient, effective and have a comprehensive approach.
  • Have a good, firm handshake (for in-person interview).
  • Make good eye contact throughout the interview.
  • Remember the name(s) and title(s) of the interviewer(s).
  • Dress professionally.
  • Shine your shoes (for in-person interview).
  • Be well groomed.
  • Do not chew gum or smoke.
  • Stay on point in the discussion.
  • Focus on your ability to do the job.
  • Clearly present each point of an answer and/or response to an open-ended question.
  • Effectively summarize points made in a response without being repetitious or redundant.
  • Thoroughly do your job interview preparation; however, absolutely do not use your current employer’s time or resources. If no phone interview occurred, please see How to Prepare for a Phone Interview. If there was a phone interview it may have raised items that require further research and preparation before the video or in-person interview. For example:
    • Research any trade or professional organizations the interviewer may have mentioned during the phone interview.
    • Do more in-depth research of any product or business lines mentioned in the phone interview.
    • Also, do more in-depth research regarding the competitive position of the company or organization.
    • Refer to your notes taken in the phone interview. Ascertain whether additional research on items needs to be done.

Questions By Interviewer and By You

For the next three areas, if no phone interview occurred, please see How to Prepare for a Phone Interview.

Questions By Interviewer

  • Given that your current job does not fully cover all the duties and skills of this job; how will you successfully perform this job?
  • How have you learned from your past experiences to perform the critical duties of this job?
  • Given that our job may not compensate at the level of your prior or current job, why would you accept this job?
  • What general questions do you have because of our phone interview?
  • Furthermore, what did you learn of our organization from the phone interview?
  • What did you learn about the relevant department(s) of our organization from the phone interview?
  • Also, what did you learn about the business or product lines of our organization from the phone interview?

Questions By You

If you had a phone interview, it may have raised items that require further questions on your part during the video or in-person interview. These are good questions to ask in a job interview. For example:

  • Why do they see this job as being critical to the company?
  • How do they plan to assimilate this job into their current organizational structure?
  • Based on the interview process to date, does the company see you as an ideal Candidate? If not, what are the areas I need to address during this interview?

Questions By You Regarding Company or Organization

This will allow you to demonstrate you have researched the company or organization. Furthermore, if you had a phone interview. It may have raised items that require further questions on your part during the video or in-person interview. For example:

  • Why do they see a new product being profitable currently?
  • What growth or profitability strategy does the company employ?
  • How do you plan to differentiate this company from the competition?
  • What is the company’s approach to all the technology available in the current business environment?
  • Also, what is the company’s approach to risk management?

Follow These Guidelines

  • Tie in your qualifications, throughout the interview. Thoroughly and completely know your skill set(s) as well as your entire resume and how they fit this job.
  • Comprehensively match-up your demonstrated skills, education, industry studies and certifications, career accomplishments, and other resume factors with the key elements, the interviewer, listed of an ideal Candidate for the job opening.
  • Moreover, do not talk about personal problems.
  • Speak positively about co-workers and former employers.
  • Also, leave your schedule sufficiently open should the interview run longer than expected.
  • Have materials to take notes. If in-person interview, take extra copies of your resume. If video interview, be prepared to email your resume. Have, if available, a listing of the job opening the interview concerns.

Closing the Interview

  • Emphasize interest. If you like what you hear regarding the job opening express your interest in the job.
  • Summarize your qualifications.
  • Thank the interviewer(s) for the opportunity.
  • Leave with good eye contact and, for in-person interview, a firm hand shake.
  • Find out when you may call to follow up.
  • Also, find out when they plan to decide.
  • Get contact information for follow-up correspondence with the interviewer(s). If applicable, get contact information for other company personnel.

Interview Follow Up

One should email or send hard-copy correspondence.

  • Keep it short, simple and to the point.
  • Begin by thanking the person(s) for their extremely valuable time.
  • Also, concisely point-out why you fit the job.
  • Close by expressing that you hope to be the one selected for the job. Thank them once again for the interview.
  • Moreover, when to send follow up after job interview? Do it immediately.

 

Should you wish to read related posts. Please see How to Prepare for a Phone Interview. Also see How to Handle a Job Offer. Furthermore see How to Handle a Counter Job Offer.

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Deb Murray

Deb Murray

I help Client Companies, primarily in the Insurance Industry, to identify, locate and attract talented Candidates to their organizations. This involves leading, and recruiting for, one of the premier Executive Search firms that specializes in Recruiting for the Insurance industry and its related operations such as Information Technology, Managed Care, and Risk Management. My goal is to help both Client Companies and Candidates find lasting and rewarding matches.

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