Preparing for an Interview

I share an office with one of our Clerical Recruiters, Sam Newman, and a few times a day I hear him prepare one of his candidates to go on an interview with one of our clients. This guy gives the best interview advice! He breaks down the interview into totally manageable little chunks and makes the whole process seem significantly less daunting. Of course every interview is going to be different from the last one you went on, but there are some standard themes that usually pop up. Sam’s advice will help you prepare for those standard parts of the interviewing process, leaving you some extra brain power to answer those non-standard questions.

Interview Preparation
  • Check out the website of the company that you are interviewing with. Know some of the basics, such as what they do, who they service, and how long they’ve been business.
  • One of the most difficult things about interviewing is talking about yourself and bringing up talking points from the past. Often, anecdotes and examples of your achievements are no longer in your short term memory. This is why you have to prepare for interviews! Yes, it is essentially homework, but the pay-off is a shiny new job. Try these two exercises:
    • Write down some examples of how you have made or saved an employer money in the past.
    • Write down an example of something that you have done in a past position that was difficult and in turn brought you a sense of accomplishment. For extra credit, write down two more examples.
  • One transferrable skill that almost every single employer is looking for is strong communication skills. Generals rules to follow:
    • Keep answers under 45 seconds in length
    • Always answer the question being asked
    • Use the law of threes. For example: “Tell me a little bit about yourself”
      • I have a strong educational foundation
      • Leverage education into full time career
      • Excited about the position because:
    • Ask three questions. One about the job, one about the company, and one about the interviewer’s background. A good last question can be something to the effect: “Kelly, from having the opportunity to meet with you and learn more about your company I am excited about the opportunity to work for you. I was wondering if you have any questions or concerns about my background in regards to continuing with the selection process for the role. If you do I’d love to take a few minutes to talk about any of those questions at this point.” This basically gives you the opportunity to respond to any hesitancies that he may have at this point.