Try to find out how long the interview will be. You could answer questions differently if you know the interview is supposed to last 30 minutes versus an all day one. Don’t use all your best stories in the first 30 minutes of a 4 hour Behavioral interview.

References: Don’t use relatives. Try professionals, long relationships, ex-bosses, co-workers, teachers. Have a list ready. There should be 5-10.

Research the company and have some basic knowledge about them. Use the Internet!

Have some extra copies of your current Resume with you. Don’t make excuses when you hand it to someone. Make sure its what you want to give them.

Know some “Aha” moments

Interview often. It helps with trends in the industry and could open more opportunities.

Have a list of questions for Interviewer: Travel, Promotions, office environment, Growth opportunities, what do you like about this company, what would you change about the company if you could…

Watch videos, write out answers, practice all your answers. Know the right answer to the questions before you answer.

Reduce your stress level before you go.

Know yourself well

Practice, practice, practice

Grade yourself in practice interviews


Before the Interview

Make sure you know where it is. Go in advance and check travel times, traffic, area, parking.  Know where the closest fast food restaurant is. It can be a relaxer to make sure you look good and use the restroom just before you arrive.

Dress the part. Wear a Suit if appropriate. Don’t use perfume or cologne. No jewelry except wedding rings, watch, and small ear rings if appropriate.  No sandals, shorts, short skirts. Don’t wear anything that attracts attention. Simple business attire is best. We all know what it is or can find out on the Internet. Don’t wear much make-up (unless it’s a fashion interview)

Make sure you have breath mints. Use them on the way in. Keep a tissue in your pocket just in case…

Carry extra pens. A briefcase may be overkill but a nice folder can hide extra resume’s, reference list, and some extra paper. You won’t need anything else during the Interview. If you are a woman and must carry a purse, keep it small and simple.

Eat an hour or two before so your food has settled but you are not hungry.

Arrive Early! 15-20 minutes is perfect.

Turn your phone OFF! Not vibrate. It can still be distracting. Better yet, leave it in the car!


Interview Conduct

Greet with a firm but not Gorilla handshake. Some people don’t like limp shakes but no one ever complains of a solid one.

Maintain Eye contact during greetings and introductions.

Find common ground with the interviewer

Avoid personal life/ talk about personal life. Answer questions if you are comfortable but be brief. Know the illegal ones and how to respond.

Acknowledge everyone. Sit tall, don’t fidget, eye contact, sip drinks, Smile, use short answers, Don’t look at clock, always assume you are on camera.

Be clear about what you want and what you can offer.

Sit up, Sit forward, Smile, nod

It sounds repetitive but make sure you know your skills and qualifications and how they relate to the Job being interviewed for.

Be clear and concise with your answers.

Never say I think, I’ll try, I suppose, I’ll do my best, I hope, If its necessary, I’ve never done that…

Ask about follow-up. Re-state your interest. Ask for the Interviewers contact info if they have not already provided it.


Final Thoughts

This could be the biggest test of your life. You must outscore EVERYONE!

Be confident. Be prepared.  You only get one chance to make a first impression.

I don’t really have a fee schedule nor do I intend to make a living as a career coach. I enjoy helping people and generally don’t mind giving some time for a good cause. I’m an Aerospace Engineer and made it through Phase II as an FBI candidate before I had to drop out for personal reasons. I also have lots of experience recruiting Engineers and can offer some services here. Feel free to contact me if you are having difficulties or need some special help. Maybe we can work something out 🙂