10-Step Job Interview Preparation Checklist

Job Interview Preparation Job Interview Preparation
  • 1. Arrive early. Fifteen to 20 minutes is sufficient. As you wait, you can observe employees coming and going, which can give you some insight into the work environment.

  • 2. Dress and act professionally. Even if you know that the dress code is business casual, kick it up a notch up. During the interview, speak positively and make eye contact.  

  • 3. Bring multiple copies of your resume. You might end up in a group interview situation, so bring at least six.

  • 4. Remember paper and pen. Take a few notes during the interview. This will demonstrate that you’re engaged and interested. Jot down the names of everyone who interviews you. (You can verify correct spellings later.)

  • 5. Take documentation from home. In case you need to fill out an application, have some legal documentation with you such as a driver’s license, social security card, birth certificate, or voter’s registration card.

  • 6. Have some cash on hand. You may have to pay for parking or a valet.

  • 7. Practice answering questions. Certain questions are inevitable. “What is your greatest strength/weakness?” “What motivates you?” “Why do you want this job?” Be ready to talk about two achievements you’re proud of, a time when you took a risk, and what makes you a good team member. And remember, when they say, “Tell us about yourself,” what they really what to know are the skills and experience you bring to the position.

  • 8. Prepare questions. When asked, “Do you have any questions for us?” it’s the kiss of death to say, “No, I think you’ve covered everything.” Have at least three questions ready. Ask about the corporate structure and culture. What specific challenges you might face in this position. What a typical day will be like. And, of course, at the end of the interview remember, “What is the next step in the interview process?”

  • 9. Say thank you. Send thank you notes. Nothing fancy or lengthy. Just a few sentences of appreciation. Send an individual note to each person you met with, making sure names are spelled correctly by calling HR or checking the website.

  • 10. Follow-up. If you haven’t heard back within the timeframe discussed during the interview, call. If a decision is yet to be made, ask when you could call back.

  • Finally, smile! Smiling not only relieves stress, but makes you appear more confident.

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