How to Prepare for a Job Interview

Now that you've landed a job interview, it's time to prepare! Below we'll discuss the best way to prepare for an interview and provide some of the most useful interviewing tips.

Whether you are getting ready for a first interview or going on your second interview, preparation is key. Let's dive into what is needed before you go to your next job interview.

Study and Practice

One of the first things you want to do is learn as much as you can about the company you will be interviewing with. Visit the company website ahead of time. Try to get a sense of the company culture and the employees that work there.

Try to find the bios of the hiring manager or other people you are interviewing with. Always search the internet for recent articles and press releases before your job interviews.

Take the time to read an article or two. The interviewer will be impressed if you reference one of them.

Make sure you visit the company's social media sites. This research can give a candidate an edge during their interview. Reference your findings during the conversation with the interviewer. Sites like Linkedin and Glassdoor can provide reviews on the office and company.

If you have mutual friends, ask them about the workforce and culture. The more information and knowledge you gather, the more confidence you will have.

Candidates should practice common job interview questions. Some people find it helpful to write down one or two answers. You can also have a friend or mentor ask you common questions.

What are the most common job interview questions & answers?

No one knows exactly what questions they will be asked during a job interview but we can provide some interview tips on the most common interview questions.

  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why are you looking to leave your current job?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • What is your ideal work environment?
  • Share a success from your past experiences
  • What drew you to the open role?
  • Discuss the hard skills and soft skills you have
  • What are your career goals?
  • Where do you see yourself in five years?
  • What qualities make you the best candidate?

You want to have a strong understanding of the job description so you can answer specific questions on the role. Make sure you know the requirements and responsibilities needed. The interviewer might ask for ways you would handle situations at their organization.

Interviewers will almost always ask what questions you have for them. It's a great interview tip to have a few questions to ask the interviewer. Who you are interviewing with can shape which questions you ask.

For example, salary and benefit questions should be saved for human resources. You can also ask about the qualifications, colleagues, and department during an interview with your potential boss.

Here are some more questions you can ask.

  • What will my main responsibility be?
  • What expectations will there be in the first few months?
  • Can you share a couple of challenges I will face?
  • What kind of products and services will I be handling?
  • Will there be an opportunity to work on a large project?

What should you do the night before a job interview?

You should prepare your interview outfit ahead of time. Make sure you wear something that is professional and shows your personality. If you don't know the company's dress code, consider wearing conservative attire.

You want to look like you would be a great fit. Wear shoes that you can walk in but that are professional, no sneakers! Your attire gives the first impression to potential employers.

You can even practice a few lines in the mirror. Pay attention to your body language remember to smile. If you are interviewing for a leadership role, team lead, or someone who frequently meets with clients, you will want to portray the traits of a strong employee.

Double check that you have the directions to the office. Plan out your route to the get there and leave enough time in case you encounter traffic or need to find a parking spot. You never want to be late for a job interview.

Job seekers should pack their bag or briefcase the night before an interview. What items should you bring to a job interview?

  • Pen and paper to take notes during your interview
  • A prepared list of questions and talking points
  • Copies of your resume
  • Examples of your latest work if applicable
  • Get the full name and email address of the interviewer to send a thank you note

If you are worried your nerves may get the best of you, so bring a list of your accomplishments, a strength, weakness, and other details you don't want to forget. Do not write down full paragraphs but bullet points to remind you what you want to say. Your interviews should be a conversation.

The interviewer wants to get a picture of the type of team member you would be. Prepare stories from your background that will make you stand apart from other candidates. Find ways to show the interviewer you can do almost everything in the job description and that you are the perfect fit for the open position.

How to prepare for a job interview

The best career advice we can provide is that doing the prep work can make a huge difference in the interview process. You want to show a potential employer that you have the experience and skills to be a valuable part of their team. Your responses and comments should sound thoughtful and provide context to your resume.

You have the ability to beat out the rest of the competition applying for the job. Make the interviewer's decision easy by nailing each interview question. If you follow these job interview tips, the interviewer will be sure to see your value.

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Dave Fano

Dave Fano

Founder and CEO of Teal, Dave is a serial entrepreneur with 20+ years of experience building products & services to help people leverage technology and achieve more with less.

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