Career Advice  

Are You Really Prepared for Your Interview?

Are You Really Prepared for Your Interview?

There are many articles today that remind us to dress to impress, do our research, and prepare for our interviews. Sometimes though, we get nervous and forget some of the most basic items we need to be fully prepared. Here are 6 quick and helpful tips to ensure you make a great first impression:

1. Take a nice padfolio with an inside pocket, notepad, and pen (take a pen that does not “click” to open/close – if you are nervous, you may click, click, click unconsciously…it’s like nails on a chalk board). You can purchase a nice leather or pleather version at Office Depot, Target, Walmart, etc. for $12 – $20.

2. Take 5 extra copies of your résumé in case they ask you to meet with someone else (great sign). Often times, interviewers will “forget” to bring your résumé with them to see if you are prepared!

3. Take a copy of the job description and any research you did so you can review before you go inside. Always arrive 15-20 minutes early so you have time to breathe, visit the restroom, and be calm.

4. Prepare 5 really good questions to ask the interviewer(s) – and they cannot be about salary, vacation, or benefits. As someone who has conducted thousands of interviews, it is very disappointing when a candidate has no questions to ask – you should be interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.

5. Take a note pad and write down anything you might want further clarification on or additional questions. Taking notes is a good sign that you are genuinely interested in the interview, the company, and the insight they are sharing to determine if you are a good match for the company, culture, and position.

6. Ask for business cards (or at least get full names). When you return home, send a thank you email. I encourage you to send a hand written thank you card as well. Never underestimate the positive impression this will make!

These are just a few helpful tips to ensure you make the best impression possible during your interviews. Good luck and we can’t wait to hear your success stories!


Contribution by Jennifer Roberts-Stutzriem.

Jennifer is a Senior Global Career/Transition Coach with IMPACT Group, serving on the Leadership Development, Relocation, and Outplacement teams. She has an extensive background in global operations, training, organizational consulting, recruiting, and talent management. Outside of the office, Jennifer is actively involved in community outreach and has a passion for creating opportunities for Veterans and Workers Age 55+.

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