Am I Ready for the Interview?

Am I Ready for the Interview?

By: Kimberly Kenner, Resume Writing Consultant

What? Recruiters have to interview for their jobs, too?

Yes, we do! Let me share how I prepare for my interviews, and maybe this will help you. I prepare for an interview by using a mental checklist, and I would suggest the same to you. You can make a written list as well.

Either way, it is suggested many times over to be prepared and be ready. Here we go:

1. What do I know about the company?

Not very much? Have I even heard of them before? Or what about the really big companies that we all recognize, should I research them, too?

a.     Yes. I visit their website and read through everything I can. If they have a news tab, a list of their officers, their history, what positions are listed in the career section, what services they offer, who are their customers, and, if they sell products, I even check those out.

b.     I might even print a few pages of their history or something that tells me about them. This will help later on when I create my question list.

2. What question list?

The one that includes my questions to them, and some notes about questions they might ask me.

a.     I like to learn about the position, the reporting structure, the reason for the opening, what competencies do they think will be successful, their goals, how they measure this role for accomplishments and how it fits in the company.

b.     What do you want to know? I suggest not asking about salary at this point, or the working hours (unless you have severe restrictions), and the dress code. Those are things that I think should be discussed later. (Unless they bring them up). If asked, I would share the salary requirements.

c.      If they ask about my biggest challenge, I like to turn it to a positive. A good example came in my most recent interview. I said this: “I used to have a problem with taking on more than I can handle and worked a ton of overtime. Then about a year ago I started using a great project management tool I learned from a management workshop.

I was able to see the bigger picture, and could delegate to my team. The project tracker that I still use has been an excellent tool. I get more done and I can see where my entire team is at any given time. Now that I use that tool I have a much better work life balance.” What is your biggest challenge or weakness? How would you answer that question?

d.      Read this for some more advice on Behavioral Interviews.


3. What should I wear to the interview?

This should be simple, but there may be some logistics to think about.

a.     Do I have a suit, a blouse or shirt ready, the proper shoes to go with it, and some new hosiery? (Note to those who are modern in their dress code, if you wear a skirt or dress to an interview it is still proper to wear hosiery or tights, and for those who wear slacks; socks or trouser socks should be worn).

Really! I can’t tell you how many interviews I have conducted where people did not, and it always makes them look not ready or unprofessional. I don’t want to be on that list when I show up for my own interview!

b.     The logistics matter as well because where I work now is a casual dress code. Luckily, my interview was at lunchtime. I left the suit jacket and the dress shoes in the car and put them on when I left for the interview.

c.      I also didn’t wait until the morning of the interview to make sure that perfect suit was clean and ready. Trust me, it was ready days ahead! Is yours?


4. The day before the interview is countdown time.

I printed out several copies of my resume and even wrote down the directions to the location.

a.     It also might not be a bad idea to know where the nearest gas station or local coffee house is located. This will come in handy tomorrow before the interview.

b.     Since I have the address and the interviewer’s name, I actually go ahead and prepare my thank you notes for after the interview. (Not all of it, just the envelopes.) I will use the nature of the interview to add in the note part afterward. If I don’t have the name of the interviewer, at least I have the address and stamped envelopes ready to put into the mail.


5. Ready.

Dressed, resumes in-hand with notes in a folder, and I leave early enough so I am not late.

a.     I hope I will find myself with extra time so I can make a pit stop. Check my clothes again, my hair, my breath, and then breathe!

Taking a few minutes to remind myself that this is just an interview. I am a great candidate. This is my opportunity to interview them, and that we are equals; helps me to be in the right frame-of-mind. The positive kind!

b.     They are investigating, and so am I! Did you remember to bring some mints? Do you have extra copies of your resume? Are you ready?

c.      Need a little more information? Read here on “How to Ace the Job Interview”.

d.     We can help you prepare for interviews as well. Let us know!