How to Prepare For Your Next Job Interview

By Yosniel Romero - Founder of | Job Seeker Tips & Resources

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Congratulations, your resume made it to the hands of the hiring manager, and you have been invited to a face to face interview. Are you prepared? Even if the interview is a week away, you should start preparing for it immediately, who knows, you may be called in to interview earlier.

The sad thing is that most job applicants are not prepared for the interview, and when they decide to prepare, is usually the day before the interview. Don’t gamble your future like this, be proactive and take the time to prepare yourself for the interview.

Many interviewees end up making costly mistakes during their interviews. Remember the saying, “First impressions are everything”, and this is not the type of impression that you want to leave the hiring manager with, you want them to remember your enthusiasm about the position, and that you are capable and able of performing all the tasks of the job.

You don’t want them to remember you for being the one with the wrinkled shirt, or the one that didn’t bring enough resume copies.

As you’re reading the following tips, think back to your past experiences, do you think you would have done better on those interviews if you prepared for them?


Company Research

This is a noooooooo brainer; you have to research the company. How can you say that you want to work for the company if you don’t even know what the company does? Researching the company can also help you answer a few interview questions; it can help you formulate your answers to better match the direction of the company.


NOTE: This IS being smart and using the resources available to your advantage.


Aside from that, if the hiring manager asks you questions regarding the company and you are able to answer them properly, then it shows that you are indeed interested in working for them, and that you are prepared. Who wouldn’t want to hire someone like that?



Just because you initially reviewed the requirements of the position, it doesn’t mean that you fully understand what is required. You should review them AGAIN, especially before the interview, so you fully understand the tasks and responsibilities that this position requires. This will help you focus more on your particular skills that would help you qualify more for the job you want.


Morning Routine

Don’t hit that snooze button!!! Make sure you start your morning routine as early as possible the day of the interview. Make sure you have a light breakfast, and allow yourself plenty of time in the morning to prepare mentally and physically. It is best that you are not rushing to get to the interview; you want to make sure you’re calm and collected before the interview.


Plan Your Commute

The worst thing that could happen is to be stuck in a bumper to bumper traffic jam on your way to the interview. Make sure you’re fully aware of all alternative routes and things that could alter the traffic pattern, such as road construction, events, etc. You can do your research about this through the internet, or you can also go there a day or two before the interview, just to check on the best roads to take.


If You’re on Time, You’re LATE

Ah, the military, such a wonderful place; it really is. One of the many lessons I learned in the Navy was that if you’re on time, you’re late. So, make sure to arrive at least 30 minutes early, that way you have a few minutes to just sit in the car and calm your nerves before the interview and you can walk in 15 minutes or so before the interview.


This shows the prospective employer that you have good time management skills. If you are currently working, try to apply for a leave of absence to ensure that you have enough time to prepare and get to the venue.


Prepare Your Introduction

In an interview, there is always going to be the usual introduction, some small talk to get the break the ice and to get the flow going. This is when the elevator speech comes into play, so make sure you fully rehearse your intro when they ask you the question, “So, tell me a little about yourself?” The last thing you want is to freeze and have the wrong thing come out.


Quick and simplified summary:


Things TO DO before and during an interview

  • Find out something about the company.
  • Have a hard copy of your resume available.
  • Make sure you have proper clothing for an interview (professional or business casual depending on the company), freshly laundered and pressed or hung to dry to remove wrinkles.
  • Prepare a list of questions to ask at the interview.
  • Have a notebook to take notes during the interview.
  • Be on time for the interview—if there are circumstances beyond your control call the interviewer and give him or her option to still see you or reschedule the interview.
  • Leave your cell phone in the car or turn it off during the interview.


Things NOT TO DO before or during the interview

  • Do not schedule interviews too close together in case there are additional things you need to do such as testing or meeting with the department manager.
  • Do not bring your children or anyone else with you to an interview unless they are also applying for a position.
  • Never smoke during an interview even if you are allowed to do so and if you smoke right before the interview have gum or breath mints for your mouth and spray to remove the smell from your clothing.
  • Never snack or chew gum. If you use gum or mints to kill the taste of cigarette smoke, finish them before you go in for the interview.
  • Stay on topic during the interview and avoid personal discussions.
  • Do not bring drinks into the interview—if the interviewer asks if you would like coffee, tea or water you may then accept.


Don’t forget to send a thank you note after the interview, which is your last chance of making a good, positive impression. You should have a standard thank you note already filled out and ready to go, then just customize it based on the interview you just had.

For a thorough explanation of the interview process, check out Comprehensive Guide to Acing ANY Job Interview in our Products section, which is a comprehensive guide packed with tips and valuable resources such as interview questions and how to answer them, check out the.

Remember, the Interviews is a two way street, the same way the recruiter is interviewing you to determine not only if you can perform the tasks of the job, but also if you’re the right fit for the company’s culture; you’re interviewing the company to determine if the job and the company is a step in line with your professional career goals.


About the author

Yosniel Romero is the Founder of, a blog focused on providing quality tips & resources for Job Seekers on Personal Branding, Job Hunting, Resume & Cover Letter Writing, and Interviewing.


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