Interview 101: Preparation

Interview 101: Preparation


You are often given only one critical opportunity to impress a potential boss: the first interview. If you fail to convince the employer you are a good hiring choice at this juncture, there is no other chance. Learn a few specific strategies for giving great interview answers, and you will soon enjoy your first day on your new job.

Do your research and learn as much as you can about the company  before your job interview. Review their website, Facebook page, LinkedIn profile and do an online search for more information. This will give you knowledge of the organization’s mission and culture along with other pertinent details. This helps you decide if you are a good match for this particular employer and will help you respond.


To interview successfully, you need to understand what exactly the position entails. Many of the questions posed will concern how well your education, background and skills mesh with the duties of the job. Emphasize details about your experience to convince the interviewer you are right for the position.


Pepper your answers with action verbs. You want your interview to come off as positive and powerful so your potential employer becomes aware of your enthusiasm and willingness to work hard. Some words you might want to make part of your job-seeking vocabulary are learn, acquire, create, excel, organize, generate, handle, perform, mentor and pinpoint. Always use professional language, no slang and avoid text-speak such as “omg” and “jk“.

Your interviewer will show interest in how you handled responsibilities in the past, so prepare to share about key instances. These examples should highlight your creativity, problem-solving skills or conflict resolution processes. Be concise but give her enough exposition to understand the scene and then talk about your actions. Do not criticize a former employer or manager when you speak about your job history. Keep everything as optimistic as possible.

Team Work

You are likely to receive questions which will access your collaboration skills. Here is where you must emphasize that you are a great team player. Cite examples where you worked successfully with others during projects at other jobs, college or clubs. Bring up instances where you produced great results by cooperating and coordinating with diverse individuals. You want the employer to know you are able and enjoy working with a variety of people.

A classic interview question you can expect in one form or another is one that requires you to point out a weakness in yourself. Do not follow the old advice of veiling an actual strength to present it as an answer such as “I am a perfectionist, I will work hard until everything small detail is exceptional.” Nobody in management will buy this answer. Instead, honestly name a real weakness but then tell the interviewer how you are working to resolve the issue.

Be Prepared

Think before you open your mouth when answering questions. Take a second to not only consider the content of the query but why the interviewer is asking it. Don’t play politician and answer what you wish the question had been but instead center your response on the actual question and motivation behind it. Give the information needed without rambling. Wrap up great interview answers when you sense you are losing the interviewer’s interest.


Now that you have some guidelines in how to give great interview answers, you can enter this very important meeting with confidence. Remember though, to stay humble and relax. You are going to do well and will enjoy your first day on your new job. Contact us for more information on employment issues.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.