The first step in successful interviewing is preparation. When you receive a call inviting you in for an interview, ask what the interview will be like (format, length, etc.) This way you will know in advance what type of interview to prepare for.


Fundamental areas to address in preparation include:

Personal background. You should be comfortable discussing your education, work experiences, etc., and how they bring value to the employer.

Needed materials. You need to find out in advance what materials you will need to bring to the interview. You may want to bring work samples or other materials to demonstrate your skills. Be sure to bring extra copies of your resume.

Organizational and field knowledge. Research both the company and the industry so that you can speak somewhat knowledgeably about both during the interview.

Logistical preparation. Make sure that you know exactly where you are going, how you will get there, how long it will take, and that you leave adequate time for the interview. You should arrange for back-up childcare and transportation if necessary; try making a trial run to the interview location if possible. Also find out where to park and which part of the building to enter.

Clothing and appearance. Dress and grooming is key. Three things to keep in mind are:

  • Dress to fit the field and the organization
  • Dress toward the conservative
  • Pay meticulous attention to grooming

Practice. Prior to the interview, practice your answers to interview questions and be sure that you are comfortable with what you are going to say. If you anticipate that there are particular interview questions that may give you difficulty, take extra time to prepare to answer these "problem" questions.

Check out our Interviewing do’s and don’ts.