How To Successfully Prepare For Interviews
Deborah Brown-Volkman

A job interview is a screening tool. For you, it's an opportunity to assess whether or not you want to work for a company. For the employer, it's an opportunity to decide whether or not they want to hire you. Both sides are looking for a match.

Interviews bring up nervous questions for job seekers, such as:

• Will I fit in?
• Will they like me?
• Will they see that I am the best candidate for the position?

Interviews bring up nervous questions for employers, such as:

• Will this candidate be a good choice?
• Will they make me look good or bad?
• Will they be able to do this job?
• Will they get up and running quickly?
• Will they follow through with what they said during their interviews?

If you answer the employer's questions better than anyone else, you will have a good shot at getting the job. This means being prepared. If you prepare, you can go into problem-solving mode. So, rather than "please pick me," you will be able to tell a company how you are going to be an asset.

So How Can You Successfully Prepare For Interviews? Follow These Five Steps Below:

1. Research, research, and then research some more. Prospective employers expect you to be well-informed about the company, its products and services, and the industry as a whole in general. Plan to spend quite a bit of time on the company's web site. Look at their mission, news releases, product releases, etc.

Read articles about what the company and the industry are going through. Speak to people who work there. Know the company's view of itself, as well as what people who don't work for that company think about it. You are looking for indications of where a company is going and what problems the company and the industry are having. Knowledge is power. The more you know before the interview, the more confident you will be when you are there.

2. Know the job description intimately. If you want to do well during an interview, you have to know what the company wants you to do. This information is in the job description. Go through the bulleted list of requirements in the job description, one-by-one, and come up with an example of how you have successfully done what they are looking for in either your current or past positions.

3. Make a list of questions you may be asked during the interview. List questions you can easily answer as well as those you wish would not be brought up, but you know will be. Go through each question and write out your answers for each.

4. Know who is going to be in the room. A job interview can be with one individual or with many. You want to know who will be attending so you can gear your answers toward what's important to the people you will be meeting with. Each interviewer will want to know how hiring you will make their life easier. List each individual, their job title, what they are responsible for, and what you believe they will gain by having you employed there.

5. Know what the job is paying or what your position is worth. Inquire what the position is paying before you go into the interview. If you cannot find out, know what your position is worth by checking out salary sites on the web. Don't let a paid service stop you. Look into salary surveys done by associations in your industry. Look at similar job ads and not necessarily just ones near where you are located. Look for those ads that list salaries. You can get paid more-thousands of dollars more-if you know this information.

I have had clients ask me if all of this prep work is necessary and worth it. My answer is yes. A prepared impression is a good one. If you try to wing it, your nervousness can get the better of you. This means you will not come across well.

So, what do you say? You only have one life to live, so it might as well be a life you love!

Deborah Brown-Volkman is the president of Surpass Your Dreams, Inc., a career- and mentor-coaching company that has been delivering a message of motivation, success and personal fulfillment since 1998. The company works with senior executives, vice presidents and managers who are out of work or overworked. Deborah is also the creator of the Career Escape Program and author of Coach Yourself To A New Career: A Book To Discover Your Ultimate Profession. Deborah Brown-Volkman can be reached at via email at or at (631) 874-2877.


Newsletter Signup form

* First Name
Last Name
* E-Mail Address
* Province
* Job Field

Resume Critique
Canadian Salary Reports
Article Archives
Links To Career Professionals
Sign Up Now