What to Do Before, During, and After a Job Interview

Before

  • Know who will be interviewing you, correct spelling and pronunciation of their name, and learn a bit about their background.
  • Look closely at the company’s web site to get a feel for its culture, business goals, products or services, financial reports, and challenges.
  • Know where you are going, length of time it will take you. Look up the exact building location and how to get there.
  • Present your most polished image. Pick smart, appropriate clothes. Make sure everything is clean. Choose simple accessories, hair do and make up.
  • Prepare questions beforehand. Know the answers to basic questions that they will most likely ask you. Also come up with a few questions about the company or position you are applying for to show that you’re interested.
  • Take a pen and a notepad with you.
  • Arrive on time. Being early is always better than being late. Inform the person who will be interviewing you immediately if you are going to be late.

During

  • Stand and shake hands with the interviewer.
  • Do not smoke even if you are offered.
  • Let the interviewer show your chair.
  • Avoid looking at your watch, cell phone.
  • Keep eye contact.
  • Listen attentively. Be honest and do not hesitate to say you don’t know the answer to a specific question.
  • You will be asked many questions. Be concise with your answers, but that still includes answering your questions with details. You may give a short summary of who you are and the value you can bring to the organization. Present your skills in positive terms; emphasize your strengths and how they relate to the job. You may be asked about a former employer, or your career goals. Give precise answers.
  • Do not holdback information, or misinform regarding your career.
  • When given a chance, ask why the company is in the hiring cycle, ask about any concerns you might have regarding the position. Remember this is a two-way assessment. Don't forget to ask who you will be reporting to, and how the department works. Don’t ask about salary or benefits in a first interview unless the interviewer initiates the topic
  • Stand, shake hands and thank the interviewer, and ask when you can expect to hear from them again.

After

  • Think about the questions you were asked and how you might improve your answers next time.
  • Evaluate your goals.
  • Follow up in 2-3 weeks if not given a specific time frame, as this will demonstrate your continued interest.