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Preparing for the Perfect Job Interview

Preparing for the Perfect Job Interview

So you’ve finally landed an interview for that dream job you’ve always wanted.  Now what?  Do you go into panic mode as you try and figure out how to best prepare for the interview, or do you remain calm, cool and collected as you review your interviewing basics checklist.


Consider for a moment the purpose of the interview from your perspective, as well as from the perspective of the interviewer.  You want to provide the interviewer with key information about yourself as well as create a favorable and lasting impression. 


You also want to make sure you receive key information you need to determine if this is the right fit for you in terms of job, opportunity, culture, etc.  The interviewer on the other hand is looking to gather information about you that perhaps was not available on your resume or to provide you with key information about the job or the company.  The interviewer will be assessing your fit within the role and company culture as well as determining if you can do the job.


There are certain things that are well within your control and some things that are not.


Let’s look at what’s within your control. 

You can…

  • Be prepared and punctual
  • Dress professionally
  • Present a good attitude
  • Control what you say and how you say it
  • Use positive body language.  Communication is 55% body language.
  • Prepare your questions in advance of the interview.  Make sure you have at least three great questions to ask in the interview.
  • Follow up (90% of interviewees don’t follow up… this alone will make you stand out as a candidate.)


Now let’s look at what is not within your control. 

  • Who you meet
  • The length of the interview
  • The type of interview (i.e. panel vs. behavioral vs. structured, etc…)
  • What questions you are asked
  • Any interview bias
  • The quality of interviewer


Preparing for the interview is a key component of getting the job.  It’s important for you to do as much research as you can about the job, the people in the organization, the company, the leaders, the goals and objectives of the organization and much more.  The more you know, the more you will either be passionate about the opportunity or convinced it’s not the role for you.  Research is easy with the internet at your fingertips.


Another important thing to consider while preparing for an interview is to understand your strategic advantage as an interviewee.  What makes you the best candidate for this job?  Know the answer.  Prepare a brief outline of the points you want to make in the interview and practice them.  You can practice in front of a mirror or role play with someone.  Anticipate any skill and/or knowledge requirements and be prepared to address any shortfalls you may have in the hiring criteria.  Lastly, make sure you are displaying your most positive attitude before, during and after the interview process.


At the point of the interview:

  • Turn off your cell phone
  • Be mindful of first impressions
  • Listen to the specific question
  • Be direct and specific in your answers
  • Be concise, but don’t say too little
  • Gauge the interviewer’s style and experience
  • Watch for clues and adapt to changing situations
  • Watch for non-verbal communication
  • Be aware of your body language
  • Match and mirror your interviewer’s body language


Here are some of the most frequently asked interview questions:

  • Tell me about yourself.
  • What are your strengths & weaknesses?
  • What do you want to do?
  • Why are you interested in this job?
  • What do you know about our company?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What will your references say?
  • Why did you leave your previous employer?


Make sure you take the time in advance of the interview to develop some strong answers to each.  The better prepared you are to answer questions, the more likely you will make a strong impression on your interviewer.  Be prepared.  So now that you are prepared and you know what you can and can not control you can relax and enjoy the interview.  It’s the next step in landing you that dream job!


Linda CattelanLinda Cattelan, Career & Life Coach and the President of Results Catalyst Inc. – a professional coaching and training company focused on individuals and teams to maximize human potential and to achieve personal and professional success.  Linda shares over 25 years of corporate experience, much of it at the senior executive level.  A superior track record coaching and mentoring senior managers, executives and entrepreneurs to consistently achieve outstanding results Linda is brilliant at using various self discovery techniques to facilitate getting at core issues instrumental for personal and professional breakthrough.

Holding a Masters Degree in Business Administration, Linda is a Certified Trainer and Master Practitioner in Neuro Linguistic Programming (NLP) and a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach.  Linda is a regular guest of radio and television and a Contributing Author of the inspirational and informative networking book, The Power of Women United.

If you are interested in closing the gap between where you are now and where you want to be in any area of your life or you are interested in learning more about Linda Cattelan or Results Catalyst Inc. then simply click here:

Further Reading on Job Interviews:

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  1. Hi..

    It was a great post and very helpful for the freshers to prepare for interviews.

    As according to my experiences, while facing an interview your preparation will determine how successful you are in the interview. I’m going to give you some ideas and things that you want to take into consideration.

    First of all you have about 30 seconds to make a good impression on someone so make sure that you are dressed properly, you are clean, you are neat with no stains on your shirt, make sure that if you are going to wear a skirt it is an appropriate length. We want people concentrating on what you are saying, not what you are wearing and then the next piece of that gets to the actual interview.

    Be prepared. There are some questions that you know you are going to have to answer like tell me a little something about yourself. That is an easy question. It is meant to put you at ease and you should be fairly capable of answering that question without a lot of thought process. Write things down and rehearse.

    That is my key to success. Role play with someone and in some places I have had people to video tape and then see yourself in an interview. You’ll pick up on all types of little annoying nuances that you might be doing that would be turning people off.

    Make sure that you write down the basic questions that are going to be asked, that you have great answers to those questions and that you are confident of those answers and yourself. The interviewing process is a way for you to take a look at the company and the company to take a look at you.

    Be prepared and get to that second or third interview and get the job.

    Thanks & Regards

  2. joelmonfero says:

    thanks for the information u given about on Perfect Job Interview, its very helpful to to every one that looking for a job and right answer for the question….

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