Do These 5 Things Before Your Next Interview and Get the Job

Interview prep is tricky not because you don't know what to do to get ready, but because you know too much about what you could do. Before you get bogged down in endless practice interview questions, make sure you have these things checked off your pre-interview to-do list.

job interview tips 

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1. Research the company.

You probably know at least a little something about your prospective employer by the time you make it to the interview stage, or your resume and cover letter wouldn't have helped you snag the interview. Still, now's the time to make sure you have a full grasp of the company history, including its mission and founders, and are up-to-date on its latest news. Start with the corporate website and the organization's profile in PayScale's Research Center, and then do a Google News search, and take a look at the company's social media profiles. Know how long they've been around, what challenges they've faced, who their competitors are. Most importantly, figure out what their problems are -- especially the ones that hiring you would solve.

2. Investigate your role.

Look up the job title and find out what responsibilities typically go with that role. Think about your experience, and how it would fit. Take a salary survey to determine a salary range. Hopefully, you won't be asked to get into specifics, but if you are, have an idea of what you'd like to hear and what you'd accept.

3. Get to know the key people.

If possible, ask for the names of the people you'll be speaking with, so that you can look them up on LinkedIn before the interview. If you're interviewing with folks outside of HR, pay special attention to their background and experience. Note any points of commonality with your background.

4. Prepare for common questions.

Avoid giving canned answers to common interview questions by concentrating on demonstrating how your skills, experience, and passion can help the company solve its problems. Practice, but focus more on remembering your own best qualities than on memorizing pat replies.

5. Practice confident body language.

Sit up straight, make (just enough) eye contact, and shake hands firmly -- in short, practice looking like someone who deserves to get the job.

Tell Us What You Think

What do you do before you interview? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.


  1. 7 Dmitriy 29 Oct
    Does not apply to one-legged, partially bald mathematician with Fields medal.
  2. 6 Annonoumous Observer 15 Oct
    One has to be careful with making comments on glass door, rateyouremployer, and other employee venting sites, especially if the company is small with less than 20 employees, also anything the location or ip address that you used where you wrote it. Also keep in mind that recruiters check sites like this and check years on your resume to cross reference, as sites like this post the year in which the posting was put there, any crappy or negative experience you had and and employer would beest left on your own venting email address and not posted on places like this for your own future protection, these places can destroy your career because you cannot have to posting removed, unless you have those things documented. Also remember any Facebook posts you make if you have Facebook account best to go there and clear out and delete anything that can raise eyebrows, and adjust the security settings so only friends can see you stuff. Then check your name on Google to see if anything comes up about you,everyones privacy is everyone's business today and the Internet if a very dangerous place for any comments you make will be for ever there, best if posted using a fake email address with no link to a phone number, it is getting harder to do this now. Anyhow just beware that employers look usually for three references so best to stay on good terms even if your boss is a jerk, as many are and are very difficult to work with, but they have more power than they should have and will use it to destroy you or your future prospects, best to get out as soon as possible when those signs present themselves its not going away, even if the place is unionized.
  3. 5 Tabatha 19 Jun
    Nilda, if you didn't get a long with your employer, don't bad mouth them, just so in so was very passionate about this company, but I learned everything that I could learn from them (even if it was I've learned don't be like that), and now I'm ready for a new lesson or mentor. I agree about what to wear. Unless it's for fashion (when you need to show that you can accessorize), then less is more. I usually wear a basic black dress and a statement necklace and subtle earrings. clearly if you are married then you wear that and you can wear a watch as long as it has a professional band. You know I always thought that it was common sense until I started working with the homeless to look nice get a haircut if you need one, manicure your hair etc. So now that I work with the homeless I have to refresh their memory. Also Always bring or mail a thank you note or card. Thank them for the time they took too speak with you and then say, "I look forward to working with you, hearing from you" ; what ever you want to put. I've asked the receptionist for the name of whom I will be speaking to and she was like, "I don't know." I figured she could have given me all the names and I could have looked all of them up to get a feeling for them. I like that they brought up have self confidence because some of my clients have a background so they automatically assume that they won't get a job. I tell them you won't know unless you try. I tell them to walk in there like they don't have anything in their background, some places don't care if you are impressive and confident, well and depending on how long it has been since your "issue". Go in knowing that you will rock it and that you are the best person for the job. Oh and final thing. Have questions ready. That goes hand and hand with researching the company, but have some generic questions that you can ask the interviewer about them (especially if they have a linked in account). Ask where do they see themselves in 5 years, which company would they say is their biggest competitor. You notice on their linked in that they have this degree or certificate, how did the training or education of that help them in their position right now? Stuff like that. You want them to think, "Wow their thorough."
  4. 4 Nilda Cruikshank 25 Sep
    What to say about a past employer when the employer wasn't the best. What to say if a past employer, in fact, wasn't good, and didn't have any work ethic in his/her relationship with you ?. If this is the case, what to say if an interviewer ask about a previous employer ?
  5. 3 Lisa 08 Sep
    Job interview I was advised to only wear 1 piece of jewelry nothing take away focus . Clothes business and always clean and pressed
  6. 2 Irene 21 Aug
    [correction] I think a couple of things are missing: Get a nice haircut, lose any or all body piercings/attachments; cover tattoos; and give your best clothes a wash and iron or press. It's about getting them to think they'll LIKE working with you.
  7. 1 Irene 21 Aug
    I think a couple of things are missing: Get a nice haircut, lose any or all body piercings/attachments; cover tattoos; and give your best clothes a was and iron or press. It's about getting them to think they'll LIKE working with you.


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