Nailing a Job Interview is more like a battle of wits... keeping yours!

You have probably heard the adage "Practice Makes Perfect" and while that's fine, I prefer the saying that my Drivers Ed. teacher would tell (yell at) us while driving; Perfect Practice Makes Perfect.

How do you prepare for your big job interview?

Step 1: Research, Research, Research!!!

  1. Start with the internet, every company has a web site and every web site has an about us section. READ IT!

  2. "Google" the company. I guarantee any medium to large company has already "Googled" you before inviting you in for an interview. You should return the favor. See what is in the news, read any customer reviews, look to create your own list of comments, concerns, and QUESTIONS.

  3. There are other options for researching specific companies based on your own situation so choose accordingly. (SEC 10-K filings, Social Media Pages, Yelp!, Competitors web sites, Undercover Site Visits - NOT on Fridays!, etc.)

  4. What are good rates of pay for this type of job? What if any benefits are usually provided in this industry? You will want to know this if you are offered the job.

  5. Prepare a list of responses and questions

  6. Dress for Success

  7. Practice

  8. Practice your introduction in front of a mirror.

  9. Video yourself going through your introduction. Watch it looking for

The Day of...

  1. Arrive 10 min. early

  2. Breathe! Oxygen is the food of the brain. You need to breathe. Gentleman, if you are stressed and not breathing your voice may jump up an octave. It's a strange visual to be looking at a person with a beard and the voice of a ten-year old.

Beginning the interview:

  1. When you hear your name called, stand confidently, walk with purpose, and SMILE.

  2. Give a good, firm handshake (Practice this!!) Shaking hands is a SKILL.

  3. Generally speaking, wait to be asked to sit and then take your seat where directed.

During the Interview:

  1. RELAX. Stress kills, try and "have-fun-with-it." Do not be cavalier, you must take it seriously. However, you need to remain approachable and confident. Stress will wreck both of these attributes.

  2. Ask for names and contact email addresses. You will need these after the interview, and it makes you look great when you address the interviewers by name.

After the interview:

  1. Send a thank you note or email. Where possible use a hand-written note that you can personally drop off. This gives you an excuse to go to the work-site and reinforce the connection between your name, face, and resume.

  2. If all goes wrong, be polite and gracious in defeat. Ask if there are parts of your resume or interview that you could improve on. LEARN from this experience.

  3. If all goes well, be polite and gracious in victory. Ask what they liked about your resume and interview so you can repeat these on a future job search. When talking about the money try to keep it close or higher to the averages from your research. If it is significantly lower, ask for the justification and ask about opportunities for raises and advancements.

  4. Finally, no matter what the outcome, thank them for their time and interest. If done correctly, this will be a learning experience for everyone.

Good luck and Practice some Perfect Interviews.


  1. How many job interviews have you had?

  2. Describe how your latest job interview was done?

  3. Write down the name of a company you would like to work for. Now, write an appropriate interview question to ask them. (if needed, use the internet to go to their About Us page.)


Lecture Guide

PowerPoint: Interview Don'ts - discussion

Teachers Pay Teachers Files