How to Prepare for an Interview

Three people sitting in chairs waiting for an interview.

Preparing for an interview can be a daunting task, especially if you haven’t interviewed for a new job for some time. As a recruiting firm, we talk to candidates and hiring companies daily and know what you need to do to prepare for an interview.

Research the Company

Before stepping into an interview,  do your due diligence on the company. Do not just read the “About Us” page on their website. While that is a good place to start,  dig into their product or service offerings, read the executive bios if available, and even investigate who their competitors are.

Do a Google search on them and click the ‘news’ tab to see if they have been in the media for anything recently. See if the founder, CEO, or executives have been interviewed on a podcast or the news and listen to it. Check out their social media pages to see what they have been posting about lately.

Try to get a good feel for what the company does, their values, and their culture before your interview. This will not only help you feel more prepared but also show them you know your stuff.

Dress Appropriately

Whether this is in-person or virtual, dress appropriately! For exactly what to wear, there is not one clear answer as this will depend on the company. You’ll probably get a feel for this after doing your research on the company and dress to fit in with that culture. Most likely this will range somewhere from business casual to business formal, but use your best judgment based on your research and understanding of the company.

You can ask your recruiter or HR to verify this as well. If you are still unsure, we recommend erring on the side of caution, better to be a bit too formal than underdressed.

Be On Time

While this may be a no-brainer, it is too important not to include. If you are late for a job interview, this will leave the hiring company with a bad taste in their mouth before your interview even starts. Know where you are going beforehand, check for traffic before you leave, and leave 15 minutes before you think you need to leave. Better safe than sorry, and you can always wait in your car for a few minutes versus sprinting into the office.

If this is a virtual interview, make sure you are in a place with a good internet connection ahead of time. Make sure you have a login or credentials to whatever platform this is taking place on (Teams, Zoom, Google Meet, etc.). If possible, try and log on beforehand to make sure the link the company provides you with works. Log in to the interview 5 minutes early.

Review the Job Description

Make sure to review the job description thoroughly before an interview. Know what the hiring company is looking for in terms of responsibilities and think about examples from your previous experiences that relate.

Research Potential Questions Beforehand

Sit down and do some old-fashioned googling on the most popular interview questions. There are many articles out there (and go through several of them) to get a wide variety of all the common questions you may be asked and know how you will answer them beforehand.

The STAR interview method is a behavioral interview technique that is very common. This is the acronym for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. If you answer questions through this framework, you will be thorough and be able to support all of your answers with concrete examples. Search for common STAR interview questions too!

Have Examples Ready

To piggyback onto researching potential interview questions beforehand, make sure to have a wide variety of work examples ready that you can draw from. Ideally, have numbers to back up your experiences when applicable. For example, for a sales role, you can discuss how a certain action led to a specific percentage increase in sales.

Broad examples may seem like you are exaggerating or at least not as knowledgeable about the topic. The more specific examples of your experience you have on hand, the better!

Listen First, Talk After

A common mistake many interviewees make is over-talking. This is usually due to nerves and should be avoided. Make it a point to listen to the interviewer and what questions they are asking, take a moment, and answer thoughtfully. Talking for the sake of talking will do you no good in an interview.

Have Questions Ready

At the end of an interview, most interviewers will ask you if you have any questions. You should be prepared to have a few intelligent questions to ask about the company or the job responsibilities. This is NOT an invitation to address salary or vacation days.

Bring References and Copies of Your Resume

While most companies will already have your resume and will probably not ask you for references during the interview, it is always best to be prepared. If you have put together a presentation for the interview, have copies of that with you too!

Thank you Note and Follow Up

After your interview, write a quick thank you note to the HR or hiring manager who interviewed you. Thank them for their time and remind them of a few quick points on why you are a fit for the role. Typically, this should be done by email and keep it short and sweet.

Relax and Wait

If you prepared well and knocked your interview out of the park, you’ve done all you can do. Time to relax and wait for the next steps, or hopefully an offer! The interviewing company will most likely give you a timeline of when you should hear back. After that time has passed, if you still have not heard from them, you can send a brief follow-up note. Better yet, if you are working with a recruiter, you can follow up with them!

Keep in mind companies are often interviewing a few candidates and need to find a time for everyone involved in the process internally to meet and decide. This may take a little bit of time, so if you don’t hear back right away, hope is not lost!

Bonus Tips:

  • Do NOT under any circumstances bring up compensation during the interview. If the company asks you, then it is okay to discuss. But if not, an interview is not the time or place. The same holds for benefits, particularly vacation days.
  • Do NOT speak poorly of your previous companies. This simply makes you look bad and makes a company think about what you may say about them if they hire you. Even if you left one of your previous companies on bad terms, spin it into something more palatable, but still true. For example, you could say you had some disagreements with the direction the company was moving in, so you decided to take a step back and find a new opportunity.


We hope this guide was a nice reminder of what you need to research and prepare for going into your next job interview. If you are just starting your search, peek at our open jobs to see if we have something that may be a good fit for you!