Preparing for an interview

Congratulations on getting an interview! Interview preparation is crucial to ensure you showcase your skills, knowledge, and personality in the best possible way. Remember you are interviewing them as well! Investigate the role and it’s applicability to your skills and goals and also make sure that the CULTURE of the firm is compatible with your values.

Our client is truly hoping YOU are the person who can solve their problem!

Here’s a step-by-step guide to help you with your interview preparation:

  1. Plan logistics: Ensure you know the interview schedule, time zone (if it’s a remote interview), and have a stable internet connection if it’s an online interview. Arrive at the interview location (physical or virtual) a few minutes early to avoid any last-minute stress.
  2. Research the company and interviewer: Start by thoroughly researching the company you’re interviewing with. Understand their products, services, mission, values, recent news, and any other relevant information. This will not only help you answer questions confidently but also demonstrate your interest in the organization. If you know the names of the people conducting the interview, research them on platforms like LinkedIn. It can provide insights into their professional background and interests.
  3. Review the job description: Understand the role you’re applying for and the specific skills and qualifications the company is looking for. This will give you an idea of what to emphasize during the interview.
  4. Prepare your responses: Anticipate common interview questions and think about how you would answer them. Be prepared to discuss your strengths, weaknesses, achievements, challenges you’ve faced, and how you handle difficult situations. Typical questions include:
    • Why are you willing to leave your current employer?
    • What are your short-term & long-term goals?
    • How do you feel about your current supervisor?
    • What are your strengths & weaknesses? (you had better have a weakness, too)
    • What information is important to you in making a job change?
  1. A few important questions you should consider carefully how to answer.
    • What salary are you looking for?
      1. You should avoid discussing compensation on the first interview unless you’re actually offered the job and want to accept it.
  1. If the interviewer asks specifically what your salary requirements are, your answer should be,

“What I’m really looking for is the right career opportunity. I’m sure you’ll make me a fair offer if you want to hire me.”

  • What are the most significant accomplishments in your career so far?
  • What did you like least about your last position?
  • Why should we hire you?
  1. DO NOT inquire about salary, vacation, bonus, retirement or benefits on the initial interview unless you are offered the job.
  2. NEVER make derogatory remarks about your present or former employers or companies!
  3. Know your resume: Review your resume thoroughly, as the interviewer may ask about your previous work experiences, projects, or education. Be ready to discuss how your background aligns with the job requirements.
  4. Dress appropriately: Choose professional attire that is suitable for the company culture and industry. When in doubt, it’s better to be slightly overdressed than underdressed. In a virtual meeting, please be aware of your visual background on and try to make it as professional as possible.
  5. Prepare questions for the interviewer: At the end of the interview, you’ll likely be asked if you have any questions for them. Prepare thoughtful questions that demonstrate your interest in the role and company. Types of probing questions:
    • Why did my predecessor leave, or is this a new position?
    • What is the most important thing I can do to help your firm during the first 90 days of my employment?
    • What obstacles must be overcome for the person in this position to succeed?
    • What criteria will be used to evaluate my performance?
    • What opportunities are there for growth in the next 12/months? 2/years? 5/years?
    • What is the company growth plan?
  1. At the end of the interview, perhaps the most important question to ask the interviewer, “Is there anything standing in the way of you hiring me?” It’s polite and forces them into the position of telling you what they might object to or have concerns with. If there may have been a miscommunication and they didn’t understand you, it gives you one last shot to influence them.
  2. Mock interviews: Practice with a friend, family member, or through video conferencing platforms. Mock interviews can help you become more comfortable with answering questions and receive feedback on your performance.
  3. Practice non-verbal communication: Pay attention to your body language during mock interviews or practice sessions. Maintain eye contact, offer a firm handshake, and sit upright. Good non-verbal communication can make a positive impression.


Closing The Interview

Tell the key interviewer (probably also your future supervisor-to-be) that you are interested in working not only for the firm, but also for them. Interviewers like to hear positive things, too!

Summarize what you can do to solve what you perceive to be the employer’s greatest problem. Determine what the next step in the process will be (second interview, test, physicals, reference checks, etc.). Close with a firm handshake and a sincere “thank you” to the interviewer for their time.

Follow up with a thank you email to ALL interviewers within 24 hours! Enhance your impact by sending a follow up email thanking the interviewer for meeting with you. You should paraphrase your understanding of the role as expressed by how the interviewer explained the role to you. Make sure to express your ability to do the job by sharing your past accomplishments and achievements (think cover letter style) and how that relates to doing the job successfully.  Ultimately, you want the interviewer to feel the role is in your wheelhouse!

Lasty, make sure to call your recruiter at NES to share your thoughts and opinions on how the meeting went.  We will then contact our client and get back to you with their thoughts and what the next step in the process is.