Preparing For A Job Interview

suit_career_male_man_tie_neck_jacket_300x300“You never get a second chance to make a first impression”, this old saying definitely applies to job interviews. Believe it or not but you can be excluded from the job the moment the interviewer sees you. Your job interview preparation should begin as soon as you are aware of the interview.

Prepare for the interview by researching the respective organization, ensuring you have the necessary/required documents, bringing samples of your work (if applicable), and by ensuring you have the proper job interview attire. If you don’t have the correct interview attire, start obtaining your clothes as soon as possible. Proper interview attire is listed below:



  • Wear a conservative dress or suit. A suit is highly preferred.
  • Wear sensible pumps. No open toe shoes or sandals.
  • Light make-up and perfume (with emphasis on “light”)
  • Wear simple jewelry (wedding/engagement ring is OK). No big dangling earrings.
  • Hair and fingernails should be well-groomed.
  • No long fingernails and nail polish should be a conservative color.



  • Dark two piece suit, white shirt, and a conservative tie.
  • Do not wear slacks with a pair of boots… Wear dress shoes.
  • Your shoes should be polished.
  • All facial hair should be neatly trimmed.
  • Hair and fingernails should be well-groomed.
  • Wear light cologne/after-shave.


Documents And Things You Need

One of the last things that you want to happen during an interview is to be asked for a document that you cannot furnish. When going on an interview, be sure to bring the documents below. When going to the interview, place your documents in a briefcase or similar bag. Do not carry a backpack!

Documents To Bring

  • State/Federal I.D.
  • Social Security Card (Green Card if not a citizen)
  • Birth Certificate
  • References
  • Resume (several copies)
  • Copy of H. S. Diploma (if no college)
  • Copy of College Degree
  • College Transcript (if no graduate)
  • Certificates (from training schools or courses)
  • Samples of work (if applies)
  • Laptop/Tablet if your samples are electronic
  • Any Licenses obtained
  • Portfolio
  • Pen, pencil, and notepad


Do Your Homework

The more you know about the organization and the job you are applying for, the better chance you have of succeeding in the interview. You can obtain information about the company from various sources. The Internet is the first place to look. If the organization has a website, most of the information you are looking for will be placed on their site. Be sure to check for Social sites that the organization may have (Facebook, Twitter, etc).

If the respective organization is not on the Internet you can also call up the company and ask the receptionist for public information. Another option is to visit the company a couple of days before your interview. Once you are at the company, you can ask the receptionist for a brochure, pamphlet, or any other document that contains public information about the organization. Also, visiting the company will give you a chance to estimate how long it will take you to get to the company from your home. You might want to look-up the following company information:

  • Office locations
  • Recent news and history
  • Financial information
  • Products and services
  • Competitors
  • Customers

Rehearsal is another part of preparing for the interview. It’s not a bad idea to review the information on your resume. It can be quite embarrassing to have the interviewer ask you a question in reference to your resume and you do not know what he/she is talking about. You should also rehearse the answers to commonly asked questions during interviews, and questions you should ask (click here for more info). If possible, do mock interviews with your friends and/or a family member.

The day of your interview, be sure to give yourself plenty of time to eat, get dress, etc. If it takes you an hour to get to the organization, give yourself an hour and a half. The buffer will help you in case of unexpected delays.

Try to get to the interview destination approximately 15 minutes ahead of your scheduled meeting time. If you get to the company 20 minutes or longer ahead of time, look for someplace “outside” of the company (not too far though) to kill the extra time. You don’t want to be loitering in the reception area for 35 minutes. I don’t recommend getting something to eat. Accidents happen… You or someone else may spill something on your clothes. Lastly, while waiting for the interview, you might want to eat a small piece of candy or a breathe mint. No gum! Lastly, be sure to turn off your cell phone prior to the interview’s start time.