How to Prepare for an Interview and Put Your Best Foot Forward

 In Blog

Making a positive first impression is the key to having a successful interview. There are times when you will just have a natural rapport with an interviewer, while other times the communication might feel awkward. If you’re unprepared, then you’re less likely to make a good impression and get an offer. Here are some tips to prepare for an interview and put your best foot forward.


Know where you’re going and who you’re going to be talking to. Having an impressive resume isn’t going to be what separates you from everybody else being interviewed. From reviewing the company’s website to its social media posts, there are plenty of resources available that can give you a head start and help build your confidence. Look at the questions you will likely be asked, like “why do you want to work for us?” Researching can also help you to answer any questions that you might have about the organization such as how profitable they are, any history of layoffs, etc.

Look the Part

We are most confident when we look our best. If you don’t have a new suit, definitely wear new, clean shoes. Add a pop of red somewhere. Bring along several pristine versions of your master resume, and don’t hesitate to collaborate with a recruiter to learn any unique features of the hire or the company.

Talk About Yourself

Don’t assume that the interviewers know anything about you just because they have your resume. Employers are still looking to gain more insight into your character, work ethic, and achievements so it’s important to establish back-and-forth communication that cannot be expressed on a resume. It should be a conversation that reveals more than your education and skills. Even if it is on your resume, they need to be reminded why you are an ideal fit.

Know How to Answer Hard Questions

Be prepared to answer difficult questions like those to do with compensation. Don’t bring up compensation, but you should be prepared to speak about it if asked by the interviewer. Instead of naming a figure, inform them that if they make an offer it will likely be a fair one.

During the interview, focus on listening and giving them time to ask you questions. Know the person you need to convince. If they say: “Tell me about yourself,” be prepared to answer. Take time to jot down 8 or 9 things about yourself in advance. Answer by going back in time and telling your story – “I graduated from xyz. . . ,” then go down the line to each job, marked with dates and so you can flow through it.

If they ask “Why did you leave your last job?” – don’t ever say anything derogatory about your former employer. Prove that you’re looking forward by talking about what you want and showing gratitude throughout the entire process. You can say that you’re sorry you’re leaving, but you’re looking for xyz in your career. You could also state that the people you worked with were great people and you learned a lot about the industry. Even if they were downsizing you can be honest and say that. Just be sure to express gratitude at the same time.

It’s important to prepare for your interview so you can confidently speak to your own experience and also ask smart questions of your interviewers. It can be tempting to apply for dozens of jobs at once, but the best strategy is to only seek opportunities you know will be a good fit.

Are you looking for top talent in heavy industrial or equipment manufacturing?

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