Nail the Interview – Part 1

There is a lot going on when we are preparing for an interview…nerves, stress, excitement. Here are a few things to think about and put into practice before the big day.

  • The interview is the ultimate test of a candidate’s suitability.  A strong personal interview can often compensate for a weak resume or minimal experience.
  • Remember, 75% of getting hired is based on chemistry. Exhibit high energy; be enthusiastic, passionate and most importantly…be honest.
  • Apply the 50/50 Rule – An interview should be a mutual exchange of information and not a one-sided conversation.  By using the 50/50 Rule (meaning you talk about 50% of the time and allow the other party to talk 50% of the time) there is an equal exchange of information.
  • Rehearse if it’s been a while since you last interviewed. Role-play with a friend or family member who will be honest and observant and critique you on things such as body language, voice tone, etc.
  • Be punctual.  Know the logistics of the interview.  Who, what, where and      when?  Arrive 15 minutes early.  Tardiness is never excusable.
  • For a telephone interview have your resume in front of you to reference.  For a face-to-face interview bring clean copies with you.  As a rule bring one copy per interviewer and two extras for any surprise visitors.
  • Bring a portfolio and pen with you to the interview.  This shows that you feel that the person/people interviewing you may have something of interest to write down. This is a great place to have some questions written down and prepared for the interviewer(s) as well.
  • Visit the company’s website.  During the interview surprise them with your knowledge of the company.


  • Although many companies are business casual, we suggest you wear conservative business attire.  Never chew gum or smoke.  If business attire isn’t an option due to your current employment status, discuss with your recruiter immediately, in advance of your interview, so we have the opportunity to discuss with the client prior to your interview.
  • Greet your interviewer with a smile, direct eye contact and a firm handshake.  Refer to a mutual acquaintance if you have one but, DO NOT name drop too much.  This can be a major turn-off.  Be confident but never cocky. Be mindful of good posture and don’t slouch.
  • For a telephone interview, GOOD ATTITUDE is key.  It is amazing what will shine through across the telephone lines.  That is why we recommend practicing a      telephone interview in the mirror and stand up while on the phone.  Be      enthusiastic, charismatic, sincere and honest.
  • Avoid wearing too much cologne or perfume.

Up Next…. The Interview – just relax.

Contributed by: Rick Forrest, Senior Technical Recruiter