Interview Preparation

Way to go – you landed the interview! Now, it’s critical to properly prepare. Here’s our advice:

Research the company and the position. If Poline Associates helped arrange the interview, we can provide you with the basic information you need about the company and the specific role. Review the job description carefully and utilize resources like the company’s website, LinkedIn and other online tools to understand the company’s history, culture, and approach to their business.

Make a list of questions to ask the employer.
  • Why is the position available?
  • What are the responsibilities of this position?
  • What are the goals for the person in this position?
  • What obstacles exist that must be overcome for this person to succeed?
  • How will this person’s performance be evaluated?
  • What are the opportunities for growth in the next 12 months? 2 years? 5 years?

While we cannot predict an interviewer’s exact questions, we often know the hiring official’s personality and interview demeanor as well as hot button issues they will likely address.

Be prepared to answer the following potential questions:
  • Why do you want this job?
  • What value will you bring to the company?
  • Tell me about yourself. Tell them only about your professional self.
  • What are your career goals?
  • What do you know about our organization?
  • Why are you interested in this position? Match your qualifications to the job; express your desire to work for the company.
  • What are the most significant accomplishments in your career so far? Highlight recent accomplishments that relate to this position and its requirements.
  • Describe a situation in which your work was criticized. Focus on how you solved the situation and how you became a better person/employee as a result.
  • How would you describe your personality?
  • What are your strengths?
  • How do you perform under pressure?
  • What do you like most/least about your current/recent position?
  • What is your ideal working environment?
  • How would your co-workers describe you?
  • What do you think of your current/recent boss? Be honest; if it’s a negative relationship, turn it into a positive situation.
  • Have you ever had to fire anyone? What was the situation, and how did you handle it?
  • Would you consider yourself to be creative?
Closing the Interview

Closing strongly and asking the right questions eliminate post-interview doubts.

  • Thank the interviewer for his or her time and consideration.
  • If the interview went well, express your interest to the hiring official by saying you feel that you would be a good fit for the position and asking if he or she has any issues or concerns about your qualifications. This question invites the hiring official to be honest with you. If concerns are presented, try to overcome them, sell your strengths and end the interview on a positive note.
  • Ask for the interviewer’s business card or current contact information.
Remember This Post-Interview

Don’t be discouraged if an offer or compensation parameters are not discussed. The interviewer will likely need to communicate with others in his or her office first and/or interview other applicants before making a final decision.

Following Up
  • After you leave the interview, immediately write down key issues discussed in the interview.
  • Think of the qualifications the employer is looking for and match your strengths and experiences to them. Include these in your follow-up correspondence.
  • Within 24 hours, send a thank you email to everyone that you met in the interview.
  • If Poline Associates facilitated the interview, please provide us with an update of how the interview went so we can stay informed and keep the process moving appropriately.