Saturday, October 3, 2009

How to Prepare for Your First Interview - Part I

So, you’ve finally graduated, scouted around for a potential employer and finally submitted your resume. Then you received that all-important call telling you that you will need to go to their office for your first ever face-to-face interview. Way to go! You spend the full hour jumping up and down, overjoyed that all your hard work has finally paid off. But wait! This is just an interview, man! You’re not yet fully there, if you know what I mean. So instead of thinking about salaries, benefits, bonuses and all those things, start thinking about your interview and how you can prepare yourself for it. Think about it this way: the actual interview is just 50% of the whole probability of you getting accepted. What’s the other 50%? The preparation for the interview. So, to help you ace that first interview, here are some tips that you can use in preparing for that interview:

Clear it up and mark it down. Check your schedule for the interview. Clear up that schedule then note down the time and the date of your interview. Better yet, ensure that you don’t have any activities (important ones) during the day of your interview. You’ll never know if that interview will take longer than you thought or if and when you pass it, you’ll be told to have another interview and another and another. You might think these are all nerve-wracking (which they are, actually) but it is actually a good sign because the more you are interviewed, the higher the position of your interviewer and the more chances you have of getting accepted.

Know the important details. By important details, I mean, know the full name of the company (not knowing will be a disaster, believe me), the exact address, the name of your interviewer, his or her position and location of his or her office in the building and his or her phone number. If you are not familiar with the location, research it ahead of time. Get a map or directions and familiarize yourself with the route to get there. Better yet, drive to that office a few days or even a day before your interview. That way, you’ll see firsthand the traffic situation from your place to the office and how easy or difficult it is to park in your prospective employer’s parking lot.

Know the Company…beforehand. I know this is a very common tip, but I cannot over-emphasize its importance. Its importance increases with the number of companies you submitted your application to. I mean, you don’t want to go to an interview with a company where you will talk about things that actually pertain to another company, and a competitor at that! So before your interview (and even before you submit your application), start learning about the company. What is it? What is its main purpose, main products, main clients? Where is it located, where are its branches? Who’s the president or company head? Take down notes or if you have these already, review those notes.

Prepare all your files. Need to bring your references during the interview? Make sure you secure them a few days before the actual interview date. Better yet, have a checklist of everything that you’re going to bring. Prepare all the documents that you feel you will need for your interview. These documents may include (but are not limited to): another copy of your resume; your transcript of records; identification cards (passports; driver’s license); work samples (if you’re in a profession requiring these); your references; your diploma and extra pictures. Once you have all of these, place them in a briefcase or a document bag no later than a day before your actual interview. You don't want to be scrambling for your files during the day of your interview so make sure you have everything on hand the day (or even days) before.

This is just Part I of this blog. Part II is just below this blog. Happy reading!


  1. Thanks emie! that was a really helpful post

  2. Parking situation? Surely you'll take public transit... ;)

  3. Krupo, LOL, was assuming you'll have a car here. Okay, okay, public transit =).

  4. Of course, once you get hired you can also start doing craaaazy things like biking in. Oh it's so much fun. I would've done it today had I not had massive parcels of baggage that aren't exactly bike-friendly. :P

  5. LOL, I can just imagine an auditor biking in complete with laptop and working papers. Now that will be something. ;)