ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

What you need to know before your job interview

Updated on April 17, 2010

The ground rules

No one can deny that receiving the letter or call inviting you for a job interview produces excitement, but also stress.  From worrying about your appearance to how to answer your questions and remember what did you write on your CV or application, the list of things to take into consideration might seem endless, so the first thing to do is to organise your thoughts and concerns about the meeting in itself. Here are some ground rules that you should apply to cover your basis and feel in control:

  • Appearance:  regardless of the vacancy you applied for, you are selling yourself and should dress accordingly.  There is a huge misbelief about using suits or overdressing when in reality you must remember to be yourself. If you don't feel comfortable wearing business clothes, this will transpire in your body language and communicate a subtle and tangible message to your interviewer:  "I am not comfortable, I don't fit in".
  • Time keeping: whatever the time of your interview, make sure you are there at least ten minutes before. If you need to park your car, find a new bus route or become familiar with the area leave way ahead of time.  If you are too early, don't announce it. Simply wait outside, buy a coffee or sit somewhere and use the spare time to prepare better.
  • Facts and figures: every employer appreciates candidates who can remember the names of the people who contacted them about the job.  Whoever greets you will be able to tell you whether they've contacted you before but if not, make a mental note of their names. 
  • Research and observation: if you have the chance to go ahead of time to the place where you want to work, you will feel more familiar and the interview will be less stressful. Researching the company, even on-line for just five minutes will give you the chance to prepare your own questions to show you care about the job and the company.  
  • Research and observation II: once you know you have landed an interview, take time to find out more about the company.  Focus on: what the company stands for, the causes it supports, the corporate social responsibility statements and of course, the success or failure in its recent history.  
  • Research and observation III: if you have done your homework with the two bullet points above, you could probably predict some of the questions they might ask you. Political correctness dominates the arena of interviews and a good interviewer will be able to avoid the mine fields that could lead to misinterpretation or discrimination, however you need to be just as careful on providing clear and exact answers. 

The mental workout

When you have been selected for an interview, the interviewer has read through your application, has picked points about your previous jobs, hobbies, education, skills, etc.  You are going to be answering questions that are likely to be disguised as informal conversation or will be quite direct and scary. Either way, prepare mentally for the meeting and don't leave it until the last minute to think thoroughly about these points:

  • Why have you applied for the job? if your only motivation is money, you might as well skip the interview altogether.  You are going to be in this job a good portion of the time you are awake and when the salary is the only or most attractive aspect of the job you need to visualise yourself doing the job through a period of time of no less than one year to determine whether you would be satisfied and likely to actually feel that the effort is worth the money it pays.  Remember that work dissatisfaction is like a silent killer and regardless of the salary there are dearer consequences to your health and your work-life balance.
  • What do you expect to achieve in the job? did you read the point above? if you know that the job actually sounds interesting, think about where do you see yourself in the company in three years' time.  It is amusing the amount of people who is unable to answer this question even though they are strongly motivated and enthusiastic about their interview and future working prospects.
  • How do your talents, skills, education, previous experiences can help the company? You sent a CV or applied for a job and you have been pre-selected because whoever choose you, thinks you might be a match.  You will need to answer this question to yourself before you can sell your great assets to your interviewer. 


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      Hmmm,very interesting ... have a mature way of thinking ..

    • Adriana Uribe profile imageAUTHOR

      Adriana Uribe 

      8 years ago from Scotland

      Thank you for that. This information may sound a bit obvious at first but it is a good place to start, particularly if you haven't got much experience about job interviews.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      You obviously have a good working knowledge of how the process looks from the other side of the desk!

    • Adriana Uribe profile imageAUTHOR

      Adriana Uribe 

      8 years ago from Scotland

      I agree, however you would be shocked at what interviewers have to say about finding someone who actually has done the homework.

    • barryrutherford profile image

      Barry Rutherford 

      8 years ago from Queensland Australia

      good information. Common sense really but not so common ! :)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)