It appears your resume was solid and the first initial phone contact went well.  In a couple of days, you are going to the interview.  You have time for final preparation. What actions should you take?  Let’s talk about three essential functions you should accomplish prior to any interview.


Understanding your potential new organization prior to the interview is essential. In addition to the size, location and history, you’ll want to know some details about your future employer. You’ll want to research the company strengths and know the differentiators for this company. What makes it better than its competitors? Learn what you can for the corporate website.  A good place to start is the “About Us” section.  Having this knowledge will allow you to engage in confident discussion.

Research the company’s financials. This can be found in the investors relations tab on their website.  Or if traded publicly, you can find basic investor information by looking at the company’s financial statement on Google.  Google automatically provides a summary of the company, financial analysis, latest news, performance and competitors. Seek out information on new products and services, financial challenges and future market positioning. Make sure you understand the market as it relates to the company.

Look at social media and see what is being broadcast on social sites and corporate blogs.  Does the company respond to social media concerns/reviews? Are there a lot of complaints by employees? Understanding the corporate culture is essential to finding if the company is a good place for you to fit in. Far better to know in advance, rather than realizing later you were not a good match.

Finally, if you know the names of the individuals you’ll be interviewing with, research them. Check them out on social media.  Learn about their “likes” and if they have any pet peeve’s. Do you know folks that are connected to them? If so can you get in touch?  The more you know about the interviewer, the more likely you will have a successful first engagement with them.  Rest assured, they are checking you out on social media prior to your arrival, as well.

Review Yourself

Make sure your resume is in great shape. Are there items to update now that you have performed company research. Refine your resume for any mistakes or differentiating features.  As always, be prepared to provide several copies of your updated resume.

Do you have copies of your certifications, diplomas, transcripts and licenses?  Is your suit in good shape? Do you need new shoes or belt?   Does your shirt look tired, even though it’s pressed?

Do you know the exact location of the interview? Have you been to this location before? Do you know where to park?  Will parking or driving become a potential challenge to your arrival time? Do you need to perform a map or physical reconnaissance?  Far better to know these answers in advance.


This final “R” is essential.  If you have not interviewed in a while, read up on the process.  Find a location away from home to practice.  If you find it difficult getting into rehearsal mindset, put on your suit.  Not only will this give you the right attitude, it will allow you to test your clothing for comfort, fit and completeness.

You need to find a friend, spouse or coworker for interview rehearsal.  If you are forced to rehearse alone, practice out loud. If possible, record and replay your answers.  Determine what sounds good and what needs improvement.

Think about what kind of questions you are going to be asked, relative to the position. There are numerous common interview questions online for rehearsal.  Behavioral interview questions are quite common; where you are asked to discuss a personal experience relative to the job.  Sometimes you will be asked puzzling questions, such as “How many basketballs would it take to fill the room?”   For these, they will be more interested in your method, than your answer.

You may experience many types of interviews.  You are often subject to a phone or Skype session prior to a face-to-face interview.  An interview can become an all-day affair, including lunch or dinner. Be aware, they will be watching every move to determine if you are a good fit, organizationally.

With preparation using the three “R”s, you will be confident for your interview.  Remember, confidence is the expectation of a positive outcome and it is contagious.  Best of luck with your interview and transition.

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Jay Hicks is an author, instructor and consultant. With a special kinship for military personnel, Jay provides guidance on successful civilian career transition and has co-authored “The Transitioning Military Series”. He is the co-founder of Gr8Transitions4U, where advocating the value of hiring military personnel is the key focus. More about Jay and his passion can be found at