Preparing for an interview

Did you know there are three critical things that you have to do when preparing for a job interview?  There are three key tactics that you have to be prepared to implement an use in you next job interview.  If you can execute these three things then you have a great chance of landing the job.

As a successful entrepreneur and business Owner I am always looking for good people to join the companies I own and run.  I have personally conducted well over 750 interviews in my day.  The thing that amaze me the most is how often people just come in and crash and burn.  They just never get off the ground, and they fail to do anything remotely smart, effective, or cool to catch my attention, set themselves apart, and motivate me to hire them.

Here is a very simple list of things you have to do to have success at your next job interview.  The list is basic, but way too often over looked when job candidates consider how to prepare for a job interview.  None of these things are hard to do, but rarely do we get people in who accomplish them.

1.       Do the work before you ever get there

I usually know within the first ten minutes of any interview if the candidate is prepared enough to get much more of my time.  I ask a very simple question that will immediately let me know what type of candidate you are and whether you really want a job at my company.   It is amazing that most candidates actually fail to answer this question effectively because they know it is going to get asked.  The question is what do you know about my company?  If you cannot answer this most basic question then you have done no homework, and we do not hire people who do not do the work ahead of time to achieve success.  People who wing things rarely succeed.  Do your homework.  Your job is to put your best foot forward, and to really show off your skills and talents.  You have to capture the attention of the interviewer.  Present a picture that impresses the interviewer.  Inspire the person interviewing you and inspire them to give you a serious look.

The minimum level of preparedness demands that you can answer this most basic question about what the company does that you are trying to get a job with.  The answer has to be more than the typical 20 second “I read your web page for 5 minutes” response.  If The response should make it very clear that you spend the hours you needed to prepare to go after this opportunity.

Recently we were interviewing a candidate for a entry level position at our mobile phone company.  One Source Mobile provides mobile phone services (order processing, mobile accessories, bill auditing, TEM services, etc.) to many of the top companies in the world.  In the interview when asked what our company dos, we actually had someone respond to this question by saying “you guys do mobile phone stuff”, and had nothing more to say.  Are you serious?  We do “stuff”, that was the best response you the candidate could muster based on the work they had done to prepare for the interview.  Needless to say this was a short interview.

If you want to do well the minimum level of performance has to be based on knowing these four things.  You have to have a very in depth understanding of these four things and that you can articulate them in a clear, smart, and effective manner.

  1. You have to go in with a clear understanding of what the company does
  2. You have to be educated about the industry the company is in
  3. You have to have knowledge of the person interviewing you
  4. You have to have knowledge of the owner of the company


2.       Find A Way to Be different, be bold, go big or you will go home

If you are going to play it safe and not do anything to make yourself stand out then most likely you will get the same results others who play it safe often get in a job interview.  That is shown to the door.  Not saying you will not get the job, but you do increase your chances substantially if you just take it to the next level or find simple ways to stand out.  By the way, this means something positive and not something stupid.  An example would be doing your pre homework better than anyone else.  Doing your homework and speaking to several people within the company to get their take on things before you get to the interview and then citing some of the information you receive in the interview.  Finding out a lot about the people interviewing you and who they are, and be able to show you went the extra distance.  Providing some information that is not typical that will help them clearly see you are a viable candidate.


3.       Be Prepared to Ask for the job

Nothing kills a great interview faster than when the interview is over and the candidate has done well.  They get up to leave and they have not asked for the job.  At the end of the interview you have to ask for the job.  You have to tell the person interviewing you that you are confident that you can help their company achieve success, and that you can do the job.  Then you ask for the job.  “I want the job, what do I have to do to earn this position”.  If thy give you an answer, then go and do it!  It kills me when someone has a great interview and then at the ends walks out the door without saying they want the job, and proactively discussing what next steps are.  Asking for the job sets you apart.  It shows you have some backbone.  I show’s you have initiative.  It shows confidence.  It shows you go after what you want.  These are all things you want to end the interview with.  You have to ask for the job.

One final note here especially for candidates trying to land a sale position within a company.  If you come to interview with our companies for a sales position and you do not ask for the job at the end of the interview (you know, close us like you should do as a good sales person), I can assure you that you will never get the job.  Sales people close.  That is what they do.  They ask for the business.  Asking for the job is closing the sale.  If you are going for a sales position, you have to ask for the job! You have to at least try to close the deal.

Find out how to get your dream job by going to  For more information on successful interviewing techniques check our website out!