Be an Interview Ace

Plan for and conduct a successful job interview

We all know the job search can be truly brutal, and it is hard not to get discouraged when waiting for a call back on submitted resumes and applications. When you do finally hear back it is vital that you quickly jump to the next step. What is that step? Preparation. Aside from the resume or application, the job interview is your first chance at displaying your skills and qualities as they relate to the position applied for. It would be a mistake not to take the time to prepare when given the opportunity to have an interview with a company you’re interested in working for. Author Raymond B. Bogardus provides readers with a systematic breakdown on how to prepare for an interview in his book “How to Win Every Interview.” The step-by-step process on how to prepare for the interview along with his tried and true interview tips and tricks make the interview process seem much more manageable.

Plan to win
In his book Bogardus begins by stressing the importance of having a plan for each aspect of the interview. From preparation to dress, to the interview itself, there are many details that need to be worked out ahead of time. In the outlining of each element of the interview process, he warns of the need for hard work when ensuring a successful interview. There is no easy way to achieve a successful interview as many may have already discovered. By following Bogardus’ advice for preparation, you will be much closer to the goal of gainful employment.

The first step in preparing for an interview is learning as much as possible about the potential employer. Before beginning the research process, Bogardus suggests writing up a brief plan for research. It should consist of three small paragraphs outlining what you would like to learn about the company, what sources you will consult, and a schedule for doing said research. Once this is laid out, research may begin.

Viewing the company web site is a great start. There you will likely find an annual report and a company profile or mission statement. This information however may be somewhat biased. To research even further, Bogardus suggests visiting the local university library. To save time and learn as much as possible in the time allowed, ask the librarian for assistance. He or she should be able to point you in the direction of exactly what you need to learn this vital information. Another resource option is the company’s HR department. They may be able to offer a little more information about the position and what the company looks for in an employee.

This research will shed light on the company’s past, growth, goals, and culture. It will help in forming questions for the interview and in deciding if it is a worthy employer. Any information not retained in research can be included in questions asked during the interview itself.

After finding out more about the company it is time to find out more about you. A week or more before the interview is time to start thinking about why you want the job. After careful consideration, decide the three best reasons why the company should hire you and share those during the interview.

Develop questions that interviewers may ask and draft up well-thought-out answers for each. To find a list of commonly asked interview questions, visit In addition to developing answers to questions that you may be asked, create a list of your own questions to ask of the interviewer. Remember, you are also interviewing the company at the same time they are interviewing you.

Rehearsal is key
Once the interview questions are drafted and the answers are decided, an interview rehearsal should follow. Bogardus suggests doing a few rehearsals, starting with one alone in front of a mirror. He explains that the mirror can show you how professional your appearance and conduct may be during the interview. “It’s facial expressions, and it’s the attitude. Do you hold your head up? Do you tend to look down? Do you slouch? Those things show up when you look at yourself.” The initial interview rehearsal should be followed by a few rehearsal interviews with a close friend or family member, and a dress rehearsal as well.

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