What you should do before the interview

  • Research the company
  • Prepare an answer to the "Tell me about yourself" question
  • Think about at least 5 success stories in order to answer "Tell me about a time when.." question
  • Think about more than 5 questions on the job, the company and the industry
  • Determine your salary needs
  • Get permissions from your references

Right before you go to the interview

  • Make sure you look professional
  • Bring several copies of your resume on quality paper
  • Paper pad
  • Pen
  • Direction to the interview site
  • Prepare answers to the following questions
  • Tell me about yourself
  • Why did you leave or are you leaving your last position?
  • What do you know about this company?
  • What are your goals?
  • What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  • Why do you want to work for this company?
  • What has been your most significant achievement?
  • How would your last boss and colleagues describe you?
  • Why should we hire you?
  • What are your salary expectations?

Upon Arrival

  • Arrive 10 minutes before the interview
  • Announce yourself to the receptionist in a professional manner
  • Stand and greet your interviewer with a hearty handshake
  • Smile and look into the interviewer's eyes

During the interview

  • Ask questions and listen; read between the lines
  • At the conclusion, thank the interviewer and determine the next steps
  • Ask for the interviewer's business card so you can send a follow-up letter

After the interview

  • Write a follow-up thank-you letter, reminding the interviewer of your qualities
  • Please call us at (212) 575 7840 to let us know how the interview went


What you should ask in the first interview are

  • Job description
  • Qualifications
  • Why the position is available
  • When the selection will be made
  • What the next step will be

What you should NOT ask in the first interview are

  • Salary
  • Stock Options
  • Vacations
  • Holiday Schedules
  • Benefits (e.g. 401K and Health Insurance)
  • Questions that have already been answered in the interview


Your cover letter and resume usually provide all the information which a prospective employer will use to decide whether or not you will reach the next phase in the application process: the interview.

October 4, 2001

Your Name
Your Address
HR Person's Name
Company Name

Dear HR Person's Name:

Your advertisement for software engineers in the February issue of Network Computing caught my attention. I was drawn to the ad by my strong interest in both software design and Database.

I have worked with a Datacom system in developing VLSI circuits, and I also have substantial experience in the design of interactive CAD software. Because of this experience, I can make a direct and immediate contribution to your department. I have enclosed a copy of my resume, which details my qualifications and suggests how I might be of service to Database.

I would like very much to meet with you to discuss your open positions for software engineers. If you wish to arrange an interview, please contact me at the above address or by telephone at (212) 212-2122.

Thank you for your time and consideration.

Sincerely yours,

Your Name


"Tell me about yourself"

This is one of the most frequently asked questions in a job interview. First, list some strengths you have and make a script that includes the information you want to convey. For example, you can start off talking about your past experience and proven success:

"I have been in the customer service industry for the past five years. My most recent experience has been handling incoming calls in IT industry. One reason I particularly enjoy this business, and the challenges that go along with it, is the opportunity to connect with people. In my last job, I formed some significant customer relationships resulting in a 25 percent increase in sales in 5 months."

Then you mention your strengths.

"My real strength is my attention to detail. I pride myself on my reputation for following through and meeting deadlines. When I commit to doing something, I make sure it gets done, and on time."

Then you conclude with the statement about your current situation.

"What I am looking for now is a company that values customer relations, where I can join a strong team and have a positive impact on customer retention and sales."

"What did you like the least about your last job?"

When you answer this question, it is the best to focus on tasks, rather than company policies or people. The good response would be:

"I've been very satisfied with my jobs. I've been able to work with some interesting people. I have to admit, I did have a job where there was an inordinate amount of paperwork. Because working with people is my strength, the paperwork really bogged me down at times."

"Why do you want to work here?"

Through this question, you can show your interest and enthusiasm for the company and what it stands for. You can also demonstrate how you envision you could be a member of the team.

"Based on the research I've done, this company is an industry leader. When I visited your Web site, I found some impressive information about future projects you have planned. I was also impressed with the founders' backgrounds and the current financial statements. This is the company I've been looking for, a place where my background, experience and skills can be put to use and make things happen."