How to Prepare for a Job Interview

  • Young men's version of this guide

girl holding folder

You’ve applied for a job and finally landed an interview. Congrats! But, now what? Here are some tips on how to impress your future employer: A lot has changed in the post-COVID world, be prepared to interview on Zoom or some other programs and check out your camera, links, etc. in advance of the interview date.

1) Know your facts

  • Read about the company or place where you’ll be interviewed.
  • Check out their website.
  • If it’s a clothing store, what styles of clothes do they sell? If it’s a restaurant, what are their best dishes? What makes the restaurant special?
  • Learn about the position you’re applying for so you can ask appropriate questions.

2) Prepare a list of questions before the interview

  • You’ll likely be asked if you have any questions about the job.
  • Sometimes thinking of questions on the spot can be hard. Preparing questions in advance shows your future employer that you’re organized and ready for the interview.
  • Remember that an interview is also a time for YOU to figure out if this is a place where you’d like to work.
  • Sample Questions: What are some of the challenges I might face working here? What is the work schedule like – what are the days and hours you are looking to have someone work?

3) Prepare 2-3 references before the interview

  • Many employers ask for references.
  • References are people who know you well and can give their opinion about you as a person including your strengths.
  • Before giving your references’ names and phone numbers, make sure to ask each of the people you choose if it’s okay to be contacted.
  • Who should be a reference? If you have work or volunteer experience, ask your former supervisor to be a reference. If this is your first time working, ask a teacher, school coach, or guidance counselor.

4) Dress to impress

  • Dress appropriately for the type of job you are applying for.
  • Wear your nicest (business style) clothes – they should be clean and ironed.
  • Choose a comfortable outfit and shoes you can easily walk in.
  • If you look your best, you’ll feel confident!

5) Have a pretend interview

  • Ask a parent or a friend to role play with you in person and/or on the internet. Pretend they are interviewing you for a job. Imagine the kinds of questions you might be asked by your future employer.
  • Practicing will help you feel prepared and confident.

6) Bring a copy of your resume or send your resume in advance of the meeting.  Also be prepared to be able to share the document with your interviewer.

  • A resume is a document that lists your education, volunteer, and work experiences, your interests and your skills.
  • If you need help with preparing your resume, talk with an adult who has experience or check to see if your school has a workshop or class on how to write a resume.
  • If you know you’ll be interviewing with more than one person, make sure you bring or send enough copies of your resume for everyone. This shows your potential future employer that you’re prepared and organized.

7) Be on time to the interview

  • Think about it – would you hire someone who showed up late for their interview?
  • Set your alarm and arrive 5-10 minutes early to the location or log on 5 minutes early for the on-line interview so you can check that your camera is working – this shows that you are responsible and punctual.

8) Most importantly, be yourself

  • Your future employer wants to get to know you.
  • Let your personality shine through!
  • Relax, be confident, and after listening to what the employer is looking for let them know what talents you have that make you a good match!