7 things you must know before walking into a job interview

Don’t get caught unprepared at your next job interview. Knowing what to say and being comfortable saying it is essential to nailing your interview. Research, practice and preparation will pay off – literally. The key is finding out exactly what to prepare for a job interview.


What to prepare for a job interview: 7 things you must know


1. The names of the people interviewing you

Start your interview off on the right foot. Knowing who you’re going to be speaking to in an interview can help prepare you psychologically. Have their names and positions in mind before you go in. It might be a good idea to do a little further research online. Find their LinkedIn profiles to see what they look like or find their information and background on the company website. It’s a good way to prepare mentally for an interview and feel a little more in control, prepared and at ease.


2. Your resume – backwards and forwards

Being able to talk succinctly and specifically about your work experience is essential to nailing an interview. You really want to be able to draw the connection between what’s on paper, which your interviewers have likely already reviewed, and support it with anecdotal evidence. Relate this experience to what would be expected of you at this prospective job.


3. Why you’re right for the job

Although during the interview itself you’ll be learning more about the position and what it demands, you should already have an idea of what the employer is looking for and why you would be the perfect person to fill that position. Think about your strengths as an employee, your education and your professional experiences. If you’re a people person and the position would require a lot of interpersonal interactions, that’s important to mention, for example.


what to prepare for a job interview


4. What the company is all about

When you’re applying for a job, it’s not just about the specific position, it’s also about joining a larger institution and helping that institution reach its goals. It’s vital to know who works there, how many people work there, what the business or organization does and what role you would be playing in that broader company and industry-wide context.


5. What attracts you to the position

Apart from being employed, you need to know why else you’re interested in this position. What are your long-term career goals and how can this position help you achieve those goals? What about the job interests you and why are you applying to the position here, rather than at another company or in another city? The more you can sell your interest in the position and company, the better.


what to prepare for a job interview


6. Your hesitations

It’s OK to have some reservations about a job position, in fact it reflects your genuine interest in the position if you’re thinking about it realistically. Asking about company culture, expectations, vacation policy and other aspects of employment is a vital part of figuring out whether a position is worth taking. Remember, as much as you may want a position, if you don’t think it’s a good fit it may not be worth going further in the hiring process.


7. What kind of salary and schedule you expect

In case contract negotiations start off during your interview, it’s a smart idea to have an idea of what you think fair compensation would be. Do some research and see if you can find out what others are getting paid in similar positions, with similar professional experience.


Learn more about how to boost your career with an international internship.




1. based on LV woman, by Marius Boatca, CC-by-2.0

2. based on on the phone, by Spiros Vathis, CC-by-ND 2.0

3. based on across the Avenue 9 de Julio, by Nicolas Alejandro, CC-by-2.0


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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
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