Let's Talk About Your Interview

Preparing for interviewing with a JobGiraffe client.

Interviewing with companies through a Recruiter or Staffing Agency is different than interviewing with a company directly on your own.

As a result of your initial screening, JobGiraffe will have determined you have the education, skills and experience that are most relevant to our client’s position, and we will also have discussed what you want and need in your next position such as:

  • Your expectations for your next position
  • Your salary needs and expectations
  • Your benefits needs and expectations
  • Your location and the distance you are willing and able to travel to a new job
  • Your needs and expectations regarding hours and time off
  • Your home/family situation and how it interacts with your job
  • Your short and long term career goals

So during the client interview, many of the topics you might need to cover with a potential employer on your own will already have been covered for you by your JobGiraffe consultant, but you still need to be well prepared for acing your actual client interview.

You may not be the only candidate interviewing for the position, so here are some JobGiraffe Tips to help you get through ANY job interview, and present yourself in the most positive way.

Giraffe Tip:
Be Prepared

Start with research. Learn as much as possible about the company you will be interviewing with and be prepared to answer questions from the interviewer such as "What do you know about our company?" or "Why do you want to work for our company?"

  • Visit the company website to learn as much as you can about who they are, what they do and how they do it!
  • Utilize a search engine (Google, Bing, Yahoo) to see what other information may be available about the firm online.
  • Also, check for news or press releases about the firm via various local or national news sources and business news sites (Crain's Chicago Business, CNN, Bloomberg, Forbes, Wall Street Journal) to familiarize yourself with any recent developments. 
  • Use business intelligence sites (Similarweb, Hoovers) to identify competitors or to learn more about the firm's industry.
  • Also, review the firm's social media activity (LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, GlassDoor) 
  • Verify the location of the interview and pre-plan your route to it. If you do not have a phone or car with maps or GPS, print or find a paper map and mark the route. Anticipate unexpected delays like traffic jams and/or bad weather that may slow your trip even more. Don’t be late – not only will it hurt your chances as a candidate, but it will stress you out and possibly effect your performance on the interview.
Giraffe Tip:
Gather your tools...

In advance of the interview, gather all the materials you will need the following day. Make sure you have:

  • Two clean copies of your resume printed on white paper, along with any letters of recommendation you may have.  Also, bring examples of your work if appropriate or requested.
  • A portfolio or folder with paper and pen. Your preparation should include a list of key points about you and your background that you want to be sure to share with the Interviewer.
  • Also have questions prepared to show that you are interested in the job and that you’ve done your homework and investigated the company.
  • Remember – at this stage it’s not about what the company can do for you, it’s entirely about what you can do for the company.
Giraffe Tip:
Interview Day...

The single most important rule: don’t be late, but also don’t be too early. Enter the building no more than 5 minutes early, and if you arrive earlier than that, stay in your car until five minutes before your designated appointment time.

While you’re waiting in the reception area, observe the company’s surroundings and employees; how they’re dressed, how they interact with each other. Be polite and friendly to everyone you meet.  Some interviewers will ask their front desk staff about your behavior in the reception area as you were waiting to be interviewed! Have good eye contact with everyone you meet and a firm handshake when you first meet them and when you say goodbye.

The First Impression Lasts

Employers usually form 90% of their decisions in the first few minutes of an interview and then spend the rest of the interview justifying that decision. Always be upbeat, personable, energetic and self-confident. Keep your eyes focused on the interviewer, not down or looking around.

Don’t be nervous about the interview. The client knows you possess the qualifications needed for this position, otherwise they would not have agreed to the meeting.

Remember, the client company is hopeful that you will like them in the same way that you are hopeful that they will like you! Interviewing is an opportunity for BOTH the client company and the candidate to learn about each other.

It's the Interviewer’s Show...

If the interviewer asks you to talk about yourself, know that they are most likely not interested in your personal life. They are interested in learning about the qualities that make you a good choice for this position.

Take time to carefully review the list of sample interview questions provided below and practice at home or with a friend. Your reactions and answers to an interviewer’s questions frequently have the biggest influence on whether or not you will be considered for the position!

Giraffe Tip:

Study the list of sample interview questions below and be prepared to answer not only the required questions, but you may also get several questions from the “maybe” list too.

View sample interview questions

JobGiraffe – Reach Higher®