Interview for a Job

The interviewing process begins with an initial phone screen with a recruiter and, if there's a match between the role and your skills, is followed by a series of interviews with the hiring team.

Interview Prep

It's common for employers to conduct a phone interview with a member of the hiring team, followed by an onsite interview with the hiring manager and others on the team. Each discussion requires thorough preparation by you, the job candidate.

The Preparation Checklist

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Elevator Pitch

When prompted "Tell me about yourself," give a 30-second overview of you, your accomplishments and goals in your next job.

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Questions for Them

Good questions are a chance to show an interest in the business and get details on the role that can later help weigh multiple offers.

STAR Questions

For questions on past work, use (S) what was the situation? and (T) task? (A) what action did you take? (R) what was the result?

Case Questions

Scenario questions are designed to vet skills directly from the job description, so find a way to incorporate them in your approach.

"Biggest Weakness"

Employers often assess how you speak to your faults, which is a chance to frame them as something you've since made a strength.

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Use a few select experiences as fallback material

While you can prepare for the most fundamental aspects of an interview using the above, the reality is that the range of different questions and topics covered by an interviewer is too broad to prepare for in entirety.
As a safety net for questions that catch you off-guard, prepare one or two work experiences that have a clear "STAR" storyline and insert them in situations where you lack a compelling response. For example, your involvement in a project that faced major setbacks is great material to talk about your problem-solving skills or how you overcame challenges working with a certain team.

The Decision

After the interviews, the company will make a decision on whether to extend a job offer to you. If they do, you'll need to make your own decision on whether to accept it over any other offer(s) you have, or negotiate its terms.

What Comes With an Offer

Specified Compensation

The offer letter will specify an annual salary and details on how variable compensation, like bonuses and commission, can be earned.

Terms of Employment

The offer letter will outline all rights and restrictions for both the company and you, as the prospective employee.

Contingent Investigation

The company will perform a background check and contact references, the results of which may permit them to rescind the offer.

Criteria for Comparing Offers

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Your total compensation include more than just a base salary. Commissions, annual bonuses and stock are forms of compensation.

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Common benefits offered by employers included 401k matching, a health insurance plan and paid time off (PTO).

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Positions with the same function may still vary greatly in role, such as the project team you work on or who you report to.

What Else May Be Important


Make sure that you understand the company's space. Working in an industry that doesn't interest you can ruin an otherwise great role.

Location & Travel

A long daily commute that compromises your work-life balance may outweigh a great job and working environment.


Often overlooked is the nature of the people at the company and its work environment, which you should assess while interviewing.

You're ready to do it yourself.