American Job Centers


Prepare:  A Guide for the Job Interview - Brochures - Job Search - One-Stop Career Centers


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When you apply for a job opening, there are some things you should know to prepare yourself for the job interview. Remember that the interview is one of the most important steps toward getting the job you want. The following information has been prepared by the Maryland One-Stop Career Centers to help you succeed in job interviews.

Prepare Yourself

  • Have a specific job in mind and a list of your skills that match the job requirements.
  • Learn about the company and its products and services. This can help you answer interview questions to show how your skills and background would be an asset to the company.
  • Compose a list of difficult questions you think you may be asked during the job interview. Be prepared to answer broad questions about yourself. Develop answers you might give and practice interviewing with family and friends.
  • Prepare a list of questions to ask the employer if matters of importance to you are not discussed during the interview.
  • Write the following information down and take it with you so you can answer questions accurately.
  • Social Security number and driver's license number
  • Dates of previous employment
  • Names and addresses of references
  • Names and addresses of former employers

Make a Good First Impression

  • Be well groomed and suitably dressed.
  • Display a friendly attitude.
  • Get plenty of rest before the day of the interview.

The Interview

  • Go to the interview alone. This shows confidence and self-reliance.
  • Always be on time for the interview.
  • Clearly state your name and the reason you are there to the greeter and the interviewer.
  • If there is an application, fill it out neatly. Ask questions if you don't understand something on the application.
  • Greet the interviewer in a friendly and business-like manner.
  • Wait quietly while the interviewer looks over your application. Sit upright and never slouch in your seat.
  • Listen and show interest in what the interviewer says to you and the questions you are asked. Maintain eye contact throughout the interview.
  • Ask questions on matters that are not clear to you.


  • Do mention anyone you know who works for the company.
  • Do talk about former employers with whom you've had a good work record.
  • Do answer questions directly and truthfully.
  • Do explain to the employer your willingness to learn and accept responsibilities.
  • Do identify skills that can be promoted if you do not have the required experience.


  • Don't talk about personal problems or problems you had with former employers.
  • Don't use poor grammar or bad diction.

Before You Leave

  • Get the correct name, business address, and phone number of the interviewer so you can send a thank you letter and make any follow-up telephone calls.
  • Always thank the interviewer for his or her time. Tell the interviewer you want the job if you think you meet the job qualifications.

After the Interview

  • Follow up the interview with a letter sincerely expressing your interest in the job and the reasons that you qualify.
  • Phone to ask if the job has been filled if you have not heard from a company within 5 to 10 days from the date of the interview.

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