Preparing for an On-Site Interview - Check List - Do’s & Don’ts

Congratulations on getting to the very important step of an On-Site Interview with our client company.  This is a significant step to have achieved and you should be as prepared as possible for it.  Much of the information is common sense, to be sure, but even if one additional idea is obtained by reading these, it is well worth perusing them to increase your odds of success. Therefore, please review the list below of tips and suggestions: 

1.       Show Up On Time - Make sure you show up on time. (Preferably at least 20 minutes early)  Have the exact location and phone number with you in case of an emergency.  If staying at a hotel, get some sleep and don’t be tempted to watch the late movie.

2.       Cell Phone & Pager Off - During the interview, make sure that your cell phone and/or pager is turned off.

3.       Allow Adequate Time - Allow for the full interview and don’t rush to cut it short. (Usually 4-6 people over a 4-6 hour period)  Hopefully one interview is enough but be ready to schedule a second interview if asked.

4.       Visit the client company’s Web Site and become familiar with who they are and what they produce or make.  Also note any recent news developments that may be pertinent.

5.       Make Good Impressions to All - Make the best impression with all people you meet with. (You never know who the key influencers are)  Be positive with everyone.

6.       Get Names & Titles - Focus on getting the name and title correct when you meet people in the interview.  It is a good idea to ask for a business card and offer yours as well.

7.       Have Good Eye Contact - Remember to have good eye contact and a sincere smile.  Be careful not top lock on to a stare that looks like a deer in the headlights with your eyes glazed over.

8.      No Tobacco Products - Most offices are smoke free environments!

9.      Listen fully - Wait until the complete question is asked before you answer it.  Do not interrupt.

10.   Toot your Horn Tactfully - No matter how successful you have been, try not to blow your own horn too much.  Be careful not to project arrogance, as it is a real turn-off in the interview.  However, when appropriate, do not be afraid to describe your successes and accomplishments.  (Delivery is everything)

11.   Articulate Your Past  Accomplishments - When discussing your past accomplishments:a.       Clearly articulate the details about your role/contributions that led to successful launches and implementations

b.      Share lots of examples of your creative/innovative ideas and the alternatives you considered that you successfully implemented

c.       Highlight the breadth and depth that you have in delivery systems, materials and processes

d.      Express examples of how you led/drove initiatives to a successful result

e.       Whenever possible, project a “future benefit” to the prospective employer from any past accomplishment.  Talk in the “future tense” rather than just regurgitating your past accomplishments from your resume.  This will differentiate you from others who stop at the past experiences level.12.   Talk About Your Future Benefit And Contributions – Most candidates talk about their resume and past accomplishments and then stop.  If you go to the next step of expanding on and explaining how your past accomplishments will be a benefit to the prospective employer, it will set you apart from your competition.

13.   Be Prepared to Ask Good Questions - Most interviewers will be positively impressed when you ask meaningful and good questions that show you are selective and interested in knowing about the actual position, company’s future direction and past history of success.  You should also reference Interview Questions a Candidate Might Ask a Company.

14.   Be Prepared to Answer Questions - There are some questions that you almost expect in any interview such as where you see yourself being career-wise in five years possibly even ten years.  You should also reference Interview Questions a Company Might Ask a Candidate.

15.   Be Prepared to Talk Money – If the interview goes well, one sign of it will be the beginning of a discussion of compensation or income expectations.   You should see this as a good sign and be ready to openly talk about your reasonable expectations if asked.  (We will have given the company an idea of your comfort zone).  If you are not sure what we have told them please ask your recruiter.  It is normal to get a raise of somewhere between 5-7% when making a job change.  A raise of 10% is exceptional these days.  That compares to a raise of perhaps 3-4% when staying at the same company.

16.   Let them Know you are Interested - If interested in having the job, express your interest in the position.  Many times the person getting an offer when there are two equally strong candidates is the one who wants it the most by expressing a genuine interest in it.

17.   Let Then Know you Can Do It - State your ability and desire to do the job if you are truly interested in it.

18.   Ask for the Next Step that is Anticipated - Ask what the next step will be and what the time parameters are going to be before a decision will be made.  (You have the right to know and they need to know that you are an expendable commodity in demand by others)

19.   Have a Copy Of Your Resume With You - Be prepared to supply a copy of your resume that matches what we have sent them.

20.   Have References Ready - Be ready to supply a list of at least three (3) references if asked for them.  A leave behind sheet is impressive and shows that you are prepared and earnest in your job search.

21.   Leave The Best Possible Final Impression - Leave the best possible impression, even if not 100% sold on the job, as you never know the future!  Burned bridges are hard to repair and you always want to have the ball in your court.

22.   Come Alone to The Interview - Always assume that the interview is of you so don’t bring others to it such as a spouse, children, friend the dog etc., unless asked to do so in advance.

23.  Be Positive, enthusiastic and above all honest to a “T”, it always pays off!

24.   Be Mindful of Your Social Media Presence - If you use Facebook, LinkedIn or any other public social media profile, please make sure that there is nothing on it that that you would not want a prospective employer to see or learn about.  Many Employers do reference and review these sites and the content they see should be as positive as possible.

25.   Here are some additional and excellent Tips and Guidelines for having a great interview that may be very helpful.


If your schedule permits, I would like to touch base with you again on either the day or evening before the actual interview.  Finally, once the interview is completed, I will look forward to your feedback as soon as convenient and while fresh in your mind.  Please don't hesitate to call me if you have any additional questions and have a great interview. 

Quality Search, 1820 Graham Drive • Chesterton • IN • 46304-1627 • (219) 926-7772 (HQ)

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