Resume Help/Interview


Hi Ralph,

I got a call recently from a company I had applied to.  The interview is next week and I thought I should ask if there are things I need to do prior to the interview.  Any help you can give me would be appreciated.  Thanks.

Hi Gloria,

The first thing you need to do - if you haven't done it already - is research the company and its major officers.  Find out everything you can that is on their website and any other information available through news sources or industry newsletters.  The information you gather will help you to understand the things that are important to this firm and will give you a foundation for responses to the questions they ask.  The information will also provide you with a source of questions you may want to ask at the end of the interview.

Typically, the last question in an interview is "do you have any questions for me?"  Your research should certainly provide you with a number of things that you can ask about.  This has the added benefit of demonstrating that you have taken the time to find out all you can about the company and its needs, especially as it will impact the position you will be assuming.  Knowing something about the principle officers and their mission statement will help you craft answers to their questions and put you in a good position to understand their point of view.  This knowledge should help you frame your responses in a way that shows you have the interest of the company foremost in your thinking.

I don't know how far away you are from the interview site, but if it involves a long drive or a plane trip, be sure you arrange to arrive in the city where the interview will be held at least 24 hours prior to the interview.  Be sure you know how to get to the interview site and know how long it will take you to get there (from a hotel, for example, if it is in another city).

The one thing you never want to be is late for an interview.  There is NEVER any excuse for this to happen and no company is going to forgive you (unless they are indescribably desperate) for being late for a job interview.

Obviously you need to practice responses to likely interview questions.  Don't memorize word-for-word answers, but rather know what your talking points should be to any particular category of questions and be sure those answers specifically address your background and skills as they apply to the needs the company has in filling this position.  If you would like further, more detailed, help in preparing for the interview questions, drop me a line at the email address below and I can give you more information.

Congratulations on getting the interview and best of luck!

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Ralph D. Converse, Ph.D.


I can answer questions about general job searches, resume construction, crafting an effective cover letter, and how to prepare for, and conduct, a winning interview. My speciality is the field of education, but I also have extensive background in business and administration. I know what works and what doesn't work and I can make your application package stand out from the rest ... because that is what you have to do.


I have interviewed for, and held, dozens of jobs in a career going back more than 42 years. I have taught at all educational levels including middle school, high school, community college, and university. In more than 42 years of experience on both sides of the job-search process, I have interviewed hundreds of applicants and have reviewed literally tens of thousands of job application packages. I am the author of 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them! I conduct workshops for job seekers in a variety of locations every year.

Music Educator's Journal, Teaching Music, Music and American Culture (forthcoming, 2013), Last Teacher Standing: The Job is Yours Now! and 12 Mistakes That Got Your Job Application Rejected ... And How To Fix Them!

B.A. New Mexico State University; M.Mus. Southern Illinois University; Ph.D. University of California and University of North Texas

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