Summer’s Over

Summer is over and it’s now hiring season for many companies.  Fall is typically a time when companies expand their workforce in preparation for the upcoming holidays.  They are also replacing summer workers that have gone back to school.  Additionally, many government contracts are awarded at the beginning of the new fiscal year (1 Oct).  In other words, it’s a great time to start brushing up on your interviewing skills and preparing for new employment opportunities.

If you are actively seeking a new job or just keeping your options open, there is no time like the present to begin your preparations for a successful job interview.  The sooner you begin preparing, the sooner you will have the confidence to strike out on your quest for a better job.

So, where do you start?  Here are some basic steps to get you going:

Have a plan

Your interview plan should contain these basic pre-interview elements:

  • When do I want to begin my job search?
  • What type of work do I want to do?
  • Where do I want to work (geographically)?
  • What type of organization do I want to work for?
  • What are my long-term goals?
  • Do I have a resume?
  • Do I have references that will endorse me?

From there, you can add additional specifics that relate directly to the interview, such as:

  • What are my strengths?
  • Which of my past experiences make me a valuable asset for an employer?
  • What future value do I bring to an organization?

Next, identify specific accomplishments such as:

  • Examples of where I saved money or improved a process for an organization
  • Specific education and training I’ve had that relates to my desired job
  • My outside activities and connections that relate favorably to my desired job

Also, include the following:

  • What am I doing now to prepare for additional responsibilities?
  • What I am reading and studying?
  • Who do I want to contact to gain additional insight into a specific industry or field?
  • Who can I add to my network?
  • What will I wear to the interview (do I need to upgrade my wardrobe)?
  • Am I practicing for the actual interview?

Do your research

If there is a specific company you are interested in pursuing, search out these details

  • company mission/values/history
  • products or services they make/sell
  • who are their customers
  • who are their competitors
  • sales figures/stock valuation and trends
  • recent news stories
  • upcoming acquisitions/mergers/plans for expansion or consolidation
  • who’s who in the company
  • what are the company’s “pain points”

For specific information on various companies go to

Glassdoor focuses on 4 primary areas:

  • Job listings
  • Company Reviews 
  • Salaries
  • Interview feedback

Energize your network

  • Inform family and friends that you are looking for new opportunities
  • Update social and business networking sites
  • Develop a robust personal and professional network
  • Contact the people you want to have as references

Practice to sharpen your skills

  • Read everything you can find on job interviewing
  • Practice with family and friends using the 50 most common interview questions compiled by
  • Compile a list of your major achievements, including statistics
  • Practice telling your story in a succinct and compelling way
  • Develop a list of questions you want to have ready to ask the interviewer

So……….start preparing now for your upcoming interview and you be miles ahead of the competition.




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After serving for 27 years in the US Navy and another 20 years in the defense industry I am excited to share my experience in the areas of career and interview coaching with fellow veterans and others joining, or rejoining, the job market.

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