top of page
  • Writer's pictureBrad Weinbrum

Interview Preparation Tool

The adage “you never get a second chance to make a first impression” applies to all aspects in life, but few first impressions carry more weight than job interviews. That’s why the Nivalmi

recruiting team has put together a brief Interview Preparation Tool designed to help applicants across the board make the best first impression.

Our experience and research shows that incorporating the following tips into your interview prep will help to build a solid foundation for any interview situation.

1. Research the company

It may come as no surprise, but researching the company prior to your interview is crucial.

Having an understanding of the company’s history, practices, culture, and future plans, will show the hiring manager that you are serious about the position and capable of conducting

independent research. Furthermore, performing thorough research will open up opportunities for you to expand your responses within the interview. For instance, if you learn that the company values their ecological footprint, you may want to highlight any previous experience you have working on green initiatives or partnering with a compliance department. Your ability to reference the company’s practices and connect them to your experience will set you apart from other less prepared applicants.

2. Prepare for frequently asked auestions

No matter the position or industry, certain types of questions appear regularly throughout all

interviews. The popular recruiting site, Glassdoor, has a list of the 50 most common interview

questions, which you can access here . Many of the questions found on this list, and other lists like it, fall into broader categories that relate to your past experience, strengths and

weaknesses, unique value to the company, and goals for the future. Therefore, it is critical that you ponder each of these broader categories and have examples ready to go prior to any interview. It is also beneficial to research common interview questions for the specific industry or company to which you are applying. Some industries and large companies incorporate case studies, behavioral based questions, and even brain teasers into their interview process. Luckily, there are wonderful resources and forums on the internet, such as and, that offer archives of examples and tricks for thinking outside the box when answering.

3. Prepare the enecdotes and examples you’d like to refer to

Many interviews also ask anecdotal based questions, often phrased “Tell me about a time when you … .” While the specifics of the questions will be tailored to the position at hand, some examples such as “tell me about a time you made a mistake” or “tell me about a time you went above and beyond on a project” appear with regularity in nearly all job interviews. The best way to answer these types of questions is to provide examples that show improved results. For example, let’s say you made a mistake early in your career while performing data entry, which in turn forced you to have to refresh your knowledge on the data entry system. While you were relearning the system, you noticed an efficiency flaw and were then able to suggest process improvements. A story such as this shows you are not only capable of working to correct your mistake, but also capable of using it as a jumping off point for improvement. It is beneficial to try to remember and catalogue as many of these of results based anecdotes as possible prior to an interview. That way you have applicable examples ready to go and you minimize your chances of overlooking a great story in a moment of pressure and haste.

4. How to dress (and position your webcam)

Given the shift towards remote work, and the focus on public health, the majority of job

interviews now occur virtually. This change has challenged the formalness of interviews.

Something that used to involve putting on dress clothes and rigid shoes, commuting across

town, and waiting to be called back into an office, can now be done from anywhere with Wi-Fi. And while this freedom is beneficial in many ways, it is important to remember that you are still being interviewed for a job and the manner in which you comport yourself will play a role in the hiring mangers decision. Therefore, it is key that you:

  • Dress professionally (or in line with the position requirements) - just because you are not in the office does not mean you should opt out of the professional attire. Dressing for the part, even while at home, will again show the hiring manager that you take the position seriouslyand are appropriately presentable should you ever have to work with customers/clients.

  • Find a quiet place away from noise, distractions, and others - even honest, unintentional distractions like dogs barking, sirens, or a child’s head appearing in the background, take both you and the hiring manager out of the flow of the interview. Hiring managers understand that some things are unavoidable, but continuous disruptions will make it difficult to establish an organic back and forth and adhere to time restraints, which can ultimately lead to a more negative impression for both parties.

  • Try to position yourself facing a light source and/or use over-head lighting - sitting with a light source behind you (ie sitting with your back to a bright window) may cause your face to be hidden by a shadow and thus poorly visible on a web cam. Additionally, having a lightsource in front of you will accentuate your eyes and smile, creating a more friendly appearance.


bottom of page