CALL US TODAY | Tempe: (480) 966-0709 | Avondale: (623) 209-7270

How to Prepare For a First Interview: 9 Hiring Managers Share Tips


What is one thing that someone can do to prepare for their first interview?

To help job seekers with their first interview, we asked hiring managers and CEOs this question for their best strategies. From doing a mock interview to preparing questions for the interviewer, there are several tips that may help you prepare for your first interview. 

Here are nine tips to help you prepare for your first interview: 

  • Research the History of the Company
  • Compile a List of Practice Questions
  • Share Your Story Clearly
  • Plan To Be On Time
  • Do a Mock Interview
  • Highlight Your Expertise or Passion
  • Read Up on the Hiring Manager
  • Use Glassdoor to See the Process
  • Prepare Questions for Interviewer


Research The History of the Company 

As someone who works in executive recruiting, I can confirm that interviewing for your first job is just as nerve-racking as interviewing for your 10th. The interview process can seem daunting, but with the right amount of preparation, it gets easier and easier! Everyone needs to prepare for the interview process. The best way to do this is by conducting research before the interview day. What industry is the company in? How long have they been in business? What products/ services does the company sell? While some of these questions might seem like no-brainers, it is imperative to know background information about the company you’re interviewing at. Knowledge is power! 

Jon Schneider, Recruiterie


Compile a List of Practice Questions

Do an adequate amount of company research to understand the business and put yourself in the shoes of your interviewer. What type of candidate would you want to hire if you were the other party? Then predict and list out potential questions that you think may be asked and practice answering them. It’s important to get comfortable with talking about your past experiences and practicing with a list of questions beforehand can be extremely helpful in doing so. Lastly, remember that you are also interviewing the company during this process. Is this business, role, and team a place where you can envision yourself growing and learning?

Lisa Ma, Qwick


Share Your Story Clearly 

My best advice for a first interview (or any interview thereafter) is to be articulate about your story and why you want to work with this company. Your story is what led you to this interview and it’s important for the interviewer to understand how you got where you are today and why this is your desired next step. When the path is unclear and hard to follow, you might not stand out from other candidates who are very clear on why this role is their best next position. When you are clear on your purpose, confidence will exude. 

Jenn Christie, Markitors


Plan To Be On Time 

The number one tip for your first interview is to be on time. Being prepared by looking up the directions beforehand, anticipating traffic, parking, and locating the office are all a must for your first interview. No one wants to hire a person that is never on time, so prepare beforehand, so you are there 10 minutes early and not stressed out from running late.

Ajay Mehta, Birthdate Co.


Do a Mock Interview  

One of the best things that someone can do to prepare for their first interview is to practice with someone else, especially someone who is well-versed in job interviews. It’s one thing to go over expected interview questions by oneself, but when you actually practice out loud with another person, both you and this person can observe exactly how you sound and whether you may need to tweak some of your answers. Both your responses and the way you carry yourself matter, so keep practicing out loud and making adjustments until you feel confident that the hiring manager will be impressed.

Brittany Dolin, Pocketbook Agency


Highlight Your Expertise or Passion 

Instead of dreading common questions such as “Tell me about yourself,” look up and practice strategies so you have a strong answer ready. A quick Google search will help you identify thoughtful responses. Prepare success stories that show how you handle conflict, solve problems, address team chaos, hire new employees, overcome obstacles, or demonstrate your passion for your field. Expect the interviewer to probe for your leadership style and motivation level, among other qualities.

Laura Smith-Proulx, An Expert Resume


Read Up on the Hiring Manager 

Preparing for an interview always means taking time to thoughtfully consider your goals and qualifications and how they relate to the job description. To accomplish this, you should perform research on the company and carefully review the job description to understand why you would be a good fit. One often overlooked aspect of interview success is to also perform research on the HR Manager/Hiring Managers that will be interviewing you. By researching them online and on social media, LinkedIn for example, you can find out what makes them tick, what you may have in common with them, and then use this information to your benefit on the job interview. 

Ronald Kubitz, Forms+Surfaces


Use Glassdoor to See the Process

A great interview preparation hack is to research the company’s interview process on Glassdoor. Past candidates post summaries of the hiring process, which give candidates a better idea of the timeline and level of difficulty of the ordeal. While some recruiters give a full overview of the process from the first round, other interviewers only outline one step at a time. Having a full picture of the hiring procedure can help a candidate decide whether to invest time interviewing or move on to other opportunities. Plus, these reviews often contain sample interview questions and can help applicants prepare responses instead of replying on the spot. 

Michael Alexis, TeamBuilding


Prepare Questions for Interviewer 

At the end of every interview, the interviewer usually asks if you have any questions. You should be prepared to ask a few questions. A great question to ask is “What are the challenges I would face in this job in the first 6 months?” This will give you a clear idea of what working for the company will look like and what they expect from you. It’s also important to ask a good question at the end of the interview because it shows your interest in the position.

Alex Czarnecki, Cottage


Terkel creates community-driven content featuring expert insights. Sign up at to answer questions and get published.