CF’s Ultimate Job Interview Checklist

Follow this job interview checklist to take (some of) the stress out of the interview process.

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The ultimate job interview checklist for recent grads

Here’s the truth: I am a checklist girl … and quite frankly I would be absolutely nowhere without my everyday *alarmed* reminders.

So here I am to give you the job interviewing checklist I have been living by these past few post-grad months. Read it, live it, love it, add to it! This checklist is tried and true, and combines all the advice I’ve received from school, conferences, and been-there-done-that friends and family members.

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Without further ado, here is CF’s ultimate job interview checklist:

Before Your Interview:

✔︎ Mold Your Resume and Cover Letter

Now, this is something that should have definitely been done before you even applied, however, no time like the present!

Take a really hard look at the job at hand and study its description.

Then pick out the key skills and words, and apply them to your resume and cover letter!

For example, if the job is asking for social media skills, make sure you list those skills on your resume and further that point by describing your social media experience on your cover letter. Or, if they are looking for someone with certain character traits, don’t be afraid to sell yourself by highlighting all the positive traits that fit you.

Each job is unique, and each resume and cover letter you send should be, too!

✔︎ Make and Pack Extra Copies of Your Resume and Other Paperwork

While we are on the topic of resumes, always bring copies! I also bring copies of my cover letter to be safe. If you’re interviewing for a media job, be sure to also pack hard copies of your writing samples.

Pack these in a hard backed folder the night before your interview so you won’t forget them!

Seriously, don’t forget your copies … and for goodness sake, please make sure they are in pristine physical condition!

✔︎ Do Your Research

The only thing worse than looking like a fool is actin’ a fool at your interview … so make sure you do your research to avoid this.

Know the job and know what you’re talking about, and most importantly know the company. Point out what they do that you like so much and why this job would be a great fit for you.

Bonus points if you can familiarize yourself with your interviewers ahead of time! Showing that you care enough to put the time in shows people the kind of person you are and the type of employee you can be for them.

When it comes to interviewing, a little knowledge can go a long way!

✔︎ Think Clean, Crisp, and Professional

No matter the interview type (formal, informal, or informational) you should always always **look out for a major cliche here!!** dress for the job you want.

{RELATED POST: How to Dress for a Job Interview}

Yes, workplaces have come a long way in being much more casual these days but there is nothing worse in the world than showing up underdressed … right?! And this goes for your grooming as well! Remember: Clean hair, crisp makeup, and either completely polished or unpolished fingernails.

My go to look: a fitted cropped blazer with a wide legged trouser and closed-toe pumps. I try for a plain top underneath with a necklace. I wear my makeup a little heavier than my usual tinted bb cream and mascara, and I do my nails a pretty light pink!

A tip I’ve been given by my fabulous cousin has been to pick an accessory that makes you memorable. She always opts for a brightly printed scarf!

✔︎ Rehearse

No, this is not a high school play, and yes you should be your relaxed self, but don’t you hate when you succumb to the “umms?”

No matter how great a public speaker you are, awkward pauses will happen. Be sure to prep yourself with some practice questions. It also helps to go over your own resume and be able to describe each experience with ease.

This also helps with reminding you of all the great experiences you have had and will help you make sure you don’t leave anything out.

During Your Interview:

✔︎ Remember What Your Dad Taught You…

… and if he never taught you, let teacher Kate enlighten you!

Utilize eye contact and keep your handshake firm, take a breath between questions and answers, speak when necessary but don’t interrupt.

Think composed, polite, and professional.

✔︎ Ask Questions

This is where your research comes in handy!

Try to have at least 3 questions available for you to use, because ultimately you are finding out about the job just as much as they’re finding out about you.

Stuck on what to ask? Try my go-to questions: what led you (the interviewer) to this company/position? What makes this position unique? What are you looking for in a new employee?

✔︎ Be Yourself

Cliche, but very important.

After the Interview:

✔︎ Send Thank You Notes and Inquire about Next Steps

No job interview checklist would be complete without this step.

Taking your time to thank someone for their time says more about you than anything you could have said in an interview.

Additionally, expressing your excitement about the possibility of the new opportunity and inquiring about the next steps in the process shows how driven you are!

✔︎ Follow Up

Don’t be afraid to send another email or give a call if it’s been a few days and you haven’t heard back!

Each company has a different process for how they hire, some interview periods are longer and some are shorter. Make sure you aren’t lost in the sea of applicants by continuing to show how much you want the job.

The job will always go to someone who wants to be there.

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I want to hear from you in the comments below!

What would you add to this job interview checklist? Anything I missed? Did you find this helpful? Tell us by leaving a comment down below.

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