The Interview Checklist

Congratulations! You got the interview. The resume revision and job search paid off. Now it’s time to prepare for the interview process so that you conduct yourself with confidence. The checklist below will help you during your preparation.


1.     Understand the interview process. Every company is different; therefore, every interview process varies. You can expect to have anywhere from one to three interviews before receiving a job offer — with some companies surpassing this number. There are many types of interviews, so it is important to know what to expect. Reach out to your company contact to learn what you can expect. It’s okay to ask these types of questions.

2.     Prepare your portfolio. Everyone should have a portfolio to bring to an interview. Creating your portfolio gives you the opportunity to re-asses the job description and research the company/industry so that you can talk knowledgeably about your experience as it relates to the position during the interview. Your portfolio should include:

  • a copy of the job description for which you are applying
  • copies of your resume and cover letter to distribute to interviewees
  • a list of references
  • examples of your work
  • information about the company/industry that you gained during research

3.     Review common interview questions. Most interviews include common human resources questions such as “Tell me about yourself” and “What about this job interests you?” You can review the top 10 interview questions here and begin preparing your answers as they relate to the particular job.

4.     Prepare your own questions. You should always enter an interview prepared to asked the interviewees questions when prompted. You may want to know about the company culture, the day-to-day activities of the position, or more about a topic brought up earlier in the interview. Asking questions displays your interest in the position and shows that you are an active listener.

5.     Practice, practice, practice. Like anything else, practicing interview techniques will make you more comfortable during the actual interview. Set up mock interviews with family, friends, or mentors to rehearse your answers and increase your confidence.

6.     Select an outfit. It is important to always look professional during an interview. Do not be afraid to call the company to identify the dress code; what you wear depends on the company culture. When in doubt, dress up.

7.     Interview with confidence. With professionalism and modesty, demonstrate your ability to succeed in the position. Know what value you add to the company and be sure to highlight this throughout the interview.


Your work isn’t over after the interview. Be sure to actively follow-up with everyone you met during your interview with a brief thank you note. The note should thank the interviewer for their time and express your appreciation for the opportunity. Reinforce why your skills align with the company’s needs and let the interviewer know you look forward to hearing back from them.

Injuries Can’t Keep These Warriors Down

Wounded veterans joined a former president for the annual W100K bike ride in the Texas countryside

By Karl Rove – May 7, 2014

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They came to ride mountain bikes in Central Texas last Thursday, Friday and Saturday. Most of the 16 riders had never met, but all had suffered grievous combat injuries, traveled difficult paths to recovery, and demonstrated incredible character. These Iraq and Afghanistan war veterans rode in the Bush Institute’s fourth annual W100K, hosted by former President George W. Bush to honor wounded warriors and draw attention to groups promoting physical activity as a vital aid to their healing.

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The Big Question: Should You Go Back to School?

Are you thinking about going back to school, but not sure if it is worth the time or money? Here are a few points that may help you make the decision to continue your education.   You may not have to pay at all. The new GI Bill covers the full cost of undergraduate education at any public – and many private – colleges and universities. Different than the previous Montgomery GI Bill, the post-9/11 bill pays schools directly, provides a living allowance, and supplies a book stipend.  To qualify for the bill, you must have been on active duty for at least 90 days after September 11. Those who served for 30 days and were honorably discharged due to a service connected injury or disability are also eligible. You can calculate your benefits with the new bill using the Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America’s calculator.   You may be happier in your job. A Pew Research Center study states that “college-educated Millenials [ages 25 to 32] are more like to see themselves on a career path, rather than just working at a job to get by.” Data suggest that more than half of people surveyed with a Bachelor’s degree or more are very satisfied in their job.   You are less likely to be unemployed. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the unemployment rate in 2013 of individuals with just a high school diploma was 7.5%. Those who held a Bachelor’s degree had an unemployment rate nearly half that at 4.0%, while those with a Master’s or above were even less likely to be unemployed at 3.4% and 2.3% respectively.   You are more likely to earn more. Employees that reported a high school diploma as their highest degree earned an average of $651 per week in 2013. Employees who held a Bachelor’s degree made an average of 58% more per week, while those with a Master’s degree or higher made up to 100% more per week.   You will qualify for more career opportunities. The Recovery 2020 report published by Georgetown University found that through the year 2020 “most jobs will require some type of post-secondary education, and individuals that only possess a high school diploma will have fewer employment options.”   For more key findings about going back to school now, check out the Pew Research article on the cost of not going to college. You may also want to review Forbes’ recent article that includes PayScale’s top 25 return on investment colleges.