5 Tips to Ace the 1st Interview

  |   Expert Advice, Personal Blog

Face it – First Impressions are everything. If you don’t make a good first impression, your chances of making it to the second round of interviews are close to zero. Whether it is a phone screen or an in-person meeting, the key to acing the 1st round interview is preparation. Here are a few tips to help you:

  1. Research – Take some time to read about the company and learn about what makes them successful in their industry. This will help you to ask more intelligent and engaging questions.
  2. Review – Be sure to review the job description and the main responsibilities. While you are describing your own background, remember to highlight specific examples where you have had the same or similar responsibilities in your previous roles
  3. Dress – It doesn’t matter what the typical dress code is, dress to impress. It never hurts. Dark suit, nice shoes, fresh & clean. Confidence is key.
  4. Practice – Don’t forget to practice your answers to the most difficult questions, for example:
  • Tell me about yourself? Have a 3 minute summary of your background, and be prepared to discuss anything that is listed in your resume.
  • Why are you interested in this job specifically?
  • What can you bring to the table?
  • Give me an example of a recent accomplishment that you are proud of.


By practicing your responses to these questions ahead of time, it will allow you to convey your background, skill-set, and strengths much more clearly and concisely.

  1. Write – In any interview it is important to always ask questions. This demonstrates your interest in the position. Make sure you write down a list of questions about the role and responsibilities. Some good questions to ask include:
  • In your opinion, what does it take to be successful in this role?
  • What are some challenges that previous employees have faced?
  • After reviewing my background, do you have any concerns about my ability to perform in this position? This will also allow you to address any concerns the interviewer has at this point and ideally overcome them right then and there.

Writer: Matthew Barbour, Senior Associate