You’re one step closer to your dream startup job—you’ve got the interview! But hold up; the real challenge starts now. Want to stride into that room brimming with confidence? Want to make an impression they won’t soon forget? Then it’s time to buckle down and prepare for interview like your career depends on it.

But don’t worry, I’ve got your back to help you prepare for interview and what it takes to nail the interview process. So, let’s get started on your journey to interview success.

Table of Contents:

Prepare for interview: Research the Company and Job Description

Before stepping into the interview room, you need to do your homework. And I’m not talking about just a quick Google search.

To prepare for your interview, immerse yourself in the company’s online presence. Absorb its mission statement and let its values and culture sink in. You’ll walk into the meeting with a solid grasp of what makes it tick, ready to impress.

Review the company website, research their mission and values, and analyze the job description for key requirements and responsibilities

I spent hours combing through their website while preparing for any interviews. I read every page, from their “About Us” section to their blog posts.

Getting to the core of the company was my mission. Their values, their vision, and how I could contribute to their exceptional company culture—I needed to know it all. And trust me, the rewards were beyond my wildest dreams.

During the interview, I could speak intelligently about their mission and values and how my personal values aligned with theirs. The hiring manager was impressed, to say the least.

But don’t stop there. Go over the job description with a fine-tooth comb, analyzing every requirement and responsibility listed.

Unleash your interview superpower by creating a cheat sheet highlighting how your talents match the job like a glove. When you walk in armed with specific examples, you’ll be unstoppable.

When they ask you about your qualifications, you’ll be able to give specific examples of how you meet and exceed their expectations. Trust me, this is the kind of preparation that will set you apart from the other candidates.

Prepare for interview: Common Interview Questions

Now that you’ve researched the company and the job, it’s time to focus on yourself. And that means preparing for those dreaded common interview questions.

You know the ones I’m talking about. “Tell me about yourself.” “What are your strengths and weaknesses?” “Why do you want to work here?”

Practice answering questions about your background and qualifications, be ready to discuss your strengths and weaknesses; and use the STAR method to provide specific examples

Want to ace your next interview? The secret is simple: practice, practice, practice. And don’t just rehearse in your mind; say your responses out loud so you get comfortable with the sound of your own voice.

Grab a friend or family member and have them ask you these questions. Or, if you’re feeling really brave, record yourself answering them and watching the video back.

When discussing your strengths and weaknesses, be honest but strategic. Choose strengths that directly relate to the job requirements and weaknesses you’ve worked to improve.

When giving examples of your past experiences, use the STAR method. This stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Results.

When you’re in the hot seat, share the scoop on your situation, the mission you had to crush, the moves you made, and the awesome results you scored. This way, you’ll give tight answers but packed with juicy details that show off your mad skills and big wins.

Prepare for interview: Develop Thoughtful Questions for the Interviewer

An interview is a two-way street. Yes, the interviewer is assessing you, but you’re also assessing them. And one of the best ways to do that is by asking thoughtful questions.

Create a list of questions about the role and company, ask about growth opportunities and team dynamics; and demonstrate your interest and engagement

Before the interview, make a list of questions you want to ask. These should be specific to the role and the company and show that you’ve done your research.

Don’t be shy; inquire about the daily grind, the team’s chemistry, and the company’s big-picture goals for growth and development.

You could also ask about opportunities for professional development and advancement within the company. This shows that you’re looking for a job and a long-term career.

And don’t be afraid to ask about the interviewer’s experience with the company. What do they like most about working there? What challenges have they faced?

Curious inquiries highlight your genuine interest and offer a sneak peek into the company’s values and vibe. It’s like a compatibility test for your professional journey.

Prepare for interview: Practice Your Interview Skills

You’ve done your research, prepared your answers, and come up with thoughtful questions. Now, it’s time to combine it and practice your interview skills.

Conduct mock interviews with a friend or family member, focus on clear and concise responses, and maintain good eye contact and body language

The best way to do this is through mock interviews with behavioral questions for the job interview. Grab a friend or family member and have them play the role of the interviewer with sample interview questions.

Prepare thoughtful questions for them and some specific to the role and company, and have them ask you in a realistic interview prep setting.

Aim for clarity and brevity in your responses. Don’t veer off on tangents or engage in rambling digressions. Follow the STAR method, bolstering your points with concrete, specific examples.

Remember your body language. Maintain good eye contact, sit up straight, and avoid fidgeting or crossing your arms.

Even without words, your physical cues can communicate volumes about your confidence level and involvement in the dialogue.

After wrapping up each mock interview, seek out constructive criticism. Ask about your strengths and weaknesses. Take their insights to heart and use them to polish your answers and delivery before the real deal.

Repeated practice is the key to feeling confident and prepared for your real interview. When the big day arrives, your confidence will be evident in presenting yourself.

Key Takeaway: Before the interview, research the company’s mission and values to align your answers. Practice common questions out loud, using real-life examples with the STAR method. Don’t forget to craft insightful questions for them—it shows you’re keen and did your homework. Finally, nail it by doing mock interviews to refine your delivery.

Prepare for interview: Different Interview Formats

You did it—you got the interview. Before you break out the champagne, make sure you know what kind of interview you’re walking into. Take it from someone who’s been there: you don’t want to be caught in your PJs when you realize it’s a video interview.

Understand the expectations for each format, test your technology for virtual interviews, and plan your outfit and arrival time for in-person meetings

Whether it’s a phone interview, video interview, or in-person interview, each format has its own set of expectations. Make sure you’re in a quiet place with good reception for phone interviews. No one wants to hear your roommate’s TV blasting in the background.

For video interviews, test your technology beforehand. Ensure your camera and microphone are working and you have a professional background. And please, put on some pants. For in-person interviews, plan your outfit in advance and aim to arrive 10–15 minutes early.

Prepare for interview: Gather the Documents and Materials

You don’t want to be scrambling to find your resume five minutes before the interview. Trust me, I’ve been there, and it’s not a good look. Gather all your materials beforehand so you can walk in feeling prepared and confident.

Print hard copies of your resume and cover letter, bring a notepad and pen for notes, and plan extra time for traffic or unexpected delays

Print a few hard copies of your resume and cover letter on nice paper. You never know who might ask for a copy. Bring a professional notepad and pen to jot down notes during the interview. And always plan extra time for traffic or unexpected delays. The last thing you want is to be running into the interview sweaty and out of breath.

Prepare for interview: Plan Your Interview Attire

First impressions matter, and your clothes are a huge part of that. Aim for an outfit that screams, “I’ve got this,” while still letting you breathe easy. It’s not always easy, but with some thought, you’ll be rocking that perfect blend of put-together and self-assured.

Research the company’s dress code, choose professional and comfortable clothing, avoid flashy or distracting accessories

Research the company’s dress code and plan your interview outfit accordingly. If it’s a more casual company, you can probably get away with a nice pair of slacks and a button-down. But if it’s a more formal environment, opt for a suit or professional dress.

Choose something that fits well and makes you feel confident. Avoid anything too flashy or distracting; you want the focus on you, not your neon tie. Make sure to do a test run in your outfit beforehand to ensure it’s comfortable to sit and move around in.

Prepare for interview: Get Plenty of Rest and Arrive Early

I know it’s easier said than done, but try to get a good night’s sleep before the big day. You want to be well-rested and mentally sharp for the interview. Set out your outfit, pack your bag, and review your notes the night before so you’re not rushing around in the morning.

Aim for a good night’s sleep before the interview, plan to arrive 10-15 minutes early, allow time for parking and finding the office

On the interview day, give yourself plenty of time to get there. Plan to arrive 10–15 minutes early. This gives you time to park, find the office, and collect your thoughts before going. If you’re unsure where you’re going, do a trial run the day before or look up directions and parking information beforehand.

Remember, the interview starts when you walk in the door, so be polite and friendly to everyone you encounter. Take a few deep breaths, smile, listen carefully, and walk in with confidence. You’ve got this.

Key Takeaway: Know your interview type and prep accordingly: test tech for virtual, pick outfits early, gather materials, and aim for rest. Show up early to avoid stress, use good posture, and make a great first impression.


Preparing for an interview takes time and effort, but making a great impression is worth it. By researching the company, practicing your answers, and getting in the right mindset, you’ll be ready to impress.

Remember, the key is to be yourself. You’ve got the skills and experience they’re looking for. Now, it’s time to let your personality shine.

So take a deep breath, smile, and go confidently into the job interview and show them what you’ve got. I’m rooting for you to ace the hiring process!

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Lomit is a marketing and growth leader with experience scaling hyper-growth startups like Tynker, Roku, TrustedID, Texture, and IMVU. He is also a renowned public speaker, advisor, Forbes and HackerNoon contributor, and author of "Lean AI," part of the bestselling "The Lean Startup" series by Eric Ries.