How to prepare for an interview

publication date: Jul 6, 2017
author/source: Peter Blakely

Prepare or beware. Being prepared for an interview heightens your chances of becoming hired. Follow this list for tips on what to prepare before the interview and what to do in, and after, the interview to wow the hiring manager!

1. Research the Company

  • What does the charity do overall? Do you understand the mission and vision statement?
  • Where is the charity located? Is there sufficient parking? What is the best form of transportation to get there?
  • Do you understand what is expected of your role?
  • Research the financial standing of the charity – this will help you answer the salary question if it arises
  • Compile a general list of questions from your research

2. Plan your Outfit

  • Dress professionally, as if you were on the first day of the job.
  • If asked to dress ‘business casual’, clarification will help alleviate embarrassment from dressing inappropriately
  • Strive to be scent free and well groomed
  • Analyze your chosen outfit for proper fit, stains, strings, holes and wrinkles
  • Plan to arrive 10 minutes early unless the interviewer states otherwise

3. Plan what to Bring

  • Multiple copies of your resume
  • Volunteer list, if available
  • Portfolio, if necessary
  • Recommendation letters
  • Reference list
  • Pen and notepad, including a folder to hold these items
  • A list of questions or statements -
  • Important documents, if needed for the application – Drivers License #, SIN Card. Who knows, you may be hired on the spot!

4. Plan your Speech 

  • Engage in a mock interview with a friend or by yourself
  • Memorize your best responses by reviewing the questions that would be posed based on the job description.
  • Prepare by acting as if you are a contestant on Jeopardy
  • Think of how you will genuinely help the charity and write that down to share in the interview

5. What to do in the Interview 

  • Greet the interviewer with a confident handshake and warm smile
  • Control your facial expressions
  • Maintain great eye contact
  • Stay professional, do not stray off into personal stories unless asked
  • Be polite and enthusiastic
  • Give the employer personal space
  • Be aware of the non-verbal cues the interviewer may present
  • Don't chew gum
  • No looking at the time or your phone. Put your phone on silent and away
  • Be energetic
  • Don’t let off if you are desperate

6. Plan how to Communicate

  • Verbalize only positives, careful of being too negative about yourself and others
  • Filter what you say and think before responding
  • Advertise your worth
  • Memorize your qualifications and experiences
  • Don’t interrupt or over-talk
  • Listen
  • Ask for clarification if you do not understand the question
  • Bear in mind what personality traits you possess that make you a perfect fit for the job
  • Watch the length of your pauses
  • Don’t use slang words
  • Do not bring up salary expectations
  • Ask about the hiring process if it has not been previously indicated

7. After the Interview

  • Send a thank you email no later than 24 hours after the interview. Thank them for inviting you to be interviewed while stating your interest in the role and your qualifications
  • Reflect on what you did well and what you didn’t do well, write this down
  • Call if you have had no response for one week

Peter Blakely was the Founder of Blakely & Associates and grew the company to be one of Canada’s leading fundraising and direct marketing agencies. During his twenty years with the company, Peter worked with all levels of staff and Boards as he helped his clients grow their annual fundraising revenues. It was his passion for mentoring countless individuals as well as the recruitment and retention of staff for his own company and many of his clients that has led to the creation of Charity Careers Canada.

Like this article?  Join our mailing list for more great information!

Copyright, Hilborn Stanois Inc., © 2011-Current. All rights reserved.

Free Fundraising Newsletter
Join Our Mailing List