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Expert Advice from Focused Consulting, LLC: How to Prepare for Your Interview (Step 1 of 4)

It’s interview season! How ready are you? If you’re feeling nervous, or unsure how to prepare, this month’s blog series is for you.

This week we had the pleasure of chatting with Barbara Sucoff, President of Focused Consulting, LLC. Barbara has been coaching business professionals in all levels and roles across an organization hierarchy for 20+ years. Her primary focus is on communication – and guess what you need to do before, during, and after an interview to determine if it is the right job for you and land that job?

Communicate effectively.

Barbara shared with us her four step prep process for the interview candidate:

  • Step 1 - Get Ready
  • Step 2 - Get Set
  • Step 3 - Go
  • Step 4 - Follow Up

Each week throughout October we’ll highlight the details of one of these steps, starting today with Step 1: Get Ready. Read on for Barbara’s expert advice!


Why is this step important?

Step 1: Get Ready is about making sure you have the laid the foundation for success before even applying for an interview. Completing this step allows you to take full advantage of opportunities as they happen. You never know when an opportunity may present itself – meeting someone on the train, at a restaurant, or while walking your dog!

What are the activities associated with this step?

In no particular order – as long as you complete all of them. Check:

  • Your cell phone voice mail message: If a company calls you and you can’t answer, make sure they know they’ve dialed the right number through a personalized voice mail message. Speak clearly, be brief, and record in a quiet room.
  • Your email address: Are you still sk8erbro@aol.com? If so, time for an upgrade.
  • Your Facebook page: Your profile photo does not have to be a professional headshot, but it should be appropriate if it were to be seen in a professional environment (i.e. no bikini shots, red cups, inappropriate hand gestures…). Also, double check your privacy settings.
  • Your LinkedIn profile: LinkedIn is king in Google searches. Make sure your profile showcases your qualifications and successes. Your photo should be a head shot (not necessarily professional) and not cropped from a wedding!  Your dress should be business casual unless you are going for a job in a field that is either super casual or formal business.  Look the part.
  • Your resume: It’s critical to make sure your resume matches your LinkedIn profile and is up to date. Triple check for typos, grammar, and text alignment.
  • Google yourself in a browser you don’t typically use. What do you see? Is this how you want to be perceived by an HR professional or your future boss?

When should I have this step completed?

Right now!

Don’t wait until you want to apply for a job, and definitely don’t wait until after you’ve applied. Digital presence is very often the first impression we make, and it’s available 24/7. Make sure it’s representing you in the way you want to be represented. 

How important is this step, really?

This is your foundation. Without a solid foundation, anything you try to build on top can fall apart at the slightest misstep. You might have had the best face-to-face interview, but if your digital presence is inappropriate, or your resume is riddled with spelling errors, it’s game over. 

If you’ve never gone through the tasks above, it’s critical that you do them as soon as you’re done reading this post.

Key takeaway:

Your digital impression may very well be the first impression - make sure it's the one you want. Tweet this tip!

Have questions on Get Ready, the first step of interview prep? Leave it in the comments below! That way everyone can learn from and contribute to the discussion. Ready for more? Continue to Step 2: Get Set.


Focused Consulting, LLC is a corporate training and coaching consultancy that specializes in professional development at all levels of an organization. To date, the Focused Consulting team has trained over 100,000 business professionals globally, across a variety of industries. As expert communicators, it’s guaranteed that the Focused Consulting team provides engaging, interactive, and fully customized solutions in order to achieve the best possible results for their client’s professional development needs.

Curious to learn more? See how Focused Consulting, LLC has helped other organizations, or contact Barbara directly. 

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