The Perfect Interview

  • It has been established that you have the skills and education necessary for the position. The interviewer wants to see if you will fit in with the company, and how your skills will complement the rest of the department. Your goal in the interview is to establish rapport with the interviewer and show him or her that your qualifications will benefit the company.
  • Proper attire for an interview is just as important as your resume. It is a reflection of who you are and how you present yourself. The interview is a professional business meeting and professional dress is a clean, pressed, conservative, dark suit with a tie to match or a blazer can be worn with a tie, or without, a pressed button down shirt with pressed khakis or chinos slacks. Guaranteed, the interviewer will look at a pair of unshined shoes and may question the candidate’s attention to detail or lack of.
  • Prior to the interview, we will brief you in detail, the company, the position and as much information about the interviewer as possible. The more you know about the company and the job you are applying for, the better you will appear in the interview. An interviewer will be much more impressed by your interest and motivation, and you will be able to explain what you can do for the company. Find out as much key information as you can about the company, its products and its customers. Consider the following: products and services, customers, competitors, philosophy, company history and financial information.
  • Plan on arriving 10 minutes before your scheduled interview time. We will ensure that you have adequate directions with a time frame to the interview destination. Your cell phone should be out of sight and turned off even while waiting for your meeting. You should bring several copies of your resume with you in the event you are meeting with a group.

By rehearsing interview questions, you’ll become more familiar with your own qualifications and will be well prepared to demonstrate how you can benefit an employer. Some examples:

“Tell me about yourself.”
Make a short, organized statement of your professional achievements and professional goals. Then, briefly describe your qualifications for the job and the contributions you could make to the organization.

“What about our company interests you?”
Few questions are more important than these, so it is important to answer them clearly and with enthusiasm. Show the interviewer your interest in the company. Share what you learned about the job, the company and the industry through your own research. Talk about how your professional skills will benefit the company.

“What are your best skills?”
If you have sufficiently researched the organization, you should be able to imagine what skills the company values. List them and give examples where you have demonstrated these skills.

“What is your major weakness?”
Be positive; turn a weakness into a strength. Now is the time for the “political spin…”

“What are your career goals?” or “What are your future plans?”
The interviewer wants to know if your plans and the company’s goals are compatible. Let him or her know that you are ambitious enough to plan ahead. Talk about your desire to learn more and improve your performance, and be specific as possible about how you will meet the goals you have set for yourself.

“What are your hobbies?” and “Do you play any sports?”
The interviewer may be looking for evidence of your job skills outside of your professional experience. For example, hobbies such as chess or bridge demonstrate analytical skills. Reading, music, and painting are creative hobbies. Individual sports show determination and stamina, while group sport activities may indicate you are comfortable working as part of a team. Also, the interviewer might simply be curious as to whether you have a life outside of work. Employees who have creative or athletic outlets for their stress are often healthier, happier and more productive.

“What have I forgotten to ask?”
Use this as a chance to summarize your good characteristics and attributes and how they may be used to benefit the organization. Convince the interviewer that you understand the job requirements and that you can succeed.


Your Qualifications
What can you do for us that someone else can’t do?
What qualifications do you have that relate to the position?
What new skills or capabilities have you developed recently?
Give me an example from a previous job where you’ve shown initiative.
What have been your greatest accomplishments recently?
What is important to you in a job?
What motivates you in your work?
What have you been doing since your last job?
What qualities do you find important in a coworker?

Your Career Goals
What would you like to being doing five years from now?
How will you judge yourself successful? How will you achieve success?
How will this job fit in your career plans?
What do you expect from this job?
Can you travel?
When could you start?

Your Work Experience
What have you learned from your past jobs?
What were your biggest responsibilities?
What specific skills acquired or used in previous jobs relate to this position?
How does your previous experience relate to this position?
What did you like most/least about your last job?

Your Education
How do you think your education has prepared you for this position?
What were your favorite classes/activities at school?
Why did you choose your major?
Do you plan to continue your education?


At most interviews, you will be invited to ask questions of your interviewer. This is an important opportunity for you to learn more about the employer, and for the interviewer to further evaluate you as a job candidate. It requires some advance preparation on your part.

Prepare five good questions. Ask questions concerning the job, the company, and the industry or profession. Your questions should indicate your interest in these subjects and that you have read and thought about them.

Don’t ask questions that raise warning flags. For example, asking, “Would I really have to work weekends?” implies that you are not available for weekend assignments. If you are available, rephrase your question. Also, avoid initiating questions about compensation (pay, vacations, etc.) or tuition reimbursements. You might seem more interested in paychecks or time-off than the actual job.

Don’t ask questions about only one topic. People who ask about only one topic are often perceived as one dimensional and not good candidates.

Clarify. It’s OK to ask a question to clarify something the interviewer said. Just make sure you are listening. Asking someone to clarify a specific point makes sense. Asking someone re-explain an entire subject gives the impression that you have problems listening or comprehending.


Arrive late for the interview.
Indicate you are late because the directions you were given were not good.
Look disheveled and inappropriately dressed.
Slouch in your seat.
Don’t maintain good eye contact with the interviewer.
Do your company research at the interview by asking, “What do you guys do here?”
Don’t make a connection between your skills and the needs of the employer.
Brag about how great you are, but neglect to cite evidence of your accomplishments.
Respond in an unfocused, disorganized, and rambling manner.
Remain low-key and display no enthusiasm for the job.
Answer most questions with simple “yes” and “no” answers.
Appear desperate for a job–any job.
Call the interviewer by his or her first name, or use the wrong name.
Give memorized responses, forgetting parts in the process.
Badmouth your current or former employer.
When asked, “Do you have any Questions?” reply “No.”

Finally, if you really want the position and believe there is a mutual interest, ask for the job and contact your recruiter at Food Management Search immediately.

FMS is your trusted and proven source for food distribution and supply chain recruiting.