Your interviewing cheat sheet.

Meredith Paige Avatar
A piece of white paper covered in tiny notes

If I’m interviewing you, this is your cheat sheet.

For the most part, I don’t care what you say on our first interview – I don’t know you and an hour-long interview isn’t enough for me to figure out if you’re telling me the truth about your experience.

Instead, I’m not going to listen to what you say as much as I’m going to watch carefully how you handle yourself at every stage of the interviewing process.


1. My first step is to send you a calendar link and Zoom meeting invitation. Never used one of these apps? Please look up instructions on YouTube or ask your nephew to help you instead of emailing me to say you can’t figure out how to use the tool.

2. I will ask you how much you know about my company during the interview. 99% of the time I hear: “You paint houses” or “you’re part of a franchise.” A 2-minute Google search for a piece of nuanced information makes it so easy for you to look like you researched the position for hours. In fact, let’s make this fun, if you’re interviewing with me, let me know you’ve seen this post. This will tell me you’ve done your research on me (note as of July 2023, nobody has ever mentioned this in an interview, so you can see that researching the company is a great way to stand out).

3. When I send you the personality assessment by email, I’m not only interested in results, I’m also interested in how fast you take it. I figure if you take it quickly you might really want the job.

4. Will you contact me to let me know you’ve finished the assessment? That’s a nice touch – it shows me how well you communicate.

5. I’ll give you the cell number of the person you’re interviewing with at the office, and I expect you to use it if you’re running late, which happens, especially in Boston.

6. Many of the next interviews I’ll ask you to set up on your own. I’m lurking in the background to see how quickly and efficiently this is done.

7. Congrats, if you’re invited to have lunch with our whole team this means we like you! I want you to really know the people you’ll be working with and be able to “interview us.” My team is looking for you to ask good questions and be an all-around interesting potential colleague. Hint: clean up your lunch when you’re done.

8. A quick email to me is always a good idea. Keep me in the loop, I want you to want this job.

9. When it’s time to check references, have them handy. These people are supposed to vouch for your work ethic – make sure they’re on standby to handle this important step. I’ll ask you to send me both their email address and cell phone number – be sure to respond with both – I’m still judging!

10. Assuming most people won’t say anything bad about you even if they want to, I’ll email your references and tell them, “Only respond to this email if you think Sally is a candidate I shouldn’t miss out on.” I’m looking for a high percentage of your references to respond. The silence from those who don’t respond also speaks volumes.

So there’s your cheat sheet. Feel free to make this process your own by adding creative touches along the way.

And don’t be nervous about what you’re going to say.

Just behave like you plan to when you get the job, and my final decision will be a cinch.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Powered by