In order to position yourself as the number-one must-hire, you must make sure to garner as much control over the interview situation as possible. Ideally, you want the company to fall head-over-heels in love with you as quickly as possible.

That means you need to be prepared, which means you need to get as much information as you can.  Regardless of whether you received an e-mail or phone call inviting you to an interview, you must always set yourself apart from the competition.

When receiving an invitation to interview, make sure you get the answers to the following top-ten invitation questions:

  1. What type of interview is it? Phone, video, or face-to-face?
  2. Who am I meeting with? Is this person the hiring manager? If not, what is the interviewer’s role with the company?
  3. Who is the hiring manager (get a name) and what is his or her title?
  4. Where is the interview? What day and what time?
  5. If travel is involved, what are the particulars?
  6. Who will initiate the call (if a phone interview)—the interviewer or me? If me, what number do I call?
  7. What is the initiator’s phone and e-mail, just in case an issue comes up?
  8. Who else will be in on the call? (Get names and titles.)
  9. How long is the interview expected to take (so that you can plan your schedule accordingly)?
  10. What are next steps following the call?

Before hanging up the phone, verify that you have all the correct numbers and whether you are dialing a direct line or calling in on a conference line that includes a PIN number. If you are receiving the call, make sure the interviewer has your correct phone number. Lastly, confirm the time of the call for both parties; for instance, you may be located in eastern standard time zone and the interviewer may be in the central daylight time zone. Is the interview at 10 o’clock a.m. central or eastern time? I can honestly say that I hear about calls getting screwed up every single day. This is a common mistake that can be easily avoided.

Getting the above information on what to expect enables you to go into the interview well prepared. Get more tips on how to have a successful interview by visiting