The first step toward getting an interview at a company is usually by submitting a resume. Your resume should be written to attract the attention of the reader, whether it is an actual person or a computer. Both will quickly scan the resume looking for information that highlights your skills and qualifications. Your resume is your most powerful marketing tool and is very often your only chance at getting an interview.

If you do submit your resume to a company and you are invited for an interview, your resume has successfully portrayed you as a potential hire and the company wants more information. During the interview you will be probed for more details. What do you bring to the table? Why should they hire you instead of another candidate?

At the interview you may be interviewed by one interviewer or many, by someone from Human Resources, hiring managers and potential supervisors. An interview can be one-on-one or a group interview with several interviewers, in some cases even including other candidates interviewing for the same job.

A job interview is not a test of your knowledge, but your ability to use it at the right time.

Always enter an interview prepared with knowledge of the company and the reasons why you want the job. Be prepared with examples of how your skills qualify you for the job. If taken to lunch, consider it part of the interview. You are being observed in a social setting. Be careful what you say and go light on the alcohol.

As resumes play such a critical role in the hiring process, you need a good one. Resumes are typically one page, two at most, and you need cram a lot of important information into those pages, selling yourself as a candidate worthy of a job interview.