16 Surefire Ways to Ace the Interview and Rock Your Job Search, According to Recruiters

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16 Surefire Ways to Ace the Interview and Rock Your Job Search, According to Recruiters

Photo courtesy of Cox


It’s a stressful time to be job searching, that much is certain. But even though the stakes may feel particularly high, it’s still possible to land a job you love. 

To help set you apart in your search, we asked recruiters at Cox — a top-rated company for women that’s made up of two primary divisions, Cox Communications and Cox Automotive — for their insider advice. Below, they shared with us with their top resume tips, the type of question recruiters most love asking these days, and the kinds of questions you should be asking at the end of an interview yourself. Read on for their best job search guidance.

Sherica Sampson, Senior Recruiter, says: 

1. Practice mock interviews.

“It’s a great way to get rid of nervousness and run through your responses to previous experiences at other companies.”

2. Research the companies prior to your interview. 

“It’s always great to show how interested you are in a company by doing your homework ahead of time so that you can sound knowledgeable and enthused about what that company does and offers.”

3. Have your questions ready.

“Prepare at least three to five questions to ask during your interview – you should ALWAYS ask questions. You are interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you to make sure the match would be a good fit.”

More advice from Sherica: 

“If you’re pursuing a career in tech,I would recommend taking courses in the IT field to ensure you’re updated in your technology skillset. There are so many tools to take advantage of if candidates really apply themselves to sign up, including courses on AWS, Java, Python, Tableau, etc. Candidates can google what courses are available for them to take and elevate their career to the next level by completing these trainings, whether they’re a software engineer, data engineer, network engineer, systems engineer, etc. Trainings and courses are always a great way to become more qualified for a role.”

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Melinda Aaron, Senior Recruiter, says:

1. Smile (even if it’s a virtual interview).

“Now more than ever, we are having to portray ourselves over virtual methods. Companies are looking for aptitude and attitude. Whether you are on the phone or over video, smiling changes the way you feel and sound.”

2. Be concise.

“When answering questions, get to the point quickly, then pause and ask if more context is needed. Less is more. Stay on topic.”

3. Use real-world experiences whenever possible in your answers.

“When asked, ‘tell me how you have / would do this…,’ reference an actual situation in which you were faced with the same scenario and how you addressed it.”

4. Take a ‘stab at it.’ 

“If you are asked something you don’t have specific experience in but know the theory, ask if you can ‘take a stab; at what you would do in that scenario. This tells an employer you are honest about what you do and don’t know, and gives them an opportunity to hear how you would address the problem/situation if you were given the chance.” 

More advice from Melinda:

“With everything moving into the Cloud, my recommendation would be to seek out courses and certifications in this space — AWS, Azure and Google Cloud are the leaders in Cloud services.”

Holly Glassman, Senior Recruiter, says: 

1. Choose a professional-feeling background for your virtual interviews.

“Change your background to a blurred background if need be, or use one of Zoom’s virtual office backgrounds.”

2. Roleplay the interview ahead of time.

“Practice and roleplay with a friend or family member; research common behavior-based interview questions so you have some stories ready to share.”

3. Look the part.

“As always, dress appropriately!”

Erin Kinback, Technical Recruiter, says: 

1. Update your resume. 

“Oftentimes, we wait until right before applying for a job to make updates, but it is good to continually stay on top of your resume so that no projects or accomplishments fall through the cracks. Ensure that previous roles are written in past tense, while current roles are in present tense.”

2. Do your research.

“If there are a few companies you have been eyeing but have not yet pursued, be ready for that potential phone screen. Look into what the company has been working on and get a good feel for the overall objective of the business. Showing recruiters you have done your research and know a bit about the company you are interested in can go a long way.”

3. Update your GitHub account.

“If you have been laid-off or furloughed during this time, it’s good to show that you have been working on some side projects or personal development. Our Software Engineers oftentimes check out a candidate's GitHub to get a better feel for what projects they are interested in as well as a greater understanding on how they code.”

More advice from Erin: 

“Codecademy is a site worth checking out if you are looking to play around a bit more with programming. Whether you are looking to improve upon the foundation you have already built or dabble in some new technologies, I recommend taking a look.”

Amy Mason, Senior Recruiter, says:

1. Keep things current.

“Always keep your resume up to date, and make sure that your LinkedIn profile is accurate and up to date, too.”

2. Let your network know that you’re job searching. 

“And never stop networking!”

3. Prepare to be asked behavior-based interview questions.

“I would encourage folks to research behavioral-based interviewing. Most companies are using this technique, and learning more about it will prepare you for interviews. Also, ask someone to ‘mock’ interview you – have them ask you some questions based on the job posting. This will get you thinking about your answers and what types of questions may be asked of you!”

About Cox 

We are the Cox family of businesses. We’ve been making our mark since 1898 by building and evolving world-class businesses, staying true to our values, and encouraging top talent to always look for growth and impact while building a career with us.  Our primary divisions – Cox Communications and Cox Automotive – are driving a new wave of innovation, powering smart cities with powerhouse broadband communications and pioneering greener, more progressive transportation alternatives for individuals and fleet operators.  We’re now expanding into new spaces like cleantech and healthcare to rev up our momentum toward building a better future for the next generation.  And as a privately held, family-owned organization, we're also building a better future for our employees through career growth and mobility opportunities, exceptional benefits and the chance to work alongside the best people you may ever know. 


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