You found the perfect company, sent over your resume and cover letter, and just got scheduled for an interview. Whether you’re a job-hunting pro or seeking a foothold in your new career, there’s often a mix of anticipation and anxiety about what to wear, what to say, and how to impress your potential employer.

So, we asked our Human Resource experts, what are the best practices that they recommend to nail an interview? Here are our California Casualty HR professional’s interview dos and don’ts:

First, don’t underestimate the importance of the initial phone interview. Many companies -California Casualty included- want to do a first interview over the phone. This is the first key step to get a face-to-face interview, and eventually the job.



  • Find a quiet place with good reception
  • Make sure your phone is charged
  • Research the company
  • Have your resume and notes in front of you
  • Remember to keep it conversational, but always be professional
  • Ask questions


  • Have pets or kids in the room
  • Use filler words like, “um” or “uh”
  • Do anything besides sit and talk (EX. having a side conversation, watching TV, doing the dishes, going to the bathroom) *Yes, these have all happened.*
  • Use profanity or slang
  • Automatically assume you will get an in-person interview


If you get invited to the next step, congratulations! Now it is time for an interview at the actual company. It is important to put your best foot forward and make a good, lasting impression with your potential employer.



  • Research the company and know what it does, its core beliefs and values, and how you might fit in
  • Know what job you are interviewing for and if you will be a good fit
  • Research “behavior-based interviews” (BBI)
  • Practice answering other common interview questions
  • Arrive early
  • Dress professionally (even if the company tells you they have a casual dress code, remember you are not an employee -yet- and are there to impress)
  • Bring a copy of your resume, cover letter, and any other requested documents or forms that you were asked to bring or complete
  • Be aware of your posture and non-verbal communication
  • Utilize eye contact
  • Be articulate and concise, and confident in your answers
  • Prepare and ask questions about the company or the specific job


  • Arrive late
  • Use slang, inappropriate language, or bad grammar
  • Slouch or fidget
  • Talk negatively about your current or past job and coworkers
  • Share too much personal information
  • Lie about past experiences or qualifications
  • Completely dominate the conversation
  • Make your first question about pay, sick time, or vacation
  • Show signs of panic when you don’t know an answer to a question
  • Be afraid to ask the interviewer to clarify a question


And lastly, don’t doubt yourself, you’ve got this! 🙂


At California Casualty, we serve American Heroes who are committed to making their communities better: educators, law enforcement officers, firefighters, and nurses. We are always looking for motivated individuals who are dedicated to providing a higher level of service to those who serve their communities. We invite you to learn more about exciting opportunities on our career page,

California Casualty

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