by Lisa Grimaldi | March 01, 2010

A well-crafted cover letter and a succinct, targeted résumé can make you stand out from a crowded field of job-seekers. But once you get that foot in the door, you still need to ace the interview.

In this final installment of our three-part series, "The Job Hunt,"* we offer advice on the interview process from a trio of experts:

Dawn Penfold• Dawn Penfold, CMP, president of the New York City-based The Meeting Candidate Network, The Meeting Temp Job Network and;

• Ellen B. Vance, hiring consultant and vice president and chief human resources officer for Sheltering Arms Physical Rehabilitation Centers in Glen Allen, Va.; and

• Tory Johnson, CEO of Women for Hire (, a New York City-based career consulting firm, and contributor to TV's Good Morning America.

Before the meetingTime it right. If the hiring official asks you to set the time for the interview, choose the period when you're at your personal best, e.g., early morning, midday, etc.

Do your research. Arm yourself with all the information you can about the target company prior to the appointment. Tory Johnson recommends brushing up on the following: the company's core business (e.g., hospitality, finance, manufacturing), target market (consumers, business-to-business), history (when it was founded, involvement in mergers and acquisitions), number of employees, latest news (products, layoffs, expansions), and whether it is private or public (if it's the latter, check out the latest annual report). Most of this information can be gleaned from the Internet.  

Cracking the corporate culture may be a bit trickier, but Dawn Penfold has had clients whose sleuthing has included hanging around in coffee shops near the company's offices to get a sense of the mood and environment.