25+ Professional Interview Tips to Succeed in a Job Search
Here are the best interview tips to achieve interview success. Preparing for a job interview can be the best way to land your dream job. A few things need to happen in order to ensure the interview goes off smoothly.
Arrive early, consider the interviewer's time, ask about the day-to-day responsibilities of the position, and these are only a few examples.
Tips before the job interview
Tips for before you enter into the job interview.
Research the company
Begin by doing some background study on the organization and your interviewers. Knowing essential facts about the firm you're interviewing with might help you feel more confident during your interview. Using the company's website, social media posts, and current news releases, you can get a good idea of the company's aims and how your history fits in.
Learn about the following:
- The company’s history.
- Their mission, vision and values.
- Their starting/founding story.
- Their leadership team.
- Their products or services.
Research and learn exactly what they're looking for in a new hire.
Prepare why you're passionate
You must be prepared to explain why you want to join this team and what you will bring to the table. Consider this: Why are you even applying for this job if it doesn't match your talents and interests?
Writing your own personal mission statement will assist you in putting your purpose into words, both for yourself and for the recruiter's benefit. When the recruiter asks why you're a good fit for the job, you'll be able to confidently respond!
Bring a copy of your resume and cover letter
Having an additional copy on hand will show the interviewer that you're always prepared, even if they forgot to print your resume or don't recall the sort of work in your portfolio.
After all, if you've worked hard to develop the perfect resume and cover letter, you'll want to flaunt them as much as possible!
Practice your delivery and stay calm
Begin by doing some background study on the organization and your interviewers. Knowing essential facts about the firm you're interviewing with might help you feel more confident during your interview.
Using the company's website, social media posts, and current news releases, you can get a good idea of the company's aims and how your history fits in.
A smooth, calm delivery where you're self-aware is what you're looking for.
Read the job description
Go over the job description again. It's a good idea to print it out and start highlighting the abilities the company is searching for. Consider examples from your previous and present work that meet these criteria.
Use the STAR method
When answering questions, use the STAR technique. Prepare to be asked about occasions in the past when you utilized a certain talent, and present tales with a clear Situation, Task, Action, and Result using the STAR technique.
Do a mock interview
Enlist the assistance of a buddy to practice answering questions. It's a proven fact that rehearsing your answers aloud is the most efficient method to prepare. Say them out loud or enlist the aid of a buddy to go over the questions and answers with you. As you become used to uttering the words, you'll notice that you develop confidence.
Practice every interview question that could potentially come up. Use a list of common interview questions to better prepare.
Get a reference list
Compile a reference list. Before or after your interview, your interviewers can ask you to provide a list of references. Preparing a reference list ahead of time can assist you in completing this stage swiftly and moving on in the recruiting process.
Bring examples of work
Bring examples of your work with you. You'll very certainly be questioned about particular work you've done in connection to the role during the interview. Consider tasks you've done in previous employment, groups, or volunteer roles that demonstrate you have experience and success completing the work they demand after studying the job description.
Prepare questions to ask the interviewer
Prepare intelligent interview questions for your interviewers. It's a two-way street when it comes to interviews. Employers expect you to ask questions because they want to know that you're really considering working there.
The following are some questions you might wish to ask your interviewers:
- Can you describe some of the day-to-day duties of this position?
- How would you characterize someone who would be successful in this position?
- What criteria would be used to evaluate my performance if I were in this position? How often do you do it?
- What departments does this team collaborate with on a regular basis?
- How do these divisions usually work together?
- What does that procedure entail?
- What are the current issues you're dealing with in your position?
When the interviewer asks, "Do you have any questions for us?" Saying "no" is the wrong answer. Always ask questions at the end of the interview. Hiring managers appreciate hearing your passion for the position.
Tips for during the job interview
Tips for during the actual interview (in-person or through a video interview).
Prepare the night before
Prepare for your interview the night before. If you talk with a recruiter prior to the interview, you can inquire about the workplace dress code and plan your wardrobe appropriately. If you don't know anyone, conduct some research about the firm to find out what's suitable. Visit How to Dress for a Job Interview for additional information.
Bring a pen and paper
Bring a notebook and pen, as well as copies of your CV. In case of numerous interviewees, bring at least five copies of your printed résumé on clean paper. On your copy, highlight key successes that you can quickly refer to and discuss. Take a pen and a small notebook with you. Make a mental note to take notes, but not on your phone or any other technological device.
Make a list of specifics so you can refer to them in your follow-up thank-you messages. Maintain as much eye contact as possible. Visit What to Bring to the Interview for additional information.
Be early to the interview
Make time in your calendar to come 10–15 minutes early. Make a plan to get to the interview site on time by mapping out your route. Consider performing a trial run. If you're using public transit, make a contingency plan in case of delays or closures.
Remember to look up the interview location in advance. Research traffic patterns and routes you'll take to get to the interview.
Make a lasting first impression
Show respect to everyone you come into contact with. This comprises drivers and parking lot attendants, as well as security and front-desk workers. Everyone you don't know should be treated as if they're the recruiting manager. Even if they aren't, your prospective employer can inquire about their opinions.
Focus on your body language
Use proper etiquette and body language. From the minute you walk into the building, use confident, approachable body language. With your shoulders back, sit or stand tall. Take a deep breath and gently exhale before the interview to help control nervousness and boost self-confidence. To begin a handshake, the interviewer should offer their hand first. Stand tall, smile, and look the individual in the eyes. A decent handshake should be strong but not crushing to the fingers of the other person.
Make eye contact with the other person.
Regardless of how you feel on the inside, looking someone in the eyes helps you appear confident. Maintain eye contact, even if it is unpleasant. If you gaze at the ground while the interviewer is speaking to you, I assure it will be considerably more uncomfortable for them.
Who wouldn't want to work for someone who is personable and friendly? When you grin a lot, you come across that way. Just make sure you don't have anything stuck in your teeth before you enter!
Act has been started.
Sit up straight, lean forward, and nod. This posture and nonverbal clues show that you're engaged, interested, and paying attention to what the interviewer says. That's the kind of individual that most businesses would want to have on their team!
Make a mental note of everything.
Bring a pen and a notepad to your interview so you can jot down key points made by the interviewer. This shows that you're willing to learn and are interested in what they have to offer.
Convince them of your sincerity and optimism. Being honest during interviews might help employers relate to you more readily. Keeping the interview light and productive can be as simple as smiling and using cheerful body language.
Answer questions honestly
Answer all of the questions honestly. While it can be tempting to exaggerate your qualifications and achievements, interviewers find honesty refreshing and admirable. Concentrate on your primary assets and how your history qualifies you for the role.
Show off your skills and competencies
Relate your responses to your abilities and successes. It's critical to relate your history to the work with examples of solutions and results you've produced when responding to any inquiry. Take advantage of every chance to address the job description's criteria.
Respond with thought
Be succinct and focused in your responses. Because your time with each interviewer is limited, avoid rambling. Preparing your responses ahead of time might help you stay focused.
Don't speak negatively about past employers
Do not make disparaging remarks about your prior workplace. Companies are looking for problem solvers who can work through adversity. If you're dissatisfied with your present employment, talk about what you've learned from it and what you want to do next.
Know how to answer "why did you leave your last job?"
Tips for after the job interview
Tips for after the job interview is complete.
Ask about the next steps
Inquire about the next steps and ask about the remainder of the hiring process. Following your interview, you should inquire with your interviewer, hiring manager, or recruiter about what to expect next. This will most likely be a follow-up email with your interview results, extra requirements such as an assignment or reference list, or a request for another interview.
Questions like the following can be beneficial to ask:
- Are my salary expectations aligned with the job?
- How soon would you be looking to make a job offer?
- How soon should I expect to hear back from you?
- Are there any past successes that I can share with the team to help evaluate my role?
- Is there any letters of recommendation from past jobs that you'd like to see?
- Do you feel like I'd fit in well with the company culture?
- Am I the ideal candidate for this job?
- Are there any skills or certifications that I missed in the job requirements?
Send a thank-you note
After the interview, send a handwritten thank you note. Request the business card of each person you speak with throughout the interview process so you can send a different thank you email to each of them. Send your follow-up emails the same day if you interviewed in the morning. If you have an afternoon interview, the next morning is acceptable. Using the notes you made throughout the discussion, make sure each email is different from the others.
Our favorite resources are included below.
Job interview resources
- Common Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Prepare for Behavioral Interview Questions by Marquette University
- Preparing for Job Interviews by the University of Kansas
- Mock Interview Handbook by CSUCI
- Interview Guidebook by Lebanon Valley College
Resume and cover letter resources
- Writing a Resume and Cover Letter by USC
- Resume Writing Tips by the University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Resume and Cover Letter Guide by Harvard University
Job search resources
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