Interview Tips

Congratulations! You landed a job interview. After getting the interview, your next step is getting prepared for the interview. Following our tips for job interview questions and answers will help you shine like a star.

From being on time to having the right answers, there’s a lot you can do to make a good first impression at an interview. Ace your next interview with our tips for job interview questions and answers.

Tips for Job Interview Questions and Answers

We’ve broken down our tips into three sections: tips for before the interview, tips for during the interview and tips for after the interview.

Tips for Before the Interview

Research the company, industry and your interviewers.

You should be prepared to answer questions about the industry, company and interviewers. An interviewer might ask you who the main competitors are, what advantages the company has and questions about the company’s vision. Also, be very familiar with the job description. They might ask questions based on your perceptions of the job.

Practice, practice, practice.

Chances are, you’ll be asked a few common interview questions. The most common questions are also some of the hardest. “So tell me about yourself…” is a common jumping off point for many interviewers. Have a 30-second elevator speech canned and ready to go to answer this question with confidence. While you’re at it, consider asking a friend to hold a mock interview with you for additional practice. Review sample answers, prepare to talk about your greatest strengths.

Make your “selling points” clear.

Go into your interview with 3 to 5 selling points. You’ll want to drive each point home with an example. Also, think about being prepared to tell the interviewer what makes the job attractive to you. Maybe you think you’ll thrive in the company’s culture or think your skills are a good fit for the position. This shows the interviewer that you are interested in the position.

Tips for DURING the Interview

Plan for punctuality.

Show the hiring manager that timeliness is important to you. Consider arriving 10 to 15 minutes early.

Consider using the STAR method to respond to behavioral interview questions.

STAR is an acronym for situation, task, action and result. This method of answering questions focuses on relaying a specific situation, your role in the situation, describing the actions you took, and then sharing the results of those actions. This method will explain how you used a specific skill and how your skills relate to real applications.

Dress for success.

You’ve heard it before. Dress for the job you want. Plan your outfit out the night before your interview. Make sure everything is pressed and wrinkle-free. Be attentive to details. Shine your shoes, manicure your nails and get ready to present yourself in the best light possible.

Have the right materials.

Don’t come to your interview unprepared. Show up with a pen, notebook or padfolio and 5 or so extra copies of your resume. The extra copies will come in handy in case of a group interview or multiple interviews. Be prepared to take notes. Taking notes with pen and paper can be less distracting to your interviewers than using a smartphone or tablet. The information in your notes will come in handy when you’re writing a follow-up thank you note or at a second interview. You also might want to bring a few copies of reference list in case it is requested.

Tips for AFTER the Interview

Close the interview on a positive note.

If you feel like the interview went well and you’re sure you want the job, ask for it! Don’t be afraid to tell the interviewer this job is a long-term stop you’d like on your career path. Mention that you were excited about the job before the interview process and that now you’re even more excited about the job. By expressing enthusiasm might think you’re more likely to accept the job and might be more apt to make an offer to you.

Send a thank you after the interview.

Consider two options for sending a thank you note after the interview. Option 1: You can hand deliver a card or snail mail a card the day after the interview. Option 2: You can send a follow up email in the evening on the day of the interview. Sending the email in the evening shows enthusiasm and makes it more likely that the interviewer will see it first thing.
Nail your next interview when you’re armed with our tips for job interview questions and answers. Do your homework and be ready to wow your interviewer.

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