Making it to the interview stage is the next major step toward impressing employers and securing a new job. In a short time, you need to show hiring managers you’d be a great fit for their role with your skills, accomplishments, and personality.
We provide advice below to help you increase your chances of getting the job and making a positive impression on employers before, during, and after your interview.
Interviewing advice to help you prepare
The deeper your knowledge about the company and the role you’re applying for, the more you’ll impress your interviewer throughout the interview.
Looking for a quick video? Our Career Expert Eva summarizes what to do during the interview stage to help you do well:
And to expand on Eva’s advice, here are five in-depth tips for interviews that’ll help you get ready before the big day:
1. Find out more about your target company
Before your interview, research your target company by learning about its history, work culture, mission, values, and goals.
Discovering more about the company and its employers will help you understand what the company seeks in its ideal candidates. Also, taking the time and effort to do your research shows your interviewer you’re thorough and fully invested in the position.
To learn more information about your target company, try looking up:
- the organization’s official website (especially its “About Us” page)
- its LinkedIn company profile and staff profiles (so you can see who you’d likely be working with)
- the company’s social media platforms (Instagram, TikTok, YouTube, Facebook)
- its online reviews (by using websites like Glassdoor or Quora)
- relevant news stories about the organization (e.g., search the company’s name on Google News)
2. Learn about the role you’re applying for
Once you’ve done your research, focus specifically on the role you’re applying for.
For instance, if you already know what team you’d be joining, try finding out:
- what projects and goals they’ve been working on lately
- the direction they’re taking
- how you’d fit in
Also, read the job description carefully so you can learn what your daily duties will be and how your hard and soft skills and experience align with the position’s requirements.
If the company’s job posting is unclear, research your target job position online to see what qualifications you’ll need to set yourself apart from other candidates.
Quora, Glassdoor, and simple Google searches can offer useful information from people who’ve performed in the same position, or a similar one.
3. Research and rehearse answers to common interview questions
Make yourself feel confident and well-prepared by rehearsing your answers to common interview questions.
Practicing job interview questions and answers ahead of time will help:
- establish that you’ve considered your responses carefully
- ensure you stay calm and confident during the interview process
- demonstrate your readiness and interest in the role
Try looking at common interview questions like:
- “Tell me about yourself.”
- “Why are you suitable for this job?”
- “Why did you leave your last job?“
- “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?“
- “What is your greatest strength?”
Part of answering these questions well (especially if this is your first job interview) is using your analytical skills to evaluate your strengths, weaknesses, and achievements.
4. Dress professionally
To show you’re taking the job opportunity seriously and setting a positive tone for your first interactions with the company, ensure you dress appropriately.
Although each company has a different dress code, aim to dress as professionally as possible and keep your appearance tidy to exude confidence and make a good first impression.
To be safe, match the level of formality that the company is known for by doing your research and see what other employees in the industry wear when they come to work.
For example, wear a suit and tie or a work-appropriate dress if you’re interviewing at a traditional office. And if you’re interviewing at a startup or tech company, you could try wearing a simple, business casual outfit such as a button down shirt and slacks.
5. Bring relevant job documents to your interview
Preparing relevant job documents will help reduce any stress leading up to your interview.
So remember to print out extra copies of your resume, cover letter, portfolio, and references (if applicable) in case your interviewer(s) asks to see them. You can also bring a notepad and pen if you’ll take notes during the interview.
And if you have extra equipment like an iPad you want to use to show your job documents (such as an online portfolio), ensure you fully charge your equipment beforehand so you don’t run into any complications during the interview.
Interview techniques to use during your meeting
To position yourself as an ideal candidate when speaking with the hiring manager, learning how to do well in an interview is essential.
We break down more good interviewing tips to ensure you’ll present yourself in the best light:
6. Arrive early to your interview
When it comes time for your interview, show up on time or even early to show respect for the company and demonstrate punctuality and reliability.
Make it a goal to arrive 10–15 minutes before your interview so you’ll have enough time to get there and feel relaxed and confident when your interviewer comes to greet you.
7. Deliver honest and positive answers
Being honest as you’re interviewing shows the interviewer you’re genuine and a good fit for the role.
Unfortunately, if your interviewer finds out you’ve been dishonest, it can reflect poorly on your character and make you appear less trustworthy than other candidates. So be truthful when answering interview questions, as lying could easily come back to haunt you and prevent you from getting hired.
Also, keep your answers positive by not badmouthing your previous colleagues or managers. Instead, focus on what you learned and how your teammates prepared you for this new opportunity.
8. Use good body language and nonverbal communication
Presenting yourself as a self-assured and competent applicant with excellent communication skills. You’ll need to start off on the right foot with a strong self-introduction at the start of the interview.
And because interviewers also pay attention to your body language, show you’re excited to be there with them and capable of doing a great job as their potential employee.
Here are some quick job interview tips to remember as you’re speaking to a hiring manager:
How to present yourself well in an interview
- Shake your interviewer’s hand firmly to show you’re a professional applicant
- Keep your posture upright but relaxed while sitting so you look comfortable and confident
- Make eye contact with the interviewer and smile or nod when it’s appropriate so you seem friendly
- Be polite and keep your tone professional as you’re speaking
- Keep both of your feet on the ground to avoid any unnecessary movement (such as shaking or shuffling)
9. Discuss specific examples of your work
In addition to the questions interviewers might ask, come prepared with specific examples demonstrating your strengths, skills, and experience.
For example, if you’re interviewing for a job as a project manager, think about examples from past projects that showcase your ability to work well with others, manage a budget, and stick to timelines.
10. Prepare a list of questions for the interviewer
At the end of your meeting, your interviewer will likely ask if you have any questions for them.
Having a list of thoughtful and well-researched questions to ask them shows you’re engaged in the interview and genuinely interested in the position.
Here are some interview questions to discuss (and also some questions to avoid) during your interview:
Good questions to ask at the end of your interview
- What’s the company culture like?
- What qualities are you looking for in your ideal candidate?
- What are the biggest challenges facing your company right now?
- How would my role within the company change over time?
- Can you tell me more about the team I’d be working with?
Inappropriate questions to ask at the end of an interview
- What’s your pay like?
- What does your company do?
- What benefits do you offer?
- How quickly can I get promoted?
- How much vacation time do employees receive?
- Why did the company fire so many people last month?
After-interview strategies that’ll lead you to success
Congratulations! After your interview, you’re another step closer to landing the job.
Below are some final tips to boost your chances of winning your target role:
11. Clarify what your next step will be
Before leaving the interview, find out when you can expect to hear back about the position by asking the interviewer directly when they’ll contact you next.
Understanding what the next steps in the interview process are will:
- allow you to follow up appropriately if there’s a delay in getting back to you
- help keep you motivated as you await your interviewer’s decision
- give you enough time to prepare for other tasks (such as providing your references or preparing a technical task)
12. Send a thank you email or letter
After your interview, follow up with the interviewer by sending a thank you email or letter within 24 hours.
Sending a thank you email after an interview is the perfect opportunity to:
- reiterate your interest in the position
- convey your professionalism
- express appreciation for your interviewer’s time
A thank you note also allows you to clarify any details that may have been unclear during the interview process and to reinforce any key skills or experience you think would make you a good fit for the position.
Whatever the outcome of your interview, a thoughtful thank you email or letter will leave a positive impression and help you stay on your interviewer’s mind in case they need to fill another position in the future.
13. Prepare a list of references
Remember to create a list of 3–4 references after you complete your interview so employers can verify your career history and move you forward in the hiring process.
Your references list should include individuals who can speak to your qualifications and experience, such as former colleagues or supervisors.
Just don’t forget to ask permission from each reference before listing them on your resume or job application.
14. Follow up at an appropriate time
If you still haven’t heard back from your interviewer past the time they said they’d contact you, following up with them is acceptable.
To successfully follow up after an interview, wait at least a week (or past the specific date for when the company said they’d reach out to you) before sending your interviewer an email.
Here’s an example of how to send a follow-up email after an interview:
Subject line: Following Up from Job Interview on October 23, 2022
Hello [Mr./Ms./Mx.] [Interviewer’s Last Name],
I hope you’re doing well this week. I just wanted to follow up with last week’s interview that we had together on October 23, 2022 and see if you had any updates about the role or any feedback for me. I’m also happy to provide any additional documents if necessary.
Thank you again for your time, and I look forward to hearing from you soon.
15. Maintain a friendly connection
Whether you get hired or aren’t selected for the position, maintaining a positive relationship with the interviewer is important.
For instance, thanking them for their time and consideration and asking to stay in touch will help keep your name in mind should your company need to fill another position in the future.
Also, showing your appreciation will make it easier for you to ask your interviewer questions or get feedback on your interview performance.