You have your job interview scheduled—congratulations! Now it’s time to make a great impression during the interview , and we’ve got you covered. Below, we provide an overview of how to succeed in an interview along with a detailed discussion surrounding each point. After you’ve spent time preparing, you can be successful on interview day by practicing these tips:
1. Plan the night before.
If you’re speaking to a recruiter before the interview, you can ask them about the dress code in the workplace and choose your outfit accordingly. If you don’t have someone to ask, research the company to learn what’s appropriate.
2. Carry copies of your CV, academic documents.
Take at least 3 copies of your printed CV on clean paper in case of multiple interviewers. Highlight specific accomplishments on your copy that you can easily refer to and discuss. Bring a pen and a small notebook. Prepare to take notes, but not on your smartphone or another electronic device. Write information down so that you can refer to these details in your follow-up thank-you notes. Maintain eye contact as much as possible.
3. Plan and arrive 10–15 minutes early.
Map out your route to the interview location so you can be sure to arrive on time. Consider doing a practice run. If you’re taking public transportation, identify a backup plan if there are delays or closers. Use the extra minutes to observe workplace dynamics.
4. Make a great first impression.
Don’t forget the little things—shine your shoes, make sure your nails are clean and tidy, and check your clothes for holes, stains, pet hair and loose threads. Display confident body language and a smile throughout.
5. Practice good manners and body language.
Practice confident, accessible body language from the moment you enter the building. Sit or stand tall with your shoulders back. Before the interview, take a deep breath and exhale slowly to manage feelings of anxiety and encourage self-confidence. The interviewer should extend their hand first to initiate a handshake. Stand, look the person in the eye and smile. A good handshake should be firm but not crush the other person’s fingers.
6. Win them over with your authenticity and positivity.
Being genuine during interview conversations can help employers easily relate to you. Showing positivity with a smile and upbeat body language can help keep the interview light and constructive.
7. Respond truthfully to the questions asked.
While it can seem tempting to embellish on your skills and accomplishments, interviewers find honesty refreshing and respectable. Focus on your key strengths and why your background makes you uniquely qualified for the position.
8. Tie your answers back to your skills and accomplishments.
With any question you answer, it is important that you tie your background to the job by providing examples of solutions and results you’ve achieved. Use every opportunity to address the requirements listed in the job description.
9. Keep your answers concise and focused.
Your time with each interviewer is limited so be mindful of rambling. Practicing your answers beforehand can help keep you focused.
10. Do not speak negatively about your previous employers.
Companies want to hire problem solvers who overcome tough situations. If you’re feeling discouraged about your current job, focus on talking about what you’ve gained from that experience and what you want to do next.