Preparation is KEY to a successful interview, and candidates should always take a few days before their interview to jot down some talking points. By preparing ahead of time, you will ensure that you DON’T get caught off guard and say anything that can negatively IMPACT your chances of landing the job. With that said,

We will explore the TOP 16 interview tips that will help you prepare like a PRO and give you an edge over your competition. As a matter of fact, some of these tips come from hiring managers themselves!


1) Start By Researching The Company

You will be asked the following question by the interviewer: What Do You Know About Our Company? Because it’s a great indication to the hiring manager of your interest in the position. It also allows you to determine if this job and the company culture align with your future career goals.  Therefore, before your interview, we recommend you take time to dig deep into the company. In other words, research the company thoroughly by studying KEY information like their history, company growth plan, mission statement, STOCK price, and other job opportunities within the company. It is also a great idea to study the KEY people in the company because this will impress the hiring manager.

Now we understand this does seem like a lot of work; however, all the information about the company can be found by visiting the company’s website and its Linkedin page. Here’s a great example of the company American Express and how the LinkedIn page can provide all the information you need:

 


2) Practice, Practice, And More Practice

We recommend that you PREPARE your answer to the MOST common interview questions ahead of time, so you are off to an excellent start. It’s NO secret that the two MOST common questions are: “Tell Me About Yourself” and “Why Are You Interested In This Role With Our Company?”. So, why is this extremely important? Well, the KEY is to communicate quickly and effectively to the hiring manager who you are and what value you WILL bring to the company/job role. Furthermore, this is important because interviewers try to eliminate candidates quickly, especially those they feel will not be a good match for this position. Interviewers also want to ENSURE you want the job for the right reasons. With that said,

It is ESSENTIAL to have prepared SOLID answers that will show your value early in the interview. To help you prepare your answers, you can view the job description and highly some of the KEY skill requirements in your answer. This way, your answer aligns with the requirements of the job role. Not to mention, you can use Interview Tip #1 to research the company and align your answer with the culture and values of the company.


3) HIGHLIGHT The Key Skills In The Job Description

Here’s another excellent interview preparation tip that will give you an edge over other candidates. We recommend you print out and highlight the KEY skills and requirements in the job description. Doing this can help you tailor/prepare answers that align perfectly with the job requirements and the interviewer’s questions. So, as you prepare for your interview the night before, keep a copy of the job description next to you. Now, when WRITING your sample answers, make sure you have added 1-2 KEY skills from the job requirements in your answers. For example, if you are interviewing for a Marketing Manager position, you can use the job description to add KEY words in your answers. Now, here’s the job description, and we’ve easily highlighted the KEY skills below.

Keep in mind that interviewers are looking for the BEST match for the position, so by mentioning some of the KEY skills in your answers, you will be able to stand out compared to other candidates.



4) Use The STAR Method In Your Answers

STAR is a method hiring managers and candidates use to prepare for their interviews because it provides a systematic approach to answering difficult interview questions. Furthermore, the STAR method will help you answer those situational/behavioral interview questions that test your knowledge of past and future hypothetical situations in the workplace. For example, the hiring manager will ask you about times in the past you used SPECIFIC skills at work to achieve an outcome, etc. Now, here’s what the STAR stands for:

(S) stands for Situation (What was the problem or issue at work)

(T) stands for Task (What was your responsibility or what were you in charge of during this assignment)

(A) stands for Action (Explain what steps you took to address it)

(R) stands for Result (What was the outcome and the RESULT)

So, when it’s time for your interview and you are asked about a past experience or hypothetical future situation, you can use the STAR method to explain what you did systematically or would do. Again, start by setting the scene, then talk about your responsibility, then the ACTION you took to solve the issue, and finally put it all together by explaining what RESULTS you achieved.


What Is Your GREATEST Weakness? |13 Weaknesses To Use In Your Job Interview
Why Should We Hire You? | 6 BEST Answers To Pass Your Interview
What Are Your Strengths? |15 GREATEST Strengths With Sample Answers
TOP Interview DO’s And DONT’s (SHOCKING) – Video And Transcript


5) Prepare a List Of References

Your interviewer might require you to submit a list of references before or after your interview. Choose references that can vouch for you regarding your personality, skills, achievements, and the value you will bring to this new job. Also, having a list of references prepared ahead of time WILL quickly move you forward in the hiring process.

QUICK TIP: The people you add as a reference should be notified ahead of time so they can be prepared to receive a call from the hiring manager.


6) Think About Your Strengths And Weaknesses

This interview preparation tip is one of our MOST important because the following two (2) questions are GUARANTEED to be asked during your interview. The two (2) questions are: What is your greatest strength? And, what is your greatest weakness? So,

We recommend preparing your answers beforehand to match the job role and requirements. Here’s another interview tip: when preparing your answers, use the job description as a reference and choose your strengths that ALIGN well with the job requirements. For example, here’s a job description

 

Any of the HIGHLIGHTED will be excellent strengths when answering this interview question because they align with the job requirements. With that said,

In choosing a weakness, AVOID saying that your weakness is any KEY skill that is a requirement for the job role. You see, the reason the interviewer asks you these two (2) questions is they want to determine how well your strength MATCHES with the job role and if your weakness hinders your ability to do this job.


7) Prepare SMART Questions For The Interviewers

Towards the end of every interview, the hiring manager will give you an opportunity to ask questions about the job and company. Now, I know you are wondering why interviewers ask if you have any questions for them? Well, that’s for two (2) important reasons:

1) It’s another way for them to determine that you are, in fact, seriously interested in the job,

And,

2) It’s a chance for you to LEARN a little more about the job so you can make an informed decision if this job is still the RIGHT choice for you

With that said,

We recommend that you always have 2-3 UNIQUE questions to ask the interviewer that gets them thinking and IMPRESSES them. By asking the RIGHT questions to the hiring manager, you show them you are a serious candidate. So, to help you get started, here are some questions you may want to consider asking your interviewers:

Can you explain some of the day-to-day responsibilities this job entails?
Does this job offer opportunities for growth?
What are some mistakes people have made in this position before? 
How will my performance be evaluated?
Who will I report to in this job role, and what does that process look like?
What departments does this teamwork with regularly?


8) Have 1-2 Achievements Ready For Hiring Managers

This interview preparation tip is actually a BONUS which, from our research, many other job interview websites DON’T mention. The hiring manager, during your interview, may ask you about your GREATEST achievement, so it’s always wise to have 1-2 of them ready to demonstrate how you CAN make a difference within their organization. Now, this can be an achievement in your personal life or from a previous job. The KEY here is to match it as close to the job you are applying for because the closer the MATCH, the higher the chances of you PASSING your interview. To help you get started in choosing some of your significant achievements, consider some of these areas:

Mention a NEW process that increased company revenue at your previous job
Talk about some volunteer work you have done in the past
Mention how you developed a new way of allocating team projects more effectively or even a new process to communicate deadlines with different departments across the organization 
How you were a HIGH school team captain and motivated your team to WIN the championship that year
Maybe you invented something like a product or service or achieved KEY personal goals i.e., ran a marathon, etc



9) Keep Your Mind Clear And Positive

Arrive at your interview with a CLEAR and focused mind. Don’t LIE in your answers because the interviewer can do a quick reference check to find out if you were dishonest, and you will fail the interview. Also, it is ESSENTIAL to never talk negatively about your previous employers because this shows poor character, and finally, keep your answers concise and focused. With that said,

You watch this video to view a complete list of Interview DOs and DON’T – TOP Interview DO’s And DONT’s (SHOCKING) – Video And Transcript


10) Mock Role Play For Your Interview

Before your interview, you CAN take time to practice at home by doing some MOCK role play. Ask a family member or friend to read out the interview questions so you can GAIN confidence as you answer each one. Doing this will provide you with the practice you need to confidently answer each question in a way that rolls off your tongue. This MOCK role play will also allow you to GAIN much-needed feedback from family members about what should be included or eliminated from your answer. However, before you CAN even start to role-play and practice, it is ESSENTIAL that you have taken a few days to write out every answer in-depth so you can get complete feedback from your peers.


What Is Your GREATEST Weakness? |13 Weaknesses To Use In Your Job Interview
Why Should We Hire You? | 6 BEST Answers To Pass Your Interview
What Are Your Strengths? |15 GREATEST Strengths With Sample Answers
TOP Interview DO’s And DONT’s (SHOCKING) – Video And Transcript


11) Dress To IMPRESS

On the day of your interview, make sure you DRESS to IMPRESS. Remember, this is your chance to show hiring managers that you’re a serious candidate by dressing as if you belong in the room with them. Men should wear a dark blue or black suit with a white shirt and tie. Women should wear dress pants, pencil skirts, knee-length dresses, blazers, and neutral or light-colored blouses. With that said,

We have covered interview attire more in-depth in the following video/content – TOP Interview DO’s And DONT’s (SHOCKING) – Video And Transcript


12) Bring Copies of Your Resume

DON’T show up to your interview WITHOUT copies of your resume. We recommend you bring two (2) – three (3) copies of your resume because you never know when they’ll come in handy. For example, the hiring manager may forget their copy and need an extra one. Or, maybe the hiring manager will invite someone from their team to join in the interview and will need a copy of your resume too. With that said,

By bringing additional copies of your resume, you will show the hiring team that you are someone that PREPARES ahead.


13) Always Arrive Early For Your Interview

The ideal time to arrive is 15-20 minutes before your interview because this shows you take yourself seriously and have impressive time management skills. There are some other benefits of arriving early for your interview. For example, you will have some extra time to go over your preparation notes, have a chance to do some additional research on the company, and most importantly, you will have a chance to get comfortable with the office environment to regain your focus.



14) Practice Your Eye Contact And Body Language

We want to clarify that your posture and body language matter when sitting in an interview. The hiring manager wants to observe if you are confident in your answers and that you will be able to perform the job role. A confident candidate also fits into the company culture more seamlessly than someone shy and introverted. With that said,

Make sure you DO NOT slouch, don’t lose eye contact, and don’t be overconfident. Through positive body language, you WILL convey to the interviewer that you are a serious candidate and show that you are confident, goal-oriented, and focused.

Here are some additional tips to help you keep eye contact and maintain confident body language:

Sit straight and do not slough because this shows that you are interested in what the interviewer is saying. If you slouch, it will indicate to the interview that you are NOT interested in the job and NOT paying attention to the hiring manager. Here’s a tip, to perfect your body language, you can always mirror the interviewer’s body language.

Limit your leg movement because this can be distracting. In addition, you are trying to sell yourself to the interviewer, so you want to ensure they are paying full attention to what you are saying, especially when talking about your KEY skills and how you will be an asset to the job.

Keep eye contact at all times because this indicates to the interviewer that you are paying attention to them.

Avoid displaying too much emotion during your interview. The consensus is that you smile and nod at appropriate times but don’t overdo it. Also, avoid intense facial expressions and erupting into laughter on your own.

Hand movement should be limited because your hands can be distracting, like too much leg movement. Keep them folded on your lap and use them gently when speaking to illustrate your point, if necessary.


15) Ask About The Next Steps

Now, it is crucial that you have a SET of questions ready to ask the hiring manager towards the end of your interview. By asking job-related questions, you show the hiring manager that you are excited about this job opportunity. You can start your series of questions by asking the interviewer, “what’s next?” because this will give you a chance to prepare if they need additional requirements like an assignment or another interview. With that said,

You can IMPRESS the hiring manager further by asking other relevant questions like:

Is there any opportunity for growth within this current position?
What are some previous mistakes employees made in this position? And,
How will my performance be evaluated in this job role?


16) Write a “Thank You” Follow-Up Email

Did you know 91% of interviewers said they like being thanked after an interview, and it did help make their decision to hire you or NOT easier? By sending a Thank you email, you CAN thank the interviewer for their time and remind them again of what qualities and KEY skills you can bring to the job. It’s also an excellent opportunity to mention anything you wished you had during the interview but didn’t get the chance to.

Read the following content to help you write your “Thank You” follow-up interview email – How To Write A Thank You Email After Your Job Interview | 3 HIGH-CONVERTING Email Samples To USE


Possible Follow-Up Questions

Why Should We Hire You? | 6 BEST Answers To Pass Your Interview
What Are Your Strengths? |15 GREATEST Strengths With Sample Answers
Tell Me About Yourself Interview Question With 5 Sample Answers (Video And Transcript)

Looking for more interview questions? Check out these lists of questions (and example answers!)

14 Zara Interview Questions And Answers – General And Behavioral
16 Common Pharmacy Technician Interview Questions and Answers – General And Behavioral
15 Common Substitute Teacher Interview Questions And Answers – General And Behavioral
30 Common Nursing Interview Questions And Answers
16 Common Dental Assistant Interview Questions and Answers – General And Behavioral
12 Common Truck Driver Interview Questions And Answers

 

 

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