Interview Tips

The Ultimate Tips for Your Next Interview

By: Caroline Forrest
Jan 22, 2021 • 10 min read

Our best tips for your next interview!

When it comes to interviews, you may hear all sorts of different advice. The most important thing is that you prepare for your interview to the best of your ability. Some people may tell you that you can’t prepare for an interview because you never know what kind of questions your interviewer will ask. This is not even remotely true! You can absolutely prepare for your interview, and we will show you how with our best tips for any interview. Some of these tips will require some preparation, but most will be straightforward and easy to tackle.

You may hear that “it is all who you know” with job searching, but if you can make a positive, lasting impression upon the interviewer, you can be just as successful as anyone else! Interview tips can range from what to wear, what to say, and how to follow up after your interview. But there are so many more tips that can really make a difference! We’ll walk through some of the interview tips with you, from before you even walk in the door to after you leave! Let’s get started with these interview tips!

interview

1. Dress Well, Interview Well

This is one of my favorite tips but is sometimes interpreted the wrong way. Everyone knows that you should dress well for an interview, but the way you dress well is up to you! You should feel confident in what you are wearing. This is the most important factor!

Let’s say you have the option between a very professional set of slacks and a blazer that looks great but is just a little bit too tight. It’s not exactly your style, but it is super professional. You also have a nice pair of pants with a less professional sweater, but it is very comfortable and still professional! In this case, you should absolutely go with the more comfortable option. Be yourself, and listen to your gut! When you are more comfortable and feel more like yourself, you are much more likely to be confident during your interview. Don’t feel like you have to wear a suit and tie to every interview – err on the comfortable (but professional side), and you’ll be good to go.

After you tap into this confidence, you will be prepared to answer interview questions and demonstrate your abilities. When you demonstrate your confidence, your interviewer will be more confident in hiring you! It may seem like a simple way to improve your chances of getting the job during your interview, but it works well and can make a huge difference in how you feel! Say goodbye to anxiety and stress before your interview with one of our favorite tips – dress well, interview well!

2. Arrive Early, Not On Time!

Everyone knows that you should arrive at an interview before it starts. However, not many people remember that it takes time to find the right location, find parking, walk into the office or interview location, and locate your interviewer. All of these different things take more time than you might think. If your interview is at 11am, and you arrive right at 11am, technically, you are on time! But if it takes 15 minutes to get into the office after finding the right location, you’re now 15 minutes late. You never want to be late for an interview, so here are some tips to avoid this!

  • Search for your interview location at least one day in advance. If you can’t find the right spot, this will give you time to follow up with your interviewer to double-check and get it right. This will also give you time to figure out how long it will take to arrive at your interview and prepare to leave on time.
  • Plan out your journey. If you are traveling via public transportation, factor in any bus or train changes. If you are traveling during rush hour, make sure you factor in how long traffic will set you back.

With all of these tips, your goal should be to arrive at least 15 minutes early for your interview. If you arrive too early, go get yourself a cup of tea or coffee and wait until it is time. But if you arrive too late, there is no way to fix it! The old saying is true – if you are early, you are on time, and if you are on time, you are late!

search

3. Practice Common Interview Questions

Make sure you practice common interview questions before your interview! Even though you may not know exactly what your interviewer will ask, you can get a good idea of what might come up by practicing the most often asked questions. By answering a few of these practice questions, you’ll get your brain ready to answer any question! For instance, if you practice how to answer the commonly asked interview question “tell me about yourself,” if your interviewer asks something like “tell me about your hobbies” or “what are some things I should know about you?” you’ll be ready to answer them perfectly!

Use your Resources

Another way you can prepare for common interview questions is by doing a simple Google search. You can search for specific interview questions based on what kind of interview you will be taking part in. For instance, if you have applied for a retail job and have been accepted for an interview, you can search for “common retail interview questions.” This simple search will lead you to all sorts of questions that might be asked during your interview. You should practice answering them to the best of your ability.

Remember, the interview should be a conversation between you and the interviewer! So, instead of answering “I like to run” for what your hobbies are, expand on the question as much as you can! An appropriate response could be something like, “I really enjoy running. I have found that after a tough day, running clears my mind. Running for leisure has also made me realize that I have many strengths and can challenge myself when I feel like I can’t go anymore. I love the challenge of running!” This response shares much more about you than just the fact that you like to run.

Interview questions are typically broken into a few different parts. You may have some introductory questions, some behavioral questions, and potentially competency questions. Take a look at a few questions from each category, and you’ll be on your way to a successful interview! When you click on each question, you’ll be directed to a blog article on how to answer each of them! Here are some examples:

interview

Introductory Questions:

The interviewer typically asks these questions to better understand you as a whole person, not just a cog in the machine! Practice answering these questions to start out your interview in the best way.

  1. Tell me about yourself.
  2. What are your strengths and weaknesses?
  3. What do you know about our company?
  4. Tell me about the last book you read.
  5. What made you choose this career path?
  6. Can you describe yourself in 3 words?

Behavioral Questions:

These questions are asked to gain an understanding of how you will behave in the workplace. They are also asked to better understand how you will respond to certain situations! These responses require more thought. However, if you practice them beforehand, you’ll have situations that you can talk about during your interview all lined up!

  1. Tell me about a time you made a mistake.
  2. How would you describe your work style?
  3. Do you prefer to work in a team or independently?
  4. How did you get along with your last boss? 
  5. What makes you a good team player?
  6. How do you solve conflict?

Competency Questions:

Competency questions during an interview are simply to understand what you can do on the job. When you think of the word competency, think about “what skills do I have?” These aren’t just skills that are on your resume. Competency questions really dig into what your abilities are as an employee, so practice answering these questions. You’ll feel more confident in your abilities and will not forget any when the interview time comes!

  1. Why do you think you are a good fit for this job?
  2. How do you motivate others?
  3. Why did you choose your education major?
  4. Why are you more qualified than other candidates?
  5. What do you hope to gain from this experience?
  6. Tell me about your education.
  7. Why should we hire you?

4. Research the Company

Doing a little bit of extra research can go a long way during your interview. This extra research comes in the form of learning more about the company you are applying for! Learn about the company’s mission, its values, and its goals. Research the company’s culture and determine whether or not you might be a good fit before you accept the position or even apply for the job! By understanding more about the company, you are not only figuring out if you might be a good fit for the job, but you are also going to set yourself apart. It also happens to be one of our favorite tips for interviews. How does this work? We’ll show you!

Let’s say that your interviewer is asking you the standard questions during an interview. You can sneak in the research that you have done into your responses! This will set you apart by showing you went the extra mile and researched the company before your interviewer. This is not something that everyone does, but they should! By preparing yourself with research, you can show that you are a dedicated, ambitious, and well-prepared candidate.

Perhaps the conversation goes something like this:

Interviewer: “Why did you decide to apply for this job?”

Candidate: “Well, I have been looking for a job with these roles and responsibilities for quite some time. I have also been following your company and was excited when I learned that this position had opened up. In my research, I noticed that your company really values top-quality customer service. This is something that I really resonate with, and I was excited to learn about your company. That’s why I applied for this job!”

In this response, you’ll see that the candidate specifically mentions that they did research and talks about what stood out to them. This is how you can really set yourself apart from other candidates by researching the company!

5. Be Aware of Your Language

Body Language

Be sure to use appropriate language during your interview – this is one of the most important tips! Body language says so much about how you are feeling and even what you are thinking. In order to ensure you have professional body language, practice sitting up straight before your interview. This will demonstrate that you have more confidence!

In addition, making direct eye contact is really important during your interview. However, it can be a difficult task, especially for those who are more introverted or are on the shy side. You can practice making direct eye contact with your friends, your family, or even in the mirror! Try to pay attention to your body language in day to day life. If you fidget a lot, try to make sure you hold still during your interview. It’s perfectly okay to talk with your hands, but make sure you don’t do it too much.

Verbal Language

The verbal language that you use during your interview is just as important as your body language. Some common issues that come up may be speaking too quickly, not enunciating, or using slang language. Avoid these common mistakes by practicing! If you are on the anxious side, practice answering your interview questions slowly. Some people have trouble enunciating their words, so try to over-enunciate your words so that it will feel more normal during your interview! If you use slang during your day-to-day, be aware of it during your interview. Of course, always avoid swearing or using inappropriate language during an interview, even if the interviewer uses it!

interview

6. Ask Questions During and After Your Interview

One of the most often forgotten things about an interview is that it should be a conversation between you and your interviewer. Job seekers often put so much emphasis on the fact that the person you are speaking with can decide whether or not to hire you. Although this is a stressful situation, the best way you can overcome it is by remembering that your interview should be a conversation. The best way to turn your interview around if you are feeling extra anxious is by asking questions!

Asking questions also shows that you are engaged in the conversation. When your interviewer asks you a question, you should answer it, then respond with one of your own! You should be interviewing the company just as much as they are interviewing you. Otherwise, you might end up in a job that is not really the right fit for you. If you don’t feel comfortable asking questions during your interview, save them for the end! Typically at the end of your interview, the interviewer will ask you if you have any questions. This is a perfect time to ask anything you want!

Here are some examples of questions you can ask during and after your interview:

  1. What does a typical workday look like?
  2. What do you like most about working here?
  3. How would you describe the working environment?
  4. Is there anything important I should know about working here?
  5. What are the challenges of this position?

You can check out more questions to ask after your interview on our blog!

7. Send a Thank-You Note & Follow-up!

One of our (many) last tips for your interview is to send a follow-up email and a thank you note. It is imperative to send a thank-you note for so many reasons! First, it shows your respect to the interviewer. They took the time to get to know you and consider you for a position, so this is one reason to thank them! Next, it shows that you are very engaged and really want this job! A thank-you note sends the right message that you are someone who wants this job, potentially more than other candidates. Finally, it keeps you fresh in the interviewer’s mind. If they have just had a full day of interviews, and you are the only one who sends a thank-you note, they are more likely to remember you than some of the other candidates. Check out our blog on how to create the perfect thank you note!

 

If you follow these tips for your interview, you are going to knock it out of the park! If you have any questions about interviewing, job searching, or career advice, make sure to check out our blog and subscribe to our weekly newsletter. You can also follow us on social media (@jobgetapp for all social media accounts!) for daily tips, memes, and advice.

More to Read:

How to Succeed in Your New Job

Interview Red Flags

Effective Customer Communication

 

Leave a Reply

:)