Job Interview Tips: How To Make a Great Impression

Research the company and interviewers

Understanding key information about the company you’re interviewing with can help you go into your interview with confidence.  Using the company’s website, social media posts and recent press releases will provide a solid understanding of the company’s goals and

Research the company and interviewers

how your background makes you a great fit.

Reread the job description

You may want to print it out and begin underlining specific skills the employer is looking for.  Think about examples from your past and current work that align with these requirements.

Practice your answers to common interview questions

Prepare your answer to the common question: “Tell me about yourself, and why are you interested in this role with our company?”  The idea is to quickly communicate who you are and what value you will bring to the company and the role—it’s your elevator pitch.

Use the STAR method in answering questions

Prepare to be asked about times in the past when you used a specific skill and use the STAR method to tell stories with a clear Situation, Task, Action and Result.

Recruit a friend to practice answering questions

Practicing your answers out loud is an incredibly effective way to prepare.  Say them to yourself or ask a friend to help run through questions and answers. You’ll find you gain confidence as you get used to saying the words.

Be prepared with examples of your work

During the interview, you will likely be asked about specific work you’ve completed in relation to the position. After reviewing the job description, think of work you’ve done in past jobs, clubs or volunteer positions that show you have experience and success doing the work they require.

Prepare a list of references

Your interviewers might require you to submit a list of references before or after your interview.  Having a reference list prepared ahead of time can help you quickly complete this step to move forward in the hiring process.

Prepare smart questions for your interviewers

Interviews are a two-way street. Employers expect you to ask questions: they want to know that you’re thinking seriously about what it would be like to work there.

Plan your interview attire 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.

Bring resume copies, a notebook and a pen

Take at least five copies of your printed resume 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 

Bring resume copies, a notebook and a pen

smartphone or another electronic device.

Plan your schedule to 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 closures.

Treat everyone you encounter with respect

This includes people on the road and in the parking lot, security personnel and front desk staff.  Treat everyone you don’t know as though they’re the hiring manager. Even if they aren’t, your potential employer might ask for their feedback.

Win them over with authenticity and positivity

Being genuine during interview conversations can help employers easily relate to you.  Showing positivity with a smile and upbeat attitude can help keep the interview light and constructive.

Respond truthfully to the questions asked

While it can seem tempting to embellish 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.

Tie your answers to your skills and accomplishments

With any question you answer, you must 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.

Do not speak negatively about 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.

Ask about next steps

After your interview, it is appropriate to ask either your interviewer, hiring manager or recruiter about what you should expect next.  This will likely be a follow-up email with results from your interview and additional requirements like an assignment or reference list or another interview.

Send a thank you letter after the interview

If you interviewed in the morning, send your follow-up emails the same day.  If you interviewed in the afternoon, the next morning is fine. Make certain that each email is distinct from the others, using the notes you took during the conversations.



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