8 Job Interview Tips: How to Make a Great Impression
In the days before your job interview, set aside time to do the following:
1. Start by researching the company and your 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 how your background makes you a great fit. Review our Complete Guide to Researching a Company.
2. 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 personal elevator pitch. Review our guide to answering Top Interview Questions.
Tip: You should come prepared to discuss your salary expectations. If you’re unsure what salary is appropriate to ask for, visit Indeed's Salary Calculator for a free, personalized pay range based on your location, industry and experience.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. Recruit a friend to practice answering questions. Actually 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.
6. 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.
7. 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.
8. 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. 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?
- How would you describe the characteristics of someone who would succeed in this role?
- If I were in this position, how would my performance be measured? How often?
- What departments does this teamwork with regularly?
- How do these departments typically collaborate?
- What does that process look like?
- What are the challenges you’re currently facing in your role?