Muhammad Rafiq is a freelance writer, blogger, and translator with a master's degree in English literature from the University of Malakand.
No matter how much you’d like to skip the interview process and just get the job, doing so isn’t an option in most cases. Instead, you need to do everything in your power to ace your upcoming interview so that your prospective employer is willing to hire you over other candidates. To help you prepare for your interview, here are nine useful tips.
9 Interviewing Tips to Help You Get the Job
- Research the Company
- Prepare for Technical Questions
- Demonstrate Professionalism
- Give Specific Answers
- Learn About the Interviewer
- Know What to Wear
- Practice Smiling and Making Eye Contact
- Develop Good Posture
- Have Confidence
1. Research the Company
One of the best ways to impress an interviewer is by showing them that you’ve done your homework. Before you walk into an interview, familiarize yourself with everything there is to know about a company. This includes its industry, business model, and competitors.
By researching all of these areas beforehand, you’ll show recruiters that you know what they do and care enough about them as a company to take some time to get acquainted before interviewing.
In addition, research where they rank within their industry and how they stack up against competitors—this will show recruiters that you have a grasp on where things stand in today’s market.
2. Prepare for Technical Questions
Many interviewers ask candidates about their skills, particularly if the job is technical in some way. Have a list of your most relevant soft and hard skills written down ahead of time so you can rattle them off confidently when asked during an interview.
This is called credentialing—it’s basically just telling someone that you have specific knowledge or skills that qualify you for a job or position. When credentialling, be sure to include any information that might differentiate you from other qualified candidates (this can mean name-dropping when appropriate).
An interviewer might say, "I’d like to talk about your time-management skills and how you might apply them here. Can you tell me about a time when you had a particularly difficult project and how you handled it?" Be prepared to give an example that showcases your skill.
3. Demonstrate Professionalism
Another great tip for acing your next interview is to always remember that a job interview is a two-way street. This means you should do everything you can to demonstrate your professionalism. Show up early, look sharp, and put some thought into how you come across in person. In short, try your best!
In addition, never be late for an interview because showing up late sends a clear message about how professional you are—or aren’t. Keep a copy of your resume on hand. Bring a notepad with you so you can write down any questions you may have while you’re listening to what’s being said.
These details will help jog your memory when it comes time for you to create an outline of what was discussed during your meeting, which is something that should be done right after every interview. Also, do not forget to send a thank-you note after your interview.
4. Give Specific Answers
When you’re asked a question during an interview, don’t just give a simple yes or no. provide specific answers that address your skills and qualifications for the job. While it may be tempting to go into detail about yourself and what you can do, resist! The interviewer is looking for quick and decisive answers. Aim for short and sweet. If you need more time, simply ask for it; most interviews offer plenty of opportunities for follow-up questions later on.
It’s important not to give vague answers, either. Stay away from general phrases like "I’m a team player." Instead, say something like I work well with others on projects and have been praised for my patience and ability to listen. In fact, some of my former coworkers would tell you that I often find ways to help resolve conflicts among co-workers. Keep your answers targeted at what you can do for a company rather than what they can do for you.
5. Learn About the Interviewer
Preparation is key, and a little research can give you a leg up on your competition. Find out as much as you can about the interviewer, their company, and its culture before going in for an interview.
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This will ensure that you’re able to answer questions effectively and get your points across with confidence. Looking at their social media profiles can also give you insight into what they like to talk about or engage with—though it’s not always wise to harp on personal interests or past experiences.
Before you show up, you should also learn about their company and its culture. Pay attention to previous positions they’ve held, current projects they’re working on, and any awards or accolades that they’ve received.
Having a general idea of what their position is like will give you insight into what questions are likely to be asked during your interview. Don’t share details about things that are irrelevant or overly personal. That being said, having knowledge of these areas shows you did your research.
6. Know What to Wear
Some companies are more casual than others. Some job interviewers may give you a choice of what to wear. However, no matter what, make sure your attire is professional and helps make a good impression on your potential employer. For example, if you’re interviewing at a high-end retail company, dress professionally (i.e., don’t wear ripped jeans or t-shirts with inappropriate phrases).
You want to come across as friendly but not overly talkative. Be mindful of any nervous ticks you may have. For example, biting your nails during a job interview might make you appear nervous or disinterested in what your interviewer is saying. Practice keeping your hands still so you can focus on answering questions.
7. Practice Smiling and Making Eye Contact
Smiling and making eye contact with interviewers shows confidence. It also tells them that you’re enthusiastic about working for their company. While it may seem silly, these little things can make a huge difference in your interview performance.
While you’re at it, practice smiling with your eyes. It may sound silly, but people who smile more often are seen as more intelligent and friendly by others. This is because when you smile with your eyes, it shows that you are happy in general—not just when something pleasant happens. Doing so will instantly put you in a better mindset for your interview.
8. Develop Good Posture
You want to make a good impression on your interviewers, but what most people don’t realize is that how you sit can have a greater effect on your interviewer than what you say. That’s because 64% of communication is nonverbal.
An easy way to put yourself in a favorable position is by developing a good posture. Good posture means sitting up straight with your shoulders back and relaxed. If you tend to slouch in general, simply having a mirror handy during daily activities will remind you to sit up straight.
9. Have Confidence
A surefire way to help you ace your next interview is by simply believing in yourself. It’s an obvious tip, but it’s also one of the most important ones out there. Why should anyone else believe in you if you don't believe in yourself?
Once you have confidence in your abilities and are prepared for any questions they may throw at you, take a deep breath and know that everything will work out just fine. It might seem easy when reading it here, but sitting in front of an interviewer with confidence is harder than it sounds.
If you’re feeling stressed about what they might ask, remember that there’s no such thing as a bad question; it doesn’t matter if they ask you why you want to work for them or how many pencils are in your house. Take a deep breath and be sure not to let stress creep into your body language, voice, or attitude. It doesn’t matter what they say—it matters how you respond.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Muhammad Rafiq
Muhammad Rafiq (author) from Pakistan on September 30, 2021:
Thanks for your comments, Mark. I am glad you found it helpful.
Mark Tulin from Palm Springs, California on September 30, 2021:
Very helpful, thanks.