17 Interview Tips to Help You Get the Job

By Indeed Editorial Team

Published August 25, 2020

When you have an interview scheduled, there are a few steps you can take to increase your chances of getting the job. Preparing for your interview can help you feel more confident in yourself and your responses. In this article, we give you some tips to help you get ready for your interview.

Tips for before the interview

Here are some valuable tips to get ready for your interview:

  • Research the company

  • Practice common interview questions

  • Use the STAR method

  • Choose your interview attire

  • Have copies of your resume and references

  • Prepare specific examples of your work

  • Create a list of questions to ask the interviewers

Research the company

Learn more about the business by looking up its website. Take note of the mission statement, company culture and any other factors that could help you deliver more targeted responses. You can also look at the company's social media accounts and any recent news to gather more information.

If you know the name of the interviewer, take some time to research them too. Look for information about them on the company website, or search for their professional networking profile. Learning about the interviewer can help you make a more personal connection.

Practice common interview questions

Prepare answers for common interview questions that hiring managers often ask, such as:

  • Tell me about yourself.

  • What is your greatest strength?

  • What is your greatest weakness?

  • Tell me about a challenge you had to overcome at your last job.

  • How do you approach a typical workday?

  • What motivates you?

You can also research specific questions for the job you're interviewing for. For example, if you're interviewing for a programmer or developer role, you could practice coding questions.

When you practice your answer to these common questions, you can deliver more confident responses. If you can, practice with a trusted friend or family member who can give you feedback. You can also practice your facial expressions and body language in front of a mirror.

Use the STAR method

When you're practicing your interview answers, try to craft them using the STAR method. STAR stands for:

  • Situation: Describe a challenge you encountered at work or school.

  • Task: Explain your role in the situation.

  • Action: Detail the steps you took to address the situation.

  • Result: Describe what happened as a result of your actions.

Using this method can help you deliver a detailed answer that hiring managers will appreciate.

Choose your interview attire

The day before your interview, choose what you intend to wear so you don't feel rushed. Make sure your clothes are free of wrinkles and stains and they fit correctly. If you're unsure of the dress code at the company, it's best to dress more professionally to make a good impression. You can also call or email the person you've been communicating with to get more information about the dress code.

Have copies of your resume and references

Have four or five copies of your resume and references ready in case there are multiple interviewers. Print them out the day before, and keep them in a folder or portfolio. Make sure the paper isn't wrinkled, creased or smudged for a professional appearance.

Prepare specific examples of your work

The interviewer will likely want to see examples of your work, so it's helpful to be prepared. Have physical examples ready, such as a portfolio, or think of specific work you can describe. Use numbers to give the interviewer a better perspective of your work. For example, you could say you lowered customer wait times by 20%. If you have an online portfolio, add the link to your resume so hiring managers can review it before the interview.

Create a list of questions to ask the interviewers

At the end of the interview, the hiring manager will probably ask you if you have any questions. Have a few questions prepared to show the hiring manager you're interested in the job and company. Reread the job description and review the company's website to craft thoughtful questions that can help you learn more about what it would be like to work there. Some good questions to ask include:

  • How would you describe the company culture?

  • What would my day-to-day responsibilities look like?

  • Who would I work with most?

  • How would my performance be measured?

  • Why is the position open?

  • What are the next steps in the interview?

Tips for during the interview

Review these tips to get ready for the interview:

  • Arrive early

  • Treat everyone with respect

  • Observe workplace dynamics

  • Practice good body language

  • Keep your answers concise

  • Deliver positive answers

  • Reference your accomplishments

Arrive early

Make sure you're 10 to 15 minutes early to make a good first impression. Plan your route to the interview location, and check for possible traffic so you can arrive on time. If you're using public transportation, check for multiple routes and schedules. If you can, travel to the location the day before to ensure you know how to get there.

Treat everyone with respect

You'll most likely meet multiple before your interview, and it's important to treat everyone with respect to make a positive impression overall. If the hiring manager asks for feedback about you from other employees, you can be confident knowing you were friendly and professional in all of your interactions.

Observe workplace dynamics

When you arrive early, you can spend your extra time observing how current employees interact with each other. Since you might work there in the future, it's helpful to learn more about the workplace dynamics and atmosphere. If most employees seem to show open positive body language, it's a good sign that the environment is also open and positive.

Practice good body language

During your interview, maintain good posture. Keep your back straight and shoulders back. Cross your legs or keep both feet planted on the floor, and keep your hands resting on the table instead of crossing your arms. Maintain eye contact and smile often to show you're positive and confident.

Keep your answers concise

Since you have a limited amount of time during the interview, deliver thoughtful but concise responses that clearly answer the question. Make sure all of you answers provide value and show the hiring manager why you would be a good fit for the job. Practicing your answers before the interview can help you stay concise.

Deliver positive answers

Even if you had a negative experience with a previous employer, giving positive answers shows you can overcome challenging 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.

Reference your accomplishments

Employers want to know how you can bring value to their company. In your answers, talk about specific achievements or accomplishments to show how you can contribute to the open role. Relate your achievements to responsibilities in the job description to provide even more value.

Tips for after the interview

You can continue to make a good impression after the interview by following these tips:

  • Send a thank-you note or email

  • Follow up at the right time

  • Keep an open connection

Send a thank-you note or email

No more than one day after the interview, send a thank-you note or email to each person you interviewed with. Thank the interviewer for their time and consideration, and reiterate your interest in the role. If you have any questions you were not able to ask during the interview, include them in your email. You can also include specific achievements or accomplishments that remind the hiring manager why you're a good fit for the role.

Follow up at the right time

If you haven't heard from the hiring manager after one week or after they planned to make a decision, call or send a follow-up email. Reconfirm your interest in the job, and ask if there's additional information you can provide to help them make a decision.

Keep an open connection

If you don't get the job, it's still useful to keep an open connection with the employer. It's possible that a similar position could become available in the future, or the employer might be able to provide a reference for a job at a different company. Thank the hiring manager again, and ask to be considered for future opportunities.