Estimate Time2 min

Tips for a successful job interview

Preparing in advance and having a positive demeaner will go a long way toward making interview day a success.

Pack your bag ahead of time

Plan to bring extra copies of your resume, a notebook, pen, and a list of references. Make sure your portfolio is organized—rummaging through a cluttered bag during an interview doesn’t inspire much confidence.

Be courteous

Show an added level of respect for people during the day of your interview. From administrative staff to security personnel, you never know who may give a report about you. Don’t be the person who cuts the CEO off in the parking lot.

Don’t run late

Plan your route ahead of time and allow extra time to get there. Arriving extra early would not be a bad idea. That can give you a minute to collect yourself and take a few breaths—or maybe even walk around to get centered. Waiting a few minutes in the lobby isn’t a negative—it shows discipline and responsibility even before the official interview starts.

Make a great first impression

Stand up and shake hands when your interviewer comes to greet you. Body language communicates just as much as your actual speech, so start with a firm handshake, eye contact, and a genuine smile.

Sit upright to communicate your attentiveness and don’t cross your arms across your body since that gives the impression that you are defensive. No one expects you to be completely at ease since interviewing is stressful—you’re bound to be nervous especially if you really want the position.

Interviewers tend to make up their minds about candidates within the first few minutes of an interview, so make sure you are genuinely enthusiastic and communicate that you’d love to work for the organization for reasons such as its mission, products, or outlook.

Be conversational

Often interviewers start off with, “Tell us about yourself.” This is an opportunity to tell the story of your career—what led you here, what you’re passionate about, and what you’re hoping to achieve. Examples are always more engaging. When the rest of the questions come, take a deep breath and remember to listen fully to your interviewer’s questions. Don’t interrupt or ramble on. Your focus should be building connections with people you may be working with in the future.

Your job is to show them that you are a person they’d like to work with on a daily basis. Emphasize your main skills and strengths and help alleviate your interviewer’s concerns about your weaknesses. They’d like to see you embrace a growth mindset.

Ask for the job

If you feel like the position is a good fit at the end of the interview, share your enthusiasm by asking for the position. Employers want to know that you’re just as excited to work for them as they are to have you as an employee.

Explore our educational opportunities

Browse our extensive webinars—from small classes and coaching sessions to multi-session webinars.

More to explore

This information is general in nature and provided for educational purposes only.