16 Best Job Interview Tips to Help You Land That Job in 2024

Let’s be honest. When you walk in to speak with a hiring manager about your dream job, you want to make a great first impression. That means more than handing a cover letter to the potential employer of that new job. If you want to land your dream job, you need to know how to have a good interview.

Many things can help you succeed but none are as important as following the right interview tips. Our guide will walk you through the basics of doing well during a job interview. We’ll break things down into tips for before, during, and after the interview. In addition, we’ll provide you with common mistakes to avoid so you can do your best job.

Read Our Job Interview Tips and Tricks and Learn How to Ace an Interview

No matter how many interviews you go through, they can be tough. Every time you go into a new interview, you’re selling yourself, meeting new people, and giving detailed information about what you’re good at and what you may struggle with. When you read through tips for interviews, you can be sure you walk into the room well prepared and confident.

If you have the best interview tips to look through, it can make you less nervous and more excited about the process. Even if a hiring manager throws a few curveball interview questions, you’ll be ready with an answer and able to keep your professionalism throughout the process.

Taking time to prepare for an interview could be the difference between getting a job and not being considered. It’s more than bringing a few extra copies of your resume and looking up a company’s LinkedIn (or other social media profiles). A job interview is a time to show off and researching the company culture and other things is essential.

Once you’ve looked through a sample list of questions and scoured the company’s website, you’ll have an idea of what the company wants and what you should prioritize talking about in the interview. If you can discuss your work experience and what makes you a good fit, that’s an excellent start.

How to Prepare for a Job Interview? 8 Tips for Before an Interview

So, now that you understand why it’s important, we want to share how to prepare for an interview. If you’ve been questioning how to prep for an interview, this section of the guide will get you through that process. In the week or so before the interview, make sure you get a chance to do each of the things below:

1. Find Out More About the Company and the Interviewer

It’s important to be aware of what the company is all about. If you can get information on the interviewer, that’s useful too. There are tons of ways to find out this information. Look at recent press releases, browse social media posts, and peruse the company website. You’ll get lots of information that can help you throughout the interview.

How It Will Help

When you know what the company is all about, you can see how your experiences fit into that. This will make it easier to answer questions in a way that makes you look knowledgeable. It’s sure to demonstrate that you understand the company and how you’d fit in.

2. Look Up Several Common Interview Questions

Think about common questions and make up your answers. This could be things like “tell me about yourself and why you’re interested in this role at our company?” Consider how you’d answer each question and look up sample ways to get the right words out. This question might seem simple but it can have a huge impact on your interview.

How It Will Help

Even simple questions give a hiring manager insight about you and how you’d fit in a role. The one we mentioned gives you a chance to sell yourself like an elevator pitch. You want to give insight into who you are and what you’d offer the company if you’re hired.

3. Be Aware of Behavioral Interview Questions

When you look up questions or do a practice interview, get in the habit of using the STAR method to do so. Answer all questions by stating a Situation, relaying a Task, explaining what your Action was, and then giving information about the final Result. It’s a straightforward way to answer questions that modern employers expect.

How It Will Help

Most employers today use behavioral interview questions as a basis for the interview. Knowing how to answer them correctly is essential. Take time to think up some scenarios from your past that you can use. Many can be adapted for several questions.

4. Read the Job Description Again

If you haven’t read the job description in a while, now is a good time to do so. You can even go so far as to highlight it based on the skills that the role requires. While you do so, take time to consider how you’ve shown these skills in the past. You’ll be able to easily share those things with the employer.

How It Will Help

Before the interview, this will remind you what kind of answers you want to go with. Having an idea of which traits are preferable allows you to show those things off. It’s just a quick reminder of how to phrase your answers and what traits to draw attention to.

5. Do a Practice Interview

Get a friend to ask you some questions out loud if you want extra practice. This is a useful way to prepare since it feels similar to the actual interview. If you don’t have anyone available to help, read the questions to yourself and come up with answers. You’ll get used to doing so and be more confident when you participate in the real interview.

How It Will Help

Thinking of traits and answers on your own is good, but it isn’t as effective as verbally speaking your answers. Take time to practice interview questions related to the job. You’ll already know what you want to say when you go into the interview, which can make you less likely to stumble on your words.

6. Collect References for the Next Steps

There are a few things you should bring to the interview with you. A copy of your resume, your cover letter, and references are the first to pack up. You can provide these things to the hiring manager if they do not already have them available. This can also aid in moving forward without needing to email or deliver these things later.

How It Will Help

During or after the interview, the hiring manager may mention your references if you’ve been doing a good job. If you have those ready to turn in, it cuts out a step and brings you even closer to getting the job you want. There’s no reason not to bring in a copy.

7. Be Ready to Show Work Examples

In most cases, the person interviewing you is going to ask what you’ve done similar to the position. You need to be able to answer that without pause, even if you’ve never done the role in the past. This is where that job description can come in handy. Think about volunteering, jobs, and clubs that might show your experience in similar situations.

How It Will Help

Rather than fumbling for answers or taking long pauses, you’ll already have ideas in mind for when you’re asked about skills or tasks from your past. This makes you more confident and will show the person interviewing that you can handle the job with ease.

8. Think About the Dress Code

If you have the chance to ask someone, find out what apparel is ideal for the interview. You want to be sure you hit the dress code and look as if you’d easily fit into the workplace. A suit is often a good choice but not always. Research the company to be sure you make a good impression.

How It Will Help

When you look like you fit in somewhere, that can increase your chances of getting the job. If you’re underdressed (or overdressed), it could give the hiring manager pause. No matter what you wear, make sure to be clean and well-groomed before you go to the interview.

How to Do Well in an Interview Itself? 6 Tips for During an Interview

Now that you’re on the day of the interview, you want to know how to succeed in an interview itself. Everything from planning your schedule to making a good first impression and asking the right questions will have an impact on your chances of doing well. Use the tips below to learn more about how to ace a job interview.

9. Bring Everything You Need

Bring copies of your resume, cover letter, and any other paperwork you might need at the interview. Use one copy that is highlighted so you can easily find items you want to talk about. A notebook and pen can also be useful for taking notes during the interview. This is preferred over using a cell phone. Write down important information but keep eye contact when possible.

How It Will Help

Having everything you need will make you less stressed during the process. You can use the resume to bring up certain topics and the notebook to write down important information. This can be used in your later thank-you note to ensure you cover everything you need to.

10. Plan to Get There Early

Make sure you know the way to the interview location and have a plan for getting there. It’s best to do a practice trip there to make sure you are timing it correctly. For those using public transportation or similar services, make sure you have a secondary plan ready in case things don’t go the way you expected. Try to get there about 15 to 30 minutes early.

How It Will Help

If you want to know how to impress in an interview, you need to be on time. Getting there early is even better before you can see how things work in the office. This can give you insight on what to do in an interview yourself.

11. Create a Great First Impression

Think about all the small things that others might notice. You should make sure your hair is combed, your nails are clean, your shoes look nice, and your clothes have no stains, holes, loose threads, or pet hair. Make sure you smile and use positive body language throughout the interview.

How It Will Help

Sometimes the small things have more impact than anything else. This is especially true if you and another candidate have similar backgrounds but you step ahead through these tiny factors. Make sure you don’t look messy or have a negative look on your face if you want to move forward to the next steps.

12. Respond Truthfully and Use Your Skills

Interviewers appreciate someone honest and proud of what they can do, so be that person. Focus on the things that make you stand out and could be a breath of fresh air in the workplace. When you answer questions, make sure you tie them into your accomplishments and skills for the best results.

How It Will Help

This tip will help you give all the information the hiring manager needs to make the right decision about whether to hire you or not. When you’re honest about what you’re skilled at, it can give you a much better chance of making it into the next stage of the hiring process.

13. Never Say Bad Things About Past Employers

Any hiring manager wants to see that a new employee is capable of thinking outside the box to solve problems and make it through challenging situations. Even if you have issues with your current or last job, don’t talk about it that way. You want to focus your attention on how you’ve gained something from the experience and are ready to move to the next stage of your career.

How It Will Help

Being positive is sure to impress the hiring manager, while bringing up negative experiences with an employer may make them wary of bringing you on. Try to focus on what you’ve learned and how you’ve grown rather than getting into the things you don’t like about a job or employer you have had.

14. Bring Your Own Questions to Ask In an Interview

You should have a selection of questions ready to ask the hiring manager to learn more about the company and the position you have applied for. Employers will ask you questions but you should also take time to ask about things that matter to you. Some of the questions you might ask include:

  • What are the daily responsibilities in this position?
  • What departments does my team often work with?
  • What traits would be present in someone who did well in this position?
  • What kind of challenges are currently present with this role?
  • How would performance be measured if I were hired into the position?

How It Will Help

An interview is as much for you to learn about an employer as it is for them to become more acquainted with you. Learning more about the position and company can give you the chance to decide if the job is right for you or not. After all, you don’t have to accept a position if you don’t feel that it’s right for you.

Post-Interview Advice: 2 Things to Do After an Interview

After you’ve made it through the interview, your good interview tips don’t stop. There are also tips for an interview that apply after you walk out of the room. The good news is that there aren’t as many requirements once you leave the recruiter or manager’s office.

15. Ask About Following Steps

Whether it’s a phone interview, a second interview, or your first interview, after you step away is a good moment to ask about what might come next. This might be an email that is sent back to you with the results of your interview or an email asking for references, a next interview, or other information.

How It Will Help

The best way to stay informed is to ask for the information you need. It’s better to know what happens next quickly so you can decide what direction to go in. For instance, you can prepare for another interview, get the info the company needs, or start looking for other positions.

16. Send a Thank-You Email

Make sure you ask for a business card when you go through an interview. This gives you the information you need to send a thank-you email after it’s over. If you interviewed early in the day, send the follow-up the same day. If the interview was later in the day, it’s fine to wait until the next day. Use your notes from the interview to ensure the email is different for every interview you go through.

How It Will Help

It’s polite to send out a thank-you email and it takes very little time so you might as well go with it. This shows you care about the interviewer’s time spent with you. It can also be a good way to ensure you keep your name in their mind when it comes time to choose who gets the position you want.

6 Common Interview Mistakes to Avoid

Along with all the tips for job interviews and what you should do, you also need to be aware of what not to do. This will help you ensure your job search leads to the next job in your career. So don’t wait until the last minute – make sure you know what mistakes to avoid before you head into an interview room.

1. Showing Up Late

You want a great first impression and you’ll get anything but that if a hiring manager has to wait on you. Showing up late indicates you can’t manage your time well and makes it seem as if you don’t respect the company, role, and interviewer. It’s essential to be on time so make sure you do whatever you need to do so.

2. Bringing in Beverages

Feel free to drink coffee, soda, or water before you head into the interview. However, you need to focus on the interview when you get in the room. A drink can be distracting at the best of moments, and at the worst, it could lead to a mess when it spills on a table or yourself.

3. Playing With Your Phone

Silence your phone before you get into the room. Texting or checking your phone will show you aren’t interested in the job and it looks disrespectful. The same applies to making and taking calls. The best option is to put your phone in your bag or pocket so you can remind yourself not to look at it out of habit.

4. Getting Distracted

Make sure you pay attention throughout the interview. You should walk in alert, rested, and ready. Missing a question or looking distracted isn’t going to do anything good for you. Instead, stay engaged during the process and take active listening seriously.

5. Talking Too Much

You want to answer the questions in an interview but don’t keep going into other topics. It’s best to stay on topic and avoid any information that doesn’t pertain to the question. Even if you have a great interviewer, this isn’t the time to delve into the details of your personal life.

6. Being Ill-Prepared to Answer Questions

An interviewer will ask basic questions but don’t expect that to be the entire process. This is when practicing for all sorts of questions can offer big rewards. Review potential questions and come up with answers so you’re ready to handle anything that gets thrown your way throughout the interview.

Key Takeaways on the Interview Preparation Tips

Using the above tips for a successful interview and honing your communication skills could help you get the job offer you are hoping for. Being confident, prepared, and ready to show off your top skills are the keys to ultimate interview success. So, make sure you prepare before the interview, show confidence in the interview, and follow up after the interview.

If you can show how you could be a great part of the team, you could have a new job waiting for you after the interview is over. Use the tips above to ensure you’re ready to go and you’ll be a step closer to your dream job. Good luck out there!

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