Two men interviewing a woman


No matter how advanced your career, interviews can be intimidating. After all, it’s the first (maybe the only) chance you have to prove to the recruiter why they need to hire you and not the candidate from an hour ago.

Every recruiter is looking for different things. Not to mention, every industry and company has distinct required qualifications. However, there are some universal, practical preparatory steps regardless of the industry. Here’s what you can do to help you nail the interview and land the job!

Do Your Research

Knowledge is power. Come into the interview armed with knowledge about the company, their service or product, pain points, competitors, and the open position.

  • Research the company

Learn as much as you can. Try reaching out to current or previous employees to get first-hand testimony of their experience with the company (Bearing in mind that you are only hearing one side if someone brings up a negative experience). Browse the company’s news releases and social media platforms. Find as many resources as possible.

  • Research the role

Before the interview, you need a clear idea of the role. The job description is your first resource. Ensure you understand the requirements and responsibilities listed, confirming your skills and qualifications align with them. Gleaning a well-rounded analysis of the company and the potential role provides everything you need to ask educated, insightful questions. It also indicates that you are invested in the position, which gives you an edge over other candidates.

Practice Makes Perfect

 “Super successful people aren’t the most gifted in their fields. They just work, study, practice more than the competition.” –Jack Canfield

  • Elevator Pitch

Begin by customizing your “elevator pitch.” (Remember, they don’t need the novel — just the cliff notes.)

  • Practice your answers

While you certainly can’t anticipate every possible question, you can still prepare by practicing your answers to the common ones. Recruiters often ask behavioral questions requiring a situational or story-like response. So, familiarize yourself with the STAR method, as well.

  • Seek Advice

Ask a trusted, experienced friend to help you run through mock interviews. Practice giving your elevator pitch and answering questions in an engaging but concise manner. The more you practice, the more polished and poised you will become — and it will feel much less awkward.

It’s In the Details

Do everything you can to make the moments leading up to the interview simple and fluid. That way, you can enter the meeting calmly and confidently. The little things you do in preparation help you remain stress-free on the day of the interview.

  • Plan your Wardrobe

Planning ahead of time makes your morning routine smooth and efficient. Dress one step higher than the position you are seeking. Be professional. This is not the time to present the ‘rumpled, touseled’ look.

  • Be on Time

Nothing says “irresponsible” quite like coming late to an interview. Map out your route beforehand. Give yourself plenty of time to get there, allowing for potential traffic or even traffic accidents. Ensure you have essential contact info on your phone in case an unexpected situation prevents your prompt arrival.

  • Be Prepared

Print extra copies of your résumé ahead of time and take them with you.

Does the interview require a written technical skills test? Brush up on that, too.

Bonus Tip  

Recruiters are not just listening for the correct answers. They also watch how you answer, including your eye contact, body language, and confidence. In addition, they pay attention to your interactions with everyone from the moment you walk through the door. Being aware of the underlying messages you send in your person and communication –it might be what seals the deal with the recruiter!


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