You’ve done the legwork to get the interview — now it’s time to ace it! To make a great impression and move on to the next phase of the hiring process, preparation is the key to success. 

In this article, we’ll walk you through how to prepare for an interview beforehand and on the day of the interview. You’ll also find expert tips to guarantee a call back from the hiring manager


How to Best Prepare for an Interview

Getting ready for a job interview is all about feeling confident and at ease with yourself. Follow these six simple steps to prepare yourself for your next interview. 

Step 1: Learn everything you can about the role and the company

Research the job position: 

Learning everything you can about the role will help you anticipate possible interview questions and prepare thoughtful questions for the interviewer. Read the job description carefully, even a few times, to ensure you understand the skills and responsibilities required for the role. 

Consider researching similar positions and read testimonials from professionals in those positions. This will help you have a complete picture of the role and if it’s right for you. 

Research the company: 

Learning about the company is crucial to determining your fit for the position. Find out about their products or services, the competition, what previous employees say about the company, and most importantly, the company culture. 

A job can look great on paper, but it may be difficult to enjoy your time in the organization if your work style is incompatible with the company’s. A great way to know a company’s culture is through social media accounts; they offer great insight into its values and personality. If you still have questions about the workplace environment, ask during the interview.

Step 2: Consider why you're interested in this position

A recruiter or hiring manager will likely ask you why you’re interested in the position and the company. Providing a truthful and informed answer shows your dedication and excitement for the role. Luckily, your extensive research on the job and the organization prepared you to answer thoughtfully. 

Identify critical aspects of the position and the enterprise that align with your qualifications, interests and goals. Explain how these key elements got you enthusiastic about the opportunity and how your expertise will benefit the company. 

Step 3: Get ready to sell yourself

The interviewer expects you to be ready to talk about yourself. Review your resume and highlight those soft and hard skills that align with the job description. Weave your expertise and credentials into a coherent story about your work experience, academic background and long-term goals. 

Step 4: Prepare answers to common interview questions

You can only anticipate some of the questions the hiring manager might ask, but there are a few common ones that you can prepare to answer in advance. 

What is your greatest professional accomplishment?

This is an excellent opportunity to showcase your strengths. Think about a project at your previous job that challenged and motivated you. How did you approach it? What were the results? Frame the response using the STAR method (Situation, Task, Action, Result) to help you answer succinctly and highlight your work ethic. 

How do you handle pressure or stress?

The interviewer wants to know if they can count on you to be productive despite high-stress situations. Mention any strategies or practices you use to maintain calm while keeping up with tasks. 

Why should we hire you?

This question, similar to “Why are you interested in this position?” provides a space to advocate for yourself using essential skills and requirements in the job description. Convince the employer you’re the ideal candidate for the role by providing examples of past accomplishments that demonstrate what you can bring to the company. Describe in detail what you hope to achieve during your time with the organization and how this helps you fulfill your long-term goals. 

What are your salary expectations?

Research the current salary range for the position you’re applying to. Employers always ask this question with a budget already in place; they want to know if they can meet your expectations.

With the current salary range in mind, lead with a higher number because it’s always easier to negotiate downward than upward. 

How do you keep yourself organized?

The employer wants to know if you are efficient with your time without the company’s schedule or project management. Emphasize your commitment to deadlines and mention any tools or strategies you use daily to keep up with your tasks. We also recommend adding a specific example of how you managed your time efficiently and how you did it. 

Step 5: Write thoughtful questions for your interviewer

Showing up to the interview with well-considered questions for the employer will make a lasting impression. This shows you are genuinely interested in the position and took the time to research the role and the company. Here are some examples: 

  1. What does a typical day look like for a person in this position?
  2. What are the medium and long-term goals for the company?
  3. What is the company’s working environment?
  4. Why do you enjoy working here?
  5. What opportunities are for training and growth in this position?

Step 6: Conduct mock interviews

Performance anxiety is normal, especially during job interviews. Practice can make a big difference in your confidence during the day of the interview. Ask a friend or family member to conduct mock interviews. Rehearse your speaking voice, posture and answers to common interview questions. 

Here are a few tips to manage your anxiety:

  1. Do a breathing exercise right before entering the room. 
  2. Use a fidget toy to concentrate your movements if you tend to move your hands a lot. 
  3. Take time to think of your answer before you start speaking. You can tell the interviewer, “That is a great question. Let me gather my thoughts for a moment.”
  4. Address your nervousness candidly. This will help ease the tension and show the employer you are genuine. 

Step 7: Prepare your outfit in advance

Having to decide on an outfit a few hours before the interview can increase your anxiety. Allocate some time the night before to choose your outfit and try it on to ensure you feel comfortable and confident. Leave it hanging on your closet door to avoid any wrinkles. 

Remember, you want to leave a lasting impression. Consider the company’s culture when choosing your look. When in doubt, opt for a more professional look, even if the organization has a relaxed personality. It’s better to look overdressed than underdressed. 


How to Prepare Yourself for an Interview: The Day of the Interview

The day has arrived. If you followed the steps from the previous section, you’re basically ready. However, you can still do some things to prepare on the day of the interview. 

  • Print hard copies of your resume

    Bringing hard copies of your resume shows you’re serious about the job. Your interviewer most likely has a digital copy of your resume, but most recruiters still expect a candidate to bring it printed out. 

  • Organize your space

    If your interview is online, remember to make your space presentable. Your workspace reflects how you address your daily tasks, and the hiring manager will likely steal a glance or two. Opt for a solid background if you can. 

    Further, we highly recommend testing your microphone, camera and lights before the call starts. Technical difficulties can derail an interview and make you look unprepared. 

  • Arrive early

    Arriving late to an interview is a big no-no. Give yourself enough time to get there early, as you may encounter traffic or parking difficulties. If you need to familiarize yourself with the area, consider driving to the location the day before to ensure you know where it is and how it looks. 


4 Interview Tips

Follow these helpful tips to nail the interview: 

1Expect the unexpected:

You can’t prepare for everything. You may need help finding the location, a clothes mishap or a question may catch you off guard. Stay flexible to change to adapt and think of a solution quickly. 

2Prepare for skills tests:

Skills tests are common, especially in technical positions. Work through a prep book and research standard skill tests for your job role to get yourself ready. 

3Get a good night's sleep:

Sleep deprivation can easily affect your performance and fog your thoughts. Get plenty of rest to be alert and present during your interview. 

4Practice your interpersonal skills:

Employers are not only evaluating if you’re the right fit for the role — they’re also testing your ability to relate to others. Skills like active listening, empathy and small talk are important to remember. 

How to Prepare for an Interview FAQ

How to prepare for an internship interview?

An internship interview is similar to a job interview. The steps and tips in this guide will also help you prepare for an internship interview. Since it is an internship, we recommend focusing on your professional goals and how the internship will help you reach them. 


How to prepare for an online interview?

An online interview requires most of the same steps included in this guide except for leaving your house early or printing hard copies of your resume. You must test all your equipment in advance and have proper lighting to ensure the interview runs smoothly. Additionally, you should organize your space beforehand to ensure your background has minimal distractions. 


How to prepare for an initial phone interview?

An initial phone interview is usually brief and asks standard questions about availability, salary and overall experience. For this interview, have your calendar in hand to quickly give the recruiter your availability for an in-depth interview. Research the salary range for the position and review your resume to answer questions efficiently. 


What is the STAR method when interviewing?

The STAR method allows you to present yourself as a proactive problem-solver and showcase your achievements. If you’re asked to describe a situation where you faced an obstacle and how you overcame it, the STAR method helps you frame the anecdote efficiently.

  • S: Situation
  • T: Task
  • A: Action
  • R: Result 


See how it works in practice: 

During my tenure as Sales Manager at Greene Technologies, I encountered a challenge: our newest cutting-edge solar energy solution needed more visibility and market presence (SITUATION). I was entrusted with launching the new product line in a highly competitive market (TASK). I initiated collaborative strategy sessions with the sales and marketing teams (ACTION) to address this, identifying key differentiators and a unique value proposition (ACTION). Leveraging my network in the renewable energy sector, I secured partnerships with influential industry leaders (ACTION), resulting in targeted product placements and endorsements (RESULT). The outcome was remarkable: the product gained significant traction, elevating its market visibility and leading to a 30% increase in sales within the first quarter of its launch (RESULT). 


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