Do you know what it takes to ace the next big interview? Whether it’s for a college admission, award or the next job these tips will help you make the most of the opportunity.

Do Your Research

The first step to success is doing your homework. Study the company website and know the mission, products and history. Google the organization for information available from other sources. Not only will this provide insight into the job, but give you fodder for questions to ask the interviewer.

Don’t forget to research the interviewer or panel to find out information about them.  Use it to connect with the person if the opportunity arises.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Practice answering interview questions. Have friends and family interview you and provide constructive feedback. You can find lots of articles on common interview questions.

Develop a list of examples that may fit the bill for several questions so you’re not stumped in a stressful moment. Also, be prepared for a variety of interview styles. Some interviewers may not ask you traditional questions but may ask you to “sell” them on why you’re right for the job.

Be Prepared

Don’t forget to think about the small details. Do you know how to get to the interview address? If possible, drive there in advance at the same time of day. This way you won’t be surprised by traffic or bad directions.

It is ideal to arrive 10-15 minutes early for the appointment. Be sure to bring extra copies of your resume. Sometimes, the interviewer won’t have it or the formatting might be messed up from the transmission.

Last, but not least, don’t forget to dress appropriately. This means a professional appearance even if the regular wardrobe may be casual. You only have one chance to make a good first impression. If the interviewer remembers what you wore, it most likely was inappropriate .

Follow-Up

Too many people don’t following up after the interview. Ask for the business card of the person interviewing you. Be sure to send them an email within a day thanking them for the interview and providing any follow-up information.

At the same time, send a hand-written note via the mail highlighting why you are the best choice for the position. Make it about how much they’ll gain from selecting you!

Lastly, follow-up with a phone call in 3-4 days if you haven’t already been contacted. Let them know you’re still interested and find out if further information is needed.

If you have the right skills for the job, these steps will help you stand out from the average applicant. What’s your best interview tip?

Photo: Some rights reserved by drewzhrodague

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Published by Kay Lynn

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8 replies on “4 Tips for A Successful Interview”

    1. Good point. Hopefully researching the company will generate some questions that are thoughtful and indicate you are looking for more than just a job.

  1. KC is right, but also connecting on a personal note during the interview. The contact afterwards is nice, but connecting on a social topic is a great way to make you stand out from the others. That is how I landed my most recent job.

    1. @Jeff, not only does it show that you did your research but that you’re interested in more than the benefits and pay!

      @ 20’s Finance, personal connection helps a lot. It is a skill I use a lot in my work as an account manager.

      @ Cherleen, what a great tip. I never think of giving that advice but it’s really hard to interview someone that is very nervous.

  2. One thing I learned – don’t get too comfortable. Whenever I get too comfy I end up forgetting to be professional and I am less careful about how I present myself. Also, the interview is not over until you are out the door and on the way back to your car, so remember not to let your guard down even though the interviewer may have already asked all of his/her questions.

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