Interview Skills

Being interviewed for jobs can be stressful; however, with the right preparation, it doesn’t have to be!

Read on to learn some of our best tips for successful interviews, and for some sample interview questions.

Interview Tips

Dress for success. This doesn’t mean that you should wear a suit to every interview! Think about how you would be expected to dress at work if you got the job, and consider dressing a little more formally than that baseline. Regardless of the workplace, you should look neat and professional.

Be punctual. In fact, be early! Arriving on time shows that you are genuinely interested in the role, and it also suggests that you have good time management skills. It can be considered disrespectful to show up late.

Practice first. You’ll find a short list of common interview questions listed below, and there are many, many more online! Practicing ahead of time is a great way to ensure that you answer questions well and completely, and you will feel much more prepared the day of the interview. Consider asking a family member or a friend to help you practice!

Keep your cool. If you can keep your interview anxiety low, you are more likely to provide thoughtful, complete answers, and to successfully demonstrate why you are a good candidate for the role. Remind yourself why you applied: you are competent and confident that you can do this job! It is also okay to remember that there will always be other jobs to apply for, so you don’t need to worry about this being the most important moment of your life. Practicing being interviewed, as mentioned above, can also help you to feel less anxious.

Take your time. You are being interviewed because someone thinks you could be a good fit for the role. There is no need to rush your way through the interview! Take time after each new question is asked to think about how you are going to respond, and be thorough with your answers.

Remember your body language. Posture, facial expressions, eye contact . . . it all contributes to the interviewer’s first impression of you!

Ask your own questions. Asking questions to the interviewer is a great way to evaluate whether the job is a good fit for you. It can also be an effective way to show the interviewer your interest in the job. However, it is important to only ask questions that are relevant. You should NOT ask questions that were answered in the job posting, or that you could answer by a quick Google search. For example, some good questions to ask MIGHT include:

What would a typical day at work look like in this role?

What are some of your organization’s values?

Is there room for any professional growth in this role?

How would you describe your organization’s “company culture?”

Be patient! After the interview, it may be appropriate to follow up with a short email thanking the interviewer for giving you the opportunity to meet with them. Regardless of whether you follow up, make sure that you keep an eye on your email inbox and your phone for contact from the organization: you don’t want to miss hearing back about whether or not you got the job!

Sample Interview Questions

Please note that these are only generic sample questions. It is beneficial to consider what job and workplace specific questions could be asked at each interview, and to decide in advance how you would best answer those questions, too.

Why are you interested in this position with our organization?

Why are you the best candidate for this role?

What role do you usually take when you are working in a team?

How well do you work independently?

How do you stay motivated?

How would you handle a disagreement with a co-worker?

What are your best strategies for working under pressure?

There are many more sample questions (and sample answers!) available online. For example, check out the resources published by The Balance Careers HERE.

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