Interview tips to impress your interviewer and land the job

Interview tips to impress your interviewer and land the job
Jobstreet content teamupdated on 13 May, 2024

As long as you’re in the workforce and exploring different career opportunities, job interviews will be an integral part of your life. Knowing how to do well in a job interview can help you stand out from other interviewees and increase your chances of getting a job offer. To ace an interview, you should understand the hiring process, prepare for possible questions or interview scenarios, and take post-interview measures. So, we'll cover:

Understanding the interview process 

Here's a quick overview of what a typical interview process entails:

What to expect in a job interview

You might already be communicating with the hiring managers of a company before they invite you to interview. Or someone in the company may have recommended or scouted you. They'd then most likely ask for your resume or portfolio and assess you based on those documents. If they're interested, they may contact you by phone or email to arrange an interview date.

Usually, only one person will conduct an interview, but other personnel may be there to assist. Greet everyone politely, and ask for their names and titles. The interviewer will most likely start by asking you to introduce yourself and then proceed to more technical questions to learn about your experience. Be prepared for both background and skills-based questions.

Once the interviewer has asked all their questions, they'll probably end the interview by asking if you have any questions for them. So a good job interview tip to remember is to think of some questions you'd like to ask the company beforehand. This shows that you're interested in working for them.

Before you leave, make sure to thank the interviewer for their time. You should prepare to have to do three or more interviews, depending on the seniority of the role you're applying for.

Different types of interviews

There are different types of interviews that employers may use for various hiring scenarios. Here are four types you can expect:

  • Virtual: Hiring managers usually conduct this type of interview on the phone or via video conference call. Virtual interviews are convenient, especially when interviewing job seekers who live overseas.
  • In-person: Both parties are physically present in an in-person interview. This is the most common method because interviewers like to meet you personally.
  • Panel: A panel interview involves several hiring personnel who will ask you questions. The personnel may include department members, supervisors, or directors. Hiring managers typically reserve this interview method for interviewing people for senior positions.
  • Case challengeFor this type, the interviewee solves a specific business problem while interacting with the interviewer. The problem is usually a scenario you'd face in the role you're applying for. This helps give the interviewer an idea of how you'd contribute to the company.

How to prepare before an interview 

Here are some job interview tips to help you prepare beforehand:

Research the company and role

It's good to know a bit about the company and understand the role you're applying for so you know what you're getting into. You should conduct comprehensive research on the company's background, culture, and values. This could involve checking the company website, social media accounts, or job review forums.

One of the best interview tips is to read the job description carefully, especially the industry requirements. This ensures you know which areas to focus on when the interviewer poses technical questions about the job.

Practise common interview questions

By anticipating what the interviewer might ask, you can prepare comprehensive, well-thought-out answers. Frame the answers to demonstrate your knowledge and capability. You can research common interview questions online or ask industry professionals. Then craft answers to those questions and practise them before your interview.

business woman on laptop at a desk

Review your resume and familiarise yourself with what you've written 

You want your resume and interview answers to be as consistent as possible. Interviewers often read through resumes before interviewing. So if your interview answers seem inconsistent with your resume, the interviewer may think you're being dishonest. This could cause the interviewer to have a negative impression of you, making you less likely to get the job.

Create a great first impression

Here are some tips for job interviews to help you create a positive first impression:

  • Choose your interview attirePick an outfit that fits the company culture. A fun-loving and energetic company might appreciate someone who dresses in bright colours and has their own sense of style. On the other hand, a company that has a serious image would probably prefer their employees dress more professionally. Either way, it's helpful to look at how the employees typically dress.
  • Arrive early: Many interviewers would view being late for an interview as a bad sign. So arriving early shows your sincerity for the role and respect for the interviewer's time. 
  • Greet your interviewer: When you first meet your interviewer, show respect by greeting them politely. Aim to maintain eye contact and give a firm handshake. These leave your interviewer with a lasting positive impression of you.

Common mistakes candidates make during an interview 

When you're in an interview, it's normal to get a bit nervous and unconsciously make mistakes. Here are some common job interview mistakes and how to handle them:

  • Answering too quickly: This could make it seem like you didn't put much thought into your answers. So it's good to think about your answer for a few seconds before speaking. This allows you to structure your response in your head beforehand and then express it confidently.
  • Rambling during an interview: This could increase your nervousness, making you talk more quickly and potentially give poor answers. Your responses might even appear to lack focus and miss the key points, so your answers will have much less impact. It's also best to avoid using too many filler words, such as “so”, “like”, and “okay”.
  • Making non-verbal mistakes: Non-verbal cues that could negatively affect your interview performance include failing to maintain eye contact and using excessive hand gestures. 
  • Interrupting the interviewer: It's basic etiquette to not interrupt others while they're talking because doing so comes across as rude. Always let the interviewer finish what they're saying before sharing your thoughts.

Top interview tips 

To boost your chances of success, here are some job interview tips you can use:

Get feedback from friends and family 

Conduct mock interview sessions with trusted friends and family members. Ask them to point out any distracting non-verbal cues you have or mistakes in your answers. These practice sessions allow you to recognise your weaknesses and improve on them before your actual interview.

Getting feedback from outsiders could also open your mind to new perspectives. This way, you'll most likely become aware of any points you may have missed, allowing you to deliver more effective answers.

Manage your pre-interview nerves

It's natural to feel nervous before an interview. Try not to let yourself get too worried, though, as it could affect your ability to think critically during the interview and make you seem less confident. Practising some meditation techniques could help you maintain focus and stay calm. But also be sure to get a good night's sleep the day before the interview so that you're well-rested.

Keep your answers concise 

You can consider using the STAR method to structure your answers. This useful technique helps interviewees provide clear and straightforward answers during interviews. It's especially helpful when the hiring manager poses questions about your previous work experience and how you overcame any issues related to work. This method outlines an answer format that includes four components:

  • Situation: Explain a scenario you faced at work and describe the problems you had at the time.
  • Task: Describe what you or your team were responsible for in tackling the situation.
  • Action: List the actions you took to resolve the situation.
  • Result: Share the results of your actions and how they affected your previous workplace.
Group of people in a meeting

Prepare relevant examples for interview questions 

This could help your answers stand out from those of other interview candidates. Giving examples in your responses adds a personal touch and makes them sound more authentic because they're generally derived from your work experiences. To give your answers more legitimacy, you can even share some results you achieved in your previous workplace.

Align your skills with the job requirements

Based on the job description, aim to highlight the company's key requirements in your answers. Ensure that your current experience and qualifications are relevant to the job requirements, and reiterate those points in your answers. Doing this gives interviewers the impression that you meet the role's requirements. 

Engage with the interviewer

Keeping the interviewer engaged makes them more involved in the interview process and more interested in your responses. Building a good rapport with the interviewer allows your personality to shine and increases their interest in you. To engage with your interviewer, ask clarifying or thought-provoking questions during the interview. 

Take effective post-interview measures

Even when the interview is over, you should still aim to impress the interviewer before they send you any results. A few ways to do so include:

  • Thanking the interviewer: When the interview is over, thank the interviewer for their time before they leave, or even send a thank you note after the interview. You can make your thanks more personal or memorable by sharing specific points you enjoyed discussing in the interview.
  • Following up about the next steps and timelines: Ask the interviewer about the next steps in the hiring process and if there's a rough timeline of when you'll hear from them. You can do this by sending a quick follow-up email or text a few days after your interview.

Interview tips for virtual interviews

As technology has advanced, virtual interviews have become increasingly common. Here are some tips to help you prepare for a virtual interview: 

  • Test your setup: Find somewhere quiet with a strong internet connection so there won't be any technical difficulties. Enter the video conferencing software a few times before the interview to test your connection and ensure the link works.
  • Charge your devices fully: Before the interview, charge your laptop, tablet, phone, and earphones so they don't cause disruptions during the interview.

Interview tips for in-person interviews

For an in-person interview, make sure to arrive at the location early. When you arrive at the location, you can check at reception that you're in the right place and tell them the role you're interviewing for. While you wait, some good pre-interview advice is to observe your surroundings to get a feel for the work environment. This also ensures you're ready to greet your interviewer when they arrive.


two men in a business meeting

We've outlined what to do in a job interview, but equally as important is adopting a positive attitude while job searching and displaying your sincerity throughout the interview process. Remember to also research the organisation and role to know what your interviewer is looking for.

Finally, personalise your interview responses and maintain a confident, professional image to create a lasting and positive impression on the interviewer. With the right strategies and mindset, job interviews will become easier, allowing you to eventually achieve your career goals. 


  1. What are some common job interview questions?
    Here are some job interview questions you can typically expect:
    What is your greatest strength and greatest weakness?
    Why do you think you're a good fit for this role?
    Share a time when you worked under pressure, and describe how you overcame the stress.
    Give a short introduction of yourself.
    Why should we hire you?
    What are your salary expectations?
  2. How would you describe yourself?
    Most interviewers like hearing stories about job seekers. Apart from listing your relevant educational and professional qualifications, share some of your unique or applicable qualities that can contribute to the organisation's mission or the role you're applying for. This helps you stand out from other interviewees. 
  3. What should I do if I don't know the answer to a question?
    Take some time to think and ask clarifying questions to get more direction for your answers. Don't be afraid to think aloud and admit your shortcomings. It's also good to acknowledge the question's intent and value. You could even find a way to get back to the question later so the interviewer knows you didn't evade the question.
  4. How important is body language in an interview?
    Body language is very important, as you subconsciously show your true feelings through your actions. Interviewers may also analyse your body language to form an overall judgement of your character. So be mindful of your non-verbal cues and try to adopt body language that displays confidence.
  5. Can you negotiate salary during the first interview?
    It's not advisable to discuss your salary expectations at this stage, as the interviewer is still getting to know you. Whether you're chosen for the job is not yet clear, so instead, consider negotiating after receiving an official job offer. This way, you'll have more leverage to negotiate better terms.

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