April 19, 2023

When it comes to an interview, it’s true that you really only have one chance to make a good impression. But the fact is the interview is only one part of the equation for getting hired. There are certain steps a successful job applicant should take before, during and after an interview.

To help lead you along the path of success, here are seven tips for making your interview go smoothly.


1. Know Before You Go

Be sure to research the organization so you know as much as possible about it. That way you’ll be prepared to answer questions about what you know about the company confidently and clearly. Using the company’s website, social media posts and recent press releases will provide a solid understanding of the organization’s goals and how your background makes you a great fit. If possible, research the interviewer(s) on LinkedIn or through your recruiter to get a sense of who you’ll be talking to.


2. Re-Read the Job Description

It sounds basic but understanding the job description will help you stay out of a “gotcha” question during the interview. Based on the description, prepare answers to potential questions. Think about examples from your past and current work that align with the requirements. Write them out and ask a friend to help run through common questions and your answers. You’ll find yourself gaining confidence as you get more used to saying the words.


3. Be on Time!

Being punctual should be a given—especially when your dream job is on the line. But no matter how many times you’ve heard it, it’s worth mentioning again: Show up on time, i.e. 15 minutes early. It lets the hiring manager know you’re serious about landing the job. Showing up late – unless there’s a legitimate reason – will ensure someone else getting the job.


4. Dress Like You Mean Business

It can be awkward if you show up at a job interview overdressed—or underdressed. Always dress appropriately for an interview so you make the best first impression. Go online to get an idea of the organization’s culture. When you show up smartly dressed in scuff-less shoes and portfolio in tow, you’ll come across as professional and well put-together.

5. Make a Connection

After the initial introductions have been made, solidify your first impression by making a connection with the interviewer. Examples: How long has the interviewer lived in the area? Where did he or she move from? Draw out details that will get you that “in” (“Oh, you moved from Seattle? I lived there a few years back—isn’t traffic the worst?”).


6. Don’t Speak Negatively about Former Employers

Companies are interested in hiring problem solvers with a “can-do” spirit. If you’re feeling discouraged about your current job, focus on what you’ve gained from the experience and what you want to do next.


7. Follow Up

Be sure to follow up your interview with an email message, or phone call. Texting is not appropriate. In addition to relaying your thanks for the interview, reiterate why you’re a terrific candidate for the job.


Inter-Connect is a free permanent, temporary and temp-to-hire placement service agency that partners with companies throughout the Illinois, Missouri and Iowa Tri-State region. As staffing experts, we partner with our job candidates to connect them with the right opportunities to meet their career goals. To learn more, contact us today.

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