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How to Prepare for an Interview


Many job seekers know they’re likely to face an interview if they apply for a job, but how to prepare for an interview is something many people struggle with.

Because you rarely have a second shot, your first impression must be your best.

Ensuring you are well-prepared is the best way to guarantee you have the most impressive interview possible.

Use these ideas to ensure your interview gives the manager a good opinion of you – which lands you a new job.

The New Business World

The way firms recruit employees is changing dramatically, and for some job seekers, this may entail learning an entirely new way of searching for and then applying for a new position.

An increasing number of mid-sized to big businesses are starting the interview process with a phone screening rather than a face-to-face or video interview.

Recruiters and hiring managers may then focus their time and energy on meeting applicants they are actually curious to learn more about in person.

This may be a new method of doing things for the job application.

Being evaluated over the phone might be more intimidating than meeting in person.

There are many bonus tips and rules for effectively answering common phone interview questions, and these bullet points are worth remembering and going over before the scheduled meeting time.’

READ MORE: How To Crack A Phone Interview

Scheduling the Interview

Almost all telephone interviews will be conducted similarly to in-person interviews.

Preparing for phone and face-to-face interviews is very similar.

When scheduling the interview, make sure it is at a time when you will be able to pay complete attention to the call, not when you have something else to do later in the day or when your home may be noisy.

Make sure there is no background noise.

If the time suggested is inconvenient for you, gently request another by contacting the interviewer on their email.

This is preferable to attempting to balance the next phone interview question with your other obligations; you don’t want to be distracted by children or your pets.

Dress for Your Interview

It’s sometimes a good idea to think outside the box when you prepare for an interview.

Putting on your best interview attire to accept a phone call in your own apartment may sound weird.

However, it is standard advice offered by recruitment specialists.

According to them, simply changing out of your casual clothing into more formal gear can help you get in the zone for the interview.

Adapt the serious, professional tone of your voice, even if your interviewer could well be thousands of miles away.

Be Prepared

Any interview, including a phone interview, requires thorough preparation.

Before the phone rings, you should have a copy of your resume and cover letter that you provided when you applied for the job.

You can also prepare study notes and “cheat sheets” about the firm. 

Sitting by your computer and having notes on your screen is also a good technique.

One significant advantage to the phone interview is that you can prepare notes and have them near you, which wouldn’t be a good look in a face-to-face interview.

READ MORE: MBA Interview Tips – Things You Need To Know

The Internet Could Help You Prepare for an Interview 

It’s not a good idea to constantly hammer the keyboard, but discreetly looking something up that might help you could work in your favor.

Are You Sitting Comfortably?

An interview over the phone differs from a face-to-face conversation because your interviewer cannot gauge your body language or facial expressions.

This means they will be paying close attention to your voice.

Before the interview, ensure you’re in a comfortable spot and not slouching since this might muffle your voice.

Keep a glass of water handy close by, and make sure it’s quiet.

Addressing the Interviewer

Job interview

A phone interview follows the same formal rules as a regular in-person interview.

Unless expressly instructed otherwise, do not address the interviewer by their first name.

Listen to the tone of your voice while you talk, and speak slowly and clearly.

Don’t feel obligated to fill the quiet if there is a lull in the discussion.

The interviewer has most likely stopped to make notes or to carefully review something, so wait quietly until they appear ready to resume.

READ MORE: Looking for a new job? Find our free resume templates here

Making the Most of Your Interview Time

Most phone interviews are brief, but avoid simple ‘yes’ and ‘no’ as the answers if you can add something that demonstrates your suitability for the position and your interest in the job posting and the company itself.

Ending the Call

End the interview with one last intelligent question, and then re-iterate your interest in the position and whether you want to meet with the recruiter or hiring manager in person to discuss it further.

You can question the phone interviewer if there is a time range for their decision on the next step, but be consistent with receiving a definitive response.

Face-To-Face Interview Tips 

Now, we’ve cracked the phone interview, on to the more daunting face-to-face discussion.

The most exciting moment for a job seeker is when an employer contacts them for an interview after months of looking!

At this point, the employer has decided you could be a good fit, and all you need to do is persuade them that you are the best candidate. Here’s what you should do.

Get on Google

You may get called back after a phone interview or directly into a face-to-face interview.

After finishing the phone interview, the first step is to up your research on the company in case you get invited back for the second and next round of interviews.

Examine the following: what exactly does the organization do? What kinds of things do they sell?

The more you know about the firm, the better, as it will show in your interview, either on the phone or face-to-face.

You may know a lot about the job you’re interviewing for, which may be comparable to the work you’re already doing, but it will only matter if you research the organization.

Many interviewers will ask you what you know about their company, and being unable to deliver a good answer will hinder your prospects.

They want to know that you are sincere about working for their company.

It will not go down well if you start “umming and aahing” when asked about the company you’re apparently very keen to work for.

Looking at the company’s website is the very minimum, so while preparing for an interview, make sure you double-check through all of the material accessible on their website.

You should find some helpful information, such as their major services and products, people who work for the organization, and the company’s future plans.

READ MORE: How To Find A Job Quickly And Easily

Read the News

Look at the “news” section and read any recent press releases which could give you some helpful information on what the company is doing.

Look at news headlines and anything else that may give you useful knowledge for your job interview.

The willingness to learn about the company’s current achievements or success stories is a great way to show the interviewer that you’ve done your homework and are actually enthused about their organization.

Prepare your documents

Make sure your Resume is up to date with all of your current information.

You should also have a binder that neatly stores all of your academic credentials, CV, and other job papers.

Carrying your paperwork also makes you appear professional and organized.


Interview questions are usually the same: tell me about yourself, your prior vital accomplishments, your career goals, and also include behavioral interview questions.

Make a list of the questions you may be asked, and run through your responses with a buddy.

Practice offering excellent responses while maintaining eye contact.

You should be able to talk fluently and smoothly during the interview.

Appearance Matters

When you meet someone you don’t know for the first time, your great first impression is always based on their looks.

Employers will do the same, which is why you should dress professionally.

When you dress well, you feel better about yourself.

Dress for the job you desire, not the one you have. It’s a cliche, but it’s got merit.

Dress appropriately if the industry is more formal.

Dress better than you typically would if the job is a level up from your current position.

Invest some money in a new suit that is appropriate for your new position.

And, above all, do your homework. Learn about the current company culture so you can wear it correctly.

If you need clarification about the culture of your sector, lean on the side of appearing more professional and formal rather than informal.

Not all jobs are as relaxed as you may think these days.

ALWAYS arrive on time for your interview.

READ MORE: Tips for Job Seekers: How to Successfully Write a Resume and Pass an Interview

Time Management 

Make a strategy for your day the night before the interview to ensure you’re on time.

You should arrive at the interview location 15 minutes before the scheduled time.

This gives you time to collect your thoughts and review your notes for a final time before you start.

There are better ways to prepare for an interview than turning up a minute before it’s supposed to start dripping in sweat!

Know Your Strengths and Weakness

While interview questions vary considerably depending on the job, most interviewers will ask you about your strengths and greatest weakness as an employee.

Before the interview, you should know at least three of your strengths and three of your flaws.

Knowing these can help you answer a variety of inquiries on these attributes.

Some common interview questions can be found here.

Use Your Experience

Prepare for your interview by clearly explaining your experience and what you have to offer.

Your experience will set you apart from other potential candidates, whether this is your first significant professional move or you’re simply looking for a change.

Experience might range from taking a group or organization to volunteering.

Highlight your previous employment, experiences, and positions that demonstrate qualities such as leadership and teamwork.

Focus on what you will do for the new company

The interviewer is interested in learning how you can provide value to the firm.

Tell them about your ability to operate in a small group or independently. Give some examples.

Do not memorize answers

Interviewers can tell if you’re reeling off pre-prepared answers.

Avoid using overused business terminology (global marketing, synergy, etc.).

Try to win over the interviewer and connect with them over your hobbies or interests.

Make eye contact

In Western society, eye contact is vital; therefore, face the interviewer in the eyes.

If you feel uncomfortable looking somebody in the eyes, fix your gaze on a point a little over their head.

Speak Slowly

You will feel apprehensive but try to relax.

Concentrate on what you’re saying and how you’re expressing it.

Try speaking at 60 percent to your family members. 

Feeling like you’ve been able to prepare well for the interview will help you relax.

READ MORE: How To Write A Good Resume

You Must Smile

Did you know you can “hear” when someone is smiling? This can come across in a phone interview.

In the room, smiling relaxes the mood and shows you’ve got a sense of humor.

Speaking seriously about yourself and what you offer will also impress the interviewer.

Get a Good Night’s Sleep

One vital way to prepare for your interview is to make sure to get enough rest the night before so you will be alert and appear rejuvenated.

The last thing you want to offer a potential employer is the impression that you are exhausted and overworked.

While this indicates that you are a hardworking team member who goes above and beyond for your firm, it also suggests that you lack the energy they demand from their staff.

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