4 Simple & Effective Interview Tips


Interviews get you jobs. Interviews lose you jobs. (See a theme here…resumes and interviews are just as important in the job search!) Interviews are an opportunity to knock the socks off of a future employer.  Here are 4 simple and effective interview tips (other than being on time!!!) to fully prepare for your next interview:

Interviews go both ways.  

  • You are interviewing them as much as they are interviewing you.  It’s kind of like a first date.  Everyone should be on their best behavior.  You - and the interviewer.  You will definitely be on your best behavior - right?  Of course, you will!  But If the interviewer isn’t on their best behavior, it is truly something to consider. Do I want to work with them on their worst day?  If you think of an interview in this way, it will suck any desperation right out of you. Because we all know that desperation is a terrible perfume/cologne and can be smelled from a mile away - and is simply hard to watch.  Since this is a 2-way conversation - you can be more at ease and be more confident.  

Do your homework.  Seriously, please do your homework.

  • Wait, homework?  For an interview?  Yes. There is literally no excuse for not properly preparing for an interview.  Print out the job description.  Read every word of it.  Remember the keywords in it and make sure to use those keywords during the interview (in a non-memorized/robotic way).Research the company.  Read every word of their website.  Google the name of the company and read all of the articles that are recent, big news and relevant.  Print them out.  Read them the night before…and the morning of…and in the parking lot on the day of your interview.   Research the person interviewing you.  Check out their LinkedIn account.  Do you have any similar connections or similar schools?  Find things in common with them.  

Ask questions.  

  • Interviews are conversations.  (Remember, kind of like a first date.) So, have some questions to ask them.  Print them out.  Read them before your interview.  Feel free to bring them out during the interview and read from them - that’s okay. However, make sure that they haven’t already answered the question in some way during the interview - that would show that you aren’t utilizing good listening skills. Here are some of my favorite questions to ask interviewers (ones that they are rarely asked):

    • What made you choose this company and why do you stay?

    • How do you see the future for this industry?

    • What’s the history of this position?

    • What are things _______ has done recently to show how it values its employees?

Handwritten thank you notes.  

  • First, send an email thanking the person/people that interviewed you.  Send it within the first 12 hours of the interview.  These days, people look for rapid responses, so don’t miss that opportunity to reach out quickly.  At the same time, write a handwritten thank you note.  With a stamp on it.  They still exist.  And they will make you stand out more than just about anything you will do during your interview process.

  • Send them to everyone who helped you during the interview process.  

  • Was there an HR person that set it up?  Send one to them.

  • Was there a receptionist/admin that gave you a glass of water?  Send one to them.

  • Were there 3 people that interviewed you?  Send one to each of them.

  • Make sure you spell their names correctly.

Here is a quick template to use:

  • Thank them for taking time out of their busy schedule to meet with you.

  • Make note of something specific they said or something you connected on with them (same alma mater, love of fall weather, etc.).

  • Reiterate your interest in the job.

  • Encourage them to reach out if they need anything else.

  • Above all, have fun with it!

Remember, even if it doesn’t work out, you are now connected with someone that you might cross paths with again - and probably will.  It truly is a small world!