12 Tips for a Successful Job Interview

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You’ve polished your cover letter, perfected your resume and now you’ve landed a job interview. It’s usually one of the last steps before nailing the job and it feels like the pressure is on. While there is no one single thing you can do to have a successful job interview, there are lots of little things you can do make a great impression, stand out from the crowd and give yourself a winning shot.


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12 Tips for a Successful Job Interview

  1. Arrive early.
    There is an old adage “If you’re 5 minutes early, you’re on time. If you’re on time, you’re late. If you’re late, don’t bother showing up.” Be early, and make it 15 minutes just to be safe. 
  2. Research the employer and job opportunity.
    A good understanding of the company’s philosophies can go a long way toward relating your answers to the job you’re applying for and it also shows the interviewer that you’ve done your research. This will also help you ask insightful questions when the dreaded, “Do you have any questions for us?” comes up.
  3. Make eye contact.
  4. Practice answering tough questions like “What is your worst attribute?” or “Describe a fault of yours” with positives. 
    It’s good practice to review common interview questions and prepare your responses in advance. Programs like Dress for Success® can help nail these tough questions and prepare you for interviews with their career centers, which aim to promote confidence and professionalism by pairing clients with staff members who work one-on-one with them.
  5. Avoid using words such as “um” or  “like”
    Make sure you are using professional language during the interview. Refrain from using slang or referencing sensitive topics like age, race, religion or politics. Try to keep all your comments and conversation positive and on a light note.
  6. Dress for Success! 
    Remember, it’s always better to be over dressed than underdressed for an interview. Part of getting the job is looking the part. Programs like Dress for Success are known for its suiting program, providing professional attire to women in need for job interviews that they have secured.
  7. Make a good first impression, with everyone. 
    Once, after being hired for a job and conversing with my new coworkers, I found out that they had all been surveyed after I had left the first interview. They were asked if they had any interaction with me, what kind of impression I made on them, and how I treated them. Luckily, I was raised to be polite and respectful of everyone I met – not just “the boss,” and so the employees had only good things to say. 
  8. Clean up your social media sites. 
    Now more than ever employers are checking your online presence before the hiring process. 
  9. Bring hardcopies.
    It’s always a good idea to bring hard copies of your resume, references, and/or portfolio to the interview.
  10. Know when to listen and when to talk.
    Knowing when to talk and when to listen in an interview is key. NEVER interrupt your interviewer. It’s also a good idea to reference back to their questions or comments in your answers to show that you were listening. 
  11. Be authentic and upbeat, attitude is everything! 
  12. Send a Thank You Note. 
    After long days filled with many interviews it’s easy for candidates to run together. Sending a thank you note serves as a gentle reminder and can set you apart from the crowd. Really stand out by making it a hand-written note sent via good old fashioned snail mail.

Dress for Success gives women the tools to help them get back to work and assist them in remaining employed, as well as progressing in their positions until they have reached their desired level of professional achievement and personal fulfillment. Vanity Fair is committed to their partnership with Dress for Success and I am so proud to be a part of the Women Who Do program.

16 thoughts on “12 Tips for a Successful Job Interview”

  1. It’s really important to research about the company and the role. It will help you add confidence on the interview and prepare you for the tough questions.

  2. It’s a good idea to practice tough questions. Sometimes not knowing what to say can make me miss the job opportunity. A good impression, dressing appropriately and a thank you note can help me land the job. Thanks for the tip.

  3. These are some excellent tips. I can’t think of one that I think is more important than the rest, but I will say that you’re definitely right to warn people to clean up their social media sites. They can definitely come back to haunt you!

  4. Seems I’ve always been on the other side of the desk – the one conducting the interview and these are all really great tips. Being late for an interview without a legit excuse is a sure way to not get the job. My son is a rehabilitation counselor and when he was hired, he was told to clean up his FB page. It wasn’t his photos, it was friends who had tagged him in photos. Wonderful tips!


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