job interview

During a job interview, the impression you leave on the interviewer can be just as important as your credentials. Your overall demeanor, attitude, basic social skills, and communication ability are all evaluated in addition to your education and work experience.

Both you and the interviewer must engage in a conversation that involves a mutual exchange of information and ideas. This dialogue helps both parties determine if the job is a good fit for you and if you are a good fit for the organization.

Preparation is essential to ensure that the conversation flows smoothly and that you can present yourself in the best possible light. By preparing well in advance of the interview, you can demonstrate your knowledge of the company, the position, and how your skills align with their needs. Through this dialogue, you can also learn more about the company culture and the expectations of the role, allowing you to make a more informed decision if a job offer is made.

How to master these 7 common interview questions

Be on time

Arriving early for an job interview is a common piece of advice given to job seekers, typically recommended to arrive at least 10 to 15 minutes early. Showing up early not only demonstrates punctuality but also allows you to get your bearings before the job interview.

In many cases, interviewers will be ready before the scheduled appointment time. This could be because they have finished up with a previous job interview or they have cleared their schedule to ensure they have ample time to meet with you. Arriving early allows you to compose yourself, review your notes, and mentally prepare for the job interview.

However, it’s important not to arrive too early, as this could inconvenience the interviewer and make them feel rushed. Arriving more than 15 minutes early may also cause you to wait around awkwardly, creating an unnecessary sense of anxiety.

By arriving on time or a few minutes early, you can make a positive first impression and show the interviewer that you are reliable and professional. This simple act can set the tone for the entire interview and increase your chances of success.

Know the interviewer’s name

Knowing the name of the interviewer and their correct pronunciation is an important aspect of interview preparation. It shows that you have taken the time to do your research and are taking the job interview seriously. Using the interviewer’s name during the interview can help establish a positive connection and show that you are engaged in the conversation.

If you are unsure of the interviewer’s name, it’s best to call the company beforehand and ask the receptionist or secretary for clarification. It’s important to make sure you have the correct spelling and pronunciation of their name. Taking the initiative to ask for this information shows that you are organized and detail-oriented.

It’s also worth noting the secretary’s name in case you need to follow up after the job interview. Secretaries often play a crucial role in the hiring process, as they are the gatekeepers who determine who gets access to the decision-makers. Building a positive relationship with the secretary can be helpful, as they may provide additional insights about the company or the interviewer.

Overall, taking the time to research the interviewer’s name and details beforehand can help you make a strong impression during the job interview and increase your chances of success.

Have some questions of your own prepared in advance?

Having a list of questions and thoughts prepared for an interview is a wise strategy that can help you make a good impression and showcase your interest in the organization and the position. This list can include questions about the company’s culture, future goals, challenges they are currently facing, and how your skills and experience align with the needs of the position.

Having a well-thought-out list of questions demonstrates that you have done your research and are genuinely interested in learning more about the company and the position. It also shows that you are proactive and have taken the time to prepare for the interview.

It’s important to note that the list of questions should be concise and to the point. Asking too many questions or asking questions that have already been answered during the interview can come across as unprepared or disinterested. Additionally, it’s important to actively listen to the interviewer’s responses and follow up with additional questions that show your understanding of the topic.

Overall, having a list of questions and thoughts prepared for the interview is a great way to show your enthusiasm and make a positive impression. By asking insightful questions, you can demonstrate your knowledge and understanding of the company, the position, and how your skills and experience can benefit the organization.

Bring several copies of your resume

Bringing a copy of your transcript to an interview is a good idea, especially if the position requires a specific educational background or if you are a recent graduate. A transcript is an official document that shows your academic achievements and can demonstrate that you have the necessary qualifications for the job.

It’s important to carry your papers in an organized manner to avoid appearing disorganized or unprepared. Consider using a portfolio or a folder to keep all your documents together and ensure they are easily accessible during the job interview. This will also help you present a more professional image to the interviewer.

In addition to a transcript, you may also want to bring other relevant documents such as your resume, cover letter, references, and certifications. Make sure to review these documents before the job interview and ensure that they are up-to-date and accurate.

When presenting your documents, be sure to handle them carefully and avoid crumpling or wrinkling them. Taking the time to present your materials in a professional and organized manner can demonstrate that you are conscientious and detail-oriented, which are important qualities in many job roles.

Overall, bringing a copy of your transcript and organizing your papers are simple yet effective ways to make a good impression during an interview. By being prepared and presenting yourself professionally, you can increase your chances of success and show the interviewer that you are a capable and qualified candidate for the position.

Have a reliable pen and a small notepad with you.

Taking notes during an interview can be seen as distracting and impolite, as it can give the impression that you are not fully engaged in the conversation. Instead, it’s best to focus on actively listening to the interviewer and maintaining good eye contact.

However, immediately after the interview, it’s important to write down as much as you can remember about the conversation. This can include key points discussed, any follow-up questions you have, and your overall impression of the interview. Jotting down these notes can help prepare for a potential follow-up interview or thank you letter, as well as for your reflection on the job interview experience.

It’s also a good idea to write down your impression of how well you did during the interview. This can include any areas where you think you excelled, as well as areas where you could improve. This self-reflection can help you identify your strengths and weaknesses and prepare you for future interviews.

When taking notes, it’s important to be discreet and avoid using any electronic devices, such as a phone or tablet, as this can come across as unprofessional. Instead, consider bringing a small notebook or pad of paper to write on.

Overall, taking notes during an job interview is generally not recommended, but it’s important to reflect on the conversation afterward and jot down any important points or impressions. By doing so, you can help yourself prepare for future interviews and demonstrate your commitment to self-improvement.

15 Good Questions To Ask Recruiters In An Interview 

Greet the interviewer with a handshake and a smile

Maintaining eye contact during an interview is an essential part of good communication and can demonstrate that you are confident, engaged, and attentive. However, it’s important to maintain eye contact in a natural nature, and respectfully the other person’s uncomfortable.

To maintain eye contact during an job interview, start by looking directly at the interviewer while they are speaking. This shows that you are listening and interested in what they have to say. You can also nod your head or provide verbal cues to show that you are following along.

When it’s your turn to speak, continue to maintain eye contact, but also look away occasionally to avoid a stare down or making the other person feel uncomfortable. For example, you can look away briefly to gather your thoughts or glance at any notes or materials you have brought with you.

If you find it difficult to maintain eye contact, try focusing on the other person’s eyebrows or forehead instead of their eyes. This can give the impression of eye contact without making you feel as self-conscious or uncomfortable.

Overall, maintaining eye contact during an job interview is an important part of good communication and can help you make a positive impression on the interviewer. By being respectful and attentive, you can demonstrate your interest in the position and show that you are a strong candidate for the job.

Expect to spend sometime developing rapport

When attending an interview, it’s important to remember that the process can be nerve-wracking for both parties involved. One way to help ease the tension and create a positive atmosphere is to follow the interviewer’s lead when starting the conversation.

Don’t jump right in and get down to business. Instead, wait for the interviewer to initiate the conversation and follow their lead. For example, if the interviewer starts by asking about your journey to the interview location or making small talk about the weather, respond in kind and use this opportunity to build rapport.

By following the interviewer’s lead, you can help create a more relaxed atmosphere and show that you can adapt to different situations. This can also help to put you and the interviewer at ease and create a more positive impression of you as a candidate.

However, it’s important to remain professional and not to overstep any boundaries. If the interviewer seems focused and ready to start the interview immediately, it’s important to respect their wishes and not prolong the small talk or delay the start of the interview.

Overall, following the interviewer’s lead when starting an job interview can help create a more positive atmosphere and demonstrate your ability to adapt to different situations. By remaining professional and respectful, you can help create a positive impression and increase your chances of success.

Don’t be embarrassed if you are nervous

The interviewing process can be a daunting experience, especially for those who are new to the job market or have limited experience. However, as you continue to attend interviews and gain more experience, you will likely become more at ease with the process.

One of the main benefits of gaining experience with interviews is that you become more familiar with the types of questions that are typically asked and the format of the job interview. This can help you to feel more confident and prepared when attending future interviews.

In addition to becoming more comfortable with the interviewing process itself, gaining experience can also help you to better articulate your skills and experiences to potential employers. With each job interview, you will have the opportunity to practice discussing your achievements and highlighting your strengths, which can be valuable skills to have in any job search.

Another benefit of gaining experience with interviews is that you can learn from each job interview and use this knowledge to improve your performance in future interviews. For example, if you receive feedback or are not selected for a particular role, you can use this information to identify areas where you may need to improve or focus your efforts.

Overall, gaining experience with interviews can be a valuable tool in any job search. By becoming more comfortable with the process, articulating your skills and experiences, and learning from each job interview, you can increase your chances of success and find the right job for you.


When attending an job interview, it’s important to focus on your strengths and what you can bring to the organization, rather than apologizing for a lack of experience. This can be achieved by highlighting your attributes, transferable skills, and willingness to learn.

One effective way to showcase your strengths is to focus on your transferable skills. These are skills that you have developed through previous experiences, such as problem-solving, communication, or teamwork, which can be applied to a wide range of industries and roles. By highlighting your transferable skills, you can demonstrate to the interviewer that you have the ability to adapt and learn quickly, even if you don’t have direct experience in their specific industry.

Another way to showcase your strengths is to focus on your willingness to learn. Employers are often looking for candidates who are eager to learn and develop their skills, as this demonstrates a proactive and positive attitude. You can highlight your willingness to learn by discussing any training or courses you have taken, or by asking the interviewer questions about the company culture or opportunities for professional development.

Finally, it’s important to describe your strengths in terms of what you can do for the organization. This means focusing on how your skills and experience can benefit the company and contribute to its overalls and objectives. For example, if you have strong problem-solving skills, you can discuss how this can help the organization identify and overcome challenges.

Overall, when discussing your strengths during an job interview, it’s important to focus on what you can bring to the organization and how your skills and experience can benefit them, rather than apologizing for a lack of experience. By highlighting your transferable skills, willingness to learn, and what you can do for the organization, you can create a positive impression and increase your chances of success.

Tell the truth

During a job interview, it is important, to be honest, and avoid exaggerating your skills or experience. Lying or exaggerating can damage your credibility and harm your chances of securing the job.

One reason why lying and exaggeration can be problematic is that they can be easily uncovered by the interviewer or the hiring manager. They may ask follow-up questions or ask for evidence to support your claims, and if you are unable to provide this, it can raise red flags about your honesty and integrity.

Moreover, if you do manage to secure the job through lies or exaggeration, you may find yourself struggling to meet the expectations of your employer. This can lead to stress, burnout, and ultimately, termination.

Another issue with lying or exaggeration is that it can damage your reputation. If word gets out that you have been dishonest, it can harm your future job prospects and damage your relationships with colleagues and industry contacts.

Overall, it is always better, to be honest, and transparent during a job interview. If you feel that you lack certain skills or experience, be upfront about it and explain how you plan to develop these skills or compensate for your lack of experience. By being honest and genuine, you can build trust with the interviewer and demonstrate your integrity, which can ultimately help you to secure the job and build a successful career.

Listen carefully to the interviewer

During a job interview, it’s important to answer the questions asked by the interviewer completely and concisely. To ensure that you provide an effective response, it’s crucial to first understand the question. If you’re unsure about what the interviewer is asking, don’t hesitate to ask for clarification. Restating the question in your own words can also help you to ensure that you have understood it correctly.

Once you have understood the question, it’s important to provide a complete answer. This means addressing all parts of the question and providing relevant examples or details as needed. However, it’s also important to be concise in your response, as rambling or going off on tangents can detract from your overall message and make it harder for the interviewer to follow your thought process.

To help you stay on track, it’s important to stick to the subject at hand. Avoid bringing up unrelated topics or anecdotes, and focus on the specific question being asked. This can help you to provide a clear and effective response, while also demonstrating your ability to communicate effectively and stay focused under pressure.

Overall, by understanding the question, answering completely and concisely, and sticking to the subject at hand, you can provide an effective and compelling ring to a job interview. This can help you to stand out as a strong candidate and increase your chances of securing the job.

Never slight a teacher, friend, employer, or university

During a job interview, it’s important to avoid speaking negatively about past teachers, friends, employers, or your university. This is because loyalty is highly valued by employers, and speaking negatively about past experiences can raise concerns about your ability to work well with others and be a team player.

When discussing past experiences, it’s important to focus on the positive aspects and highlight what you learned from each experience. Even if you had a negative experience with a past teacher or employer, it’s important to avoid speaking ill of them, as this can reflect poorly on you and raise concerns about your ability to handle difficult situations with professionalism and maturity.

Instead, focus on the positive aspects of your past experiences, and demonstrate your loyalty and commitment to your previous employers and educational institutions. This can help to demonstrate your ability to work well with others, be a team player, and maintain a positive attitude even in challenging situations.

Overall, by avoiding negative comments and demonstrating loyalty to past teachers, friends, employers, and universities, you can position yourself as a strong candidate who is committed to building positive relationships and contributing to the success of your future employer.

Watch your grammar

During a job interview, it’s important to demonstrate your ability to communicate effectively and express yourself properly. This means focusing on accuracy over fluency, even if it means speaking more slowly and correcting yourself as needed.

Employers are interested in candidates who can communicate clearly and effectively, as this is crucial for success in many job roles. While fluency is important, it’s often preferable to prioritize accuracy and correctness, as this demonstrates attention to detail, a commitment to quality, and a willingness to put in the effort to communicate effectively.

If you’re not a native speaker of the language being used in the job interview, it’s important to be honest, about your language abilities and any areas where you may struggle. This can help the interviewer to understand your communication style and provide support as needed.

Overall, by focusing on accuracy and demonstrating a commitment to clear and effective communication, you can position yourself as a strong candidate who is capable of succeeding in a wide range of job roles. Whether you’re a native speaker or not, taking the time to express yourself properly and communicate effectively can help you to stand out and increase your chances of landing the job.

Be prepared for personal questions

During a job interview, you may encounter questions that are inappropriate or even illegal. For example, an interviewer may ask about your marital status, age, or religion, all of which are protected by law and should not be considered in the hiring process.

While it’s important to be prepared to answer questions during an job interview, it’s also important to be aware of your legal rights and how to handle inappropriate questions without losing your composure. One strategy is to redirect the conversation back to your qualifications for the job. For example, if an interviewer asks about your marital status, you could respond by saying something like, “While I appreciate your interest, I’m here today to talk about my qualifications for the job. Would you like me to elaborate on my experience and skills?”

Another strategy is to politely but firmly decline to answer the question. For example, if an interviewer asks about your religion, you could respond by saying, “I prefer not to discuss my personal beliefs in a professional setting, but I’m happy to talk about my experience and qualifications for the job.”

By remaining calm and professional, you can navigate these types of situations without losing your composure or jeopardizing your chances of landing the job. Remember that you have legal rights as a job candidate, and it’s important to protect those rights while also demonstrating your qualifications and suitability for the job.

Wait for the interviewer to mention salary and benefits

Before heading into a job interview, it’s important to research the salary range for the position you are applying for. This can help you negotiate a fair salary and avoid accepting an offer that is below market value.

One way to research pay scales is to refer to salary surveys, which provide information on the average salaries for various job titles and industries. These surveys can be found online or in print publications, and they can give you a good idea of what you can expect to earn in your desired field.

Another resource for researching pay scales is the Career Services website, which may offer salary information specific to your industry or region. Additionally, many career libraries have resources that can help you research salaries, such as books on job hunting and career advancement.

By doing your homework on salary ranges, you can better understand what to expect during salary negotiations and feel more confident advocating for yourself in the hiring process. Remember that while salary is an important factor in any job offer, it’s also important to consider other factors such as benefits, job responsibilities, and opportunities for growth and advancement.

Don’t expect a job offer at the first job interview

It is not uncommon for job seekers to participate in multiple rounds of interviews before receiving a job offer. After the initial interview, the hiring manager may want to bring in a select group of candidates for a second or even third job interview. These additional interviews may include different people within the organization or may be conducted in a different format, such as a panel interview or a skills assessment.

The purpose of these subsequent interviews is to further evaluate the candidate’s skills, experience, and fit within the company culture. They may also provide the opportunity for the candidate to learn more about the position and the company, and to ask additional questions.

It’s important to remain patient and positive throughout the job interview process, even if it stretches out over several weeks. Keep the lines of communication open with the hiring manager or HR representative, and follow up with a thank-you note after each job interview. This demonstrates your continued interest in the position and can help keep you on top of your mind as the hiring decision is made.

Close on a positive, enthusiastic note

Asking about the next step in the hiring process is an important part of the job interview wrap-up. This shows the interviewer that you are eager to move forward and that you are organized and proactive. It also helps you to gain a better understanding of the timeline for the hiring decision and what to expect in the coming days or weeks.

After asking about the next steps, it’s important to thank the interviewer for their time and reiterate your interest in the job. This helps to leave a positive impression and shows that you are enthusiastic about the opportunity. Be sure to maintain good eye contact, smile, and offer a firm handshake before leaving. These small gestures can go a long way in demonstrating your professionalism and likability.

It’s also important to leave the interview quickly and courteously. Don’t linger or overstay your welcome, as this can be seen as disrespectful or unprofessional. Instead, thank the interviewer once again and make a polite exit. This helps to ensure that the interviewer’s schedule stays on track and that they have time to meet with other candidates or attend to other responsibilities.

No job interview is complete until you follow up with a thank-you note

After the job interview, it’s important to follow up with a thank-you note or email expressing your appreciation for the interviewer’s time and consideration. This small gesture can leave a lasting impression and help you stand out from other candidates.

In your thank-you note, you can also reaffirm your interest in the position and the company. This shows that you are enthusiastic and motivated about the opportunity and that you have carefully considered the role and how it aligns with your career goals. Additionally, it provides an opportunity for you to address any concerns or questions that may have come up during the job interview.

It’s important to keep your thank-you note concise, professional, and specific to the interviewer and the company. Avoid generic language or cliches, and instead, focus on the specific aspects of the job interview that stood out to you or the unique qualities of the company that make it a good fit for you.

Remember, the thank-you note is a final opportunity to make a positive impression and leave a lasting impact on the interviewer. Don’t underestimate its importance, and make sure to send it promptly after the job interview.

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