How to Prepare for an Interview 101: Tips Before, During, and After Your Job Interview

6 min read

Have you ever noticed how the employment process has changed since the COVID-19 pandemic began? If you have, you’ll notice that employment has adapted in a way that can accommodate the new norm. The US Bureau of Labor Statistics survey shows that although it’s still 1.1 percentage points lower in February 2020, labor force participation has increased slightly in 2022, rising to 62.3%. That’s an indication that the job search game has tightened twice as much.

Therefore, if you intend to forge a successful career starting with a worthwhile entry-level job, it’s best to be informed about how to prepare for an interview. This helps you impress hiring managers and, in turn, secure your target post. Preparation demonstrates your eagerness to achieve your career goals and interest in the job. To learn the basics of “prepare for interview tips,” read on!

Woman Preparing And Confirming Interview Schedule

Preparing for an Interview

If you’ve been invited for a job interview, consider yourself fortunate because that means you’ve passed the first part of the screening process. Here are some tips on how to prepare for an interview.

1. Confirm.

The first thing you have to do is confirm your attendance. This is important because learning the time and date of the hiring manager’s invite determines your availability for the job interview, and if reschedules are necessary.

2. Research.

The second important part of how to prepare for an interview is research. When you apply for a job, researching the company and the job description should be automatic. You have to be aware of the company’s mission, vision, values, and the job vacancy.

Moreover, try to look at the company’s website and recent social media posts. Doing so helps you understand their goals and how your professional experience makes you a good fit for the job.

3. Know your interviewer.

In addition to our “prepare for interview tips” or interview advice, conduct research on the recruiter. Know their name and role in the company. Usually, HR managers include their information in their email invite. You can politely address them by their name when you’re talking to them, since it allows you build rapport. Plus, having an idea of the interviewer’s perspective as they speak with you helps you to make a good impression.

4. Make a checklist.

When pondering over how to prepare for an interview, writing a checklist does the trick. Doing this before your scheduled interview can take away some of the pressure building up. The things you should include in your checklist include the equipment you’ll use and the background (if it’s a virtual interview), outfit you’ll wear, and questions to ask the interviewer.

Woman Choosing Outfit For Interview

Before the Interview: Dress to Impress

One more on our list of “prepare for interview tips” is that dressing right for a job interview is an advantage. Remember: Dressing to impress is the way to go rather than underdressing, which gives off an impression to recruiters that you’re not taking the opportunity given to you seriously.

Expert Tip:

When choosing your interview attire, research the dress codes of potential employers, the setting of the interview, and current workplace rules.

Furthermore, getting your outfit ready beforehand is a fun way to take your mind off for a moment from the stress of the preparation. Even if it’s going to be an online meeting, you can still dress up. It shows your hiring manager you are enthusiastic about the job interview. Just avoid picking outfits that are not suited for the interview.

During the Interview: Prepare for Questions

After preparing for the material things needed for the interview, as well as researching the company and the job role, you also need to prepare for questions.

Practicing how to answer common job interview questions is another thing included in the list of how to prepare for an interview. You can write your answers to common questions the interviewer might ask you, and then practice saying them. You can also familiarize yourself with the START (situation, task, action, result, and takeaway) method when answering questions. This is best used for behavioral interview questions which are asked to gauge your ability to respond to specific work situations.

Structure your response by stating the previous situation you were in, followed by the task or role you played in that situation. Then, share the action you’ve taken for that task. After that, highlight the result on a positive note for better impact. Finally, tie them all together and connect your story to the company and the role you’re applying for.

Expert Tip:

An addition to our prepare for interview tips is to practice talking to yourself in the mirror. Pretend you’re being interviewed; this will give you an idea what you will look like in person or in an online interview. Thus, it helps you to be more confident and sound more articulate.

Common Interview Questions You Need to Ace

Be ready when the recruiter asks you, “Why are you applying for this position?” This is a crucial question that you have to answer. Why? Because it shows that you’ve done your research about what the company needs for that position.

Woman Listing Down Tips On How To Prepare For An Interview

Another question you have to get ready to answer is the million-dollar question: “Why should we hire you?” This question tests your eagerness as well as lets the recruiter know that you are the right fit for the position.

The last thing to prepare is the questions to ask the hiring manager at the end of the interview. This shows your genuine interest in the position and company. Thus, when the day of your interview arrives, you can relax and be confident, as you have prepared for the essentials mentioned above ahead of time.

Related Article:

Effective Tips on How to Explain Employment Gaps on Your Resume and During the Job Interview

Tips to Keep in Mind During the Interview

Another piece of advice on how to prepare for an interview is to be mindful of your body language when speaking with your interviewer. Aside from acing your professional resume and answering interview questions, take note that you need to present a confident yet modest self.

If you’re still not sure about the things you have to do during the interview, it’s always recommended to hire a career coach. Career coaches don’t just help you fix your resume or CV; they also provide expert tips to guide you in your next job interview.

Related Article:

The 5 Best Career Coaching Services to Hire this 2023

After Interview Tips: What to Do

One last thing to take note of on how to prepare for an interview—after having your job interview—is to wait a few days and follow up with your interviewer by sending a thank-you note (not like the one on The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon).

In your thank-you letter, express your gratitude to your interviewer for taking the time to speak with you and for the information they provided about the company and the job opening.

Expert Tip:

Don’t forget the following details when writing your thank-you letter:

  • Personalized salutation;
  • Express thanks;
  • Mention your excitement on the job;
  • Share your takeaways;
  • Highlight overall credentials; and
  • Your plans for taking the next step.

This indicates you are serious about pursuing the post and want to be part of the company. After doing all these “prepare for interview tips” and giving your best effort in the interview, give yourself a pat on the back and relax.

Related Article:

What to Write in a Second Follow-Up Email After a Job Interview

Get Practical Interview Advice from Resume Professional Writers

We hope that you find the aforementioned tips on how to prepare for an interview helpful. Following them is just a step toward your dream job. Remember: Being well prepared is just one thing that can impress your potential employer. This implies that using the appropriate job search tools can improve your opportunity to be noticed by HR managers.

Nevertheless, another important part of “prepare for interview tips” and your journey toward your dream job is to have both a resume and a thank-you letter that stand out. These boost your likelihood of landing an interview with your desired company. As stated previously, following up your application with a thank-you letter gives an impression that you’re really interested and serious about taking on the job.

In addition, sending a thank-you letter is an open door for you to subtly highlight your qualifications. Plus, you can use this to mention credentials and relevant experience that you weren’t able to share during the interview. However, make sure that you consider the timing before sending your email. You don’t want to look desperate.

Expert Tip:

Email your interviewer within 24 hours, but don’t send your thank-you letter after working hours.

Resume Professional Writers can help you how to prepare for an interview by writing a resume that highlights your skills and experiences. Check out our resume writing services to see how we can craft a job-winning resume for you to secure your target job or contact us today!

Scroll to Top