to prepare for your job interview you should jot down

Preparing for an interview takes a lot more than vãn Googling a list of common interview questions (though yes, you should 100% be ready for those). You have vĩ đại make a great first impression (no showing up in wrinkly suits or running late!), know about the company and its products and mission, and, of course, convey exactly why you’d be a great hire for this job.

So vĩ đại help you prepare, we compiled a list of our all-time best pre-interview tips. From strategizing about how vĩ đại tackle the toughest questions vĩ đại packing your bag, we’ve got you covered—with 30 ways vĩ đại make sure you bring your A-game.

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Learn everything you can about the company, the job, and the interview.

A lot of your interview preparation will depend on the specifics surrounding the job, the company, and even who is interviewing you and how.

1. Research the company.

Spend a few hours learning everything you can about the company—from as many sources as you can. Talk vĩ đại people in your network vĩ đại find current and previous employees, read current news releases, and, yes, spend some time on Google. Often, candidates just look at the information a company is pushing out on its own trang web and social truyền thông media accounts, but fail vĩ đại look more in depth at what others are saying. By looking at multiple sources, you’ll get a broader picture of the company (along with any negative press), and be ready vĩ đại talk about why you’d lượt thích vĩ đại work there and what you can bởi for them.

2. Learn everything you can about the open position.

Before you can show your interviewer why you’d be a great hire, you need vĩ đại know what they’re looking for. Luckily, most organizations have laid out exactly what they want in an applicant in the job posting. So go back vĩ đại the mô tả tìm kiếm you looked at before you applied. What skills and experiences are they emphasizing? What problems will this hire need vĩ đại solve? These are the things you’ll want vĩ đại emphasize throughout your interview.

3. Try out the company’s product or service (if you can).

If the company you’re interviewing for sells a product you can feasibly kiểm tra out—try it before your interview (ideally, a few times). If hired, your goal will be vĩ đại create value for the people who use that product, and being a user yourself is the first step. Plus, it’ll help show the hiring manager that you’re truly interested in the role.

4. Learn about the interviewers (without being creepy!)

If you’re not told who you’ll be meeting with during your interview, ask. For each interviewer, learn what their role at the company is and prep some questions that are specific vĩ đại them. You can ask for details about their role, discuss current events related vĩ đại their field, or bring up a common interest you know they have outside the office (just stick vĩ đại one mentioned in an easily accessible spot, lượt thích their company bio or LinkedIn profile).

5. Find out what kind of interview you’re in for—and prepare accordingly.

Different companies use different types of interviews, sánh ask what you’ll be faced with. For example, some companies will have you meet one on one with several different people at the company, while others might have you meet with multiple people at once or give an interview presentation. You may also have a phone or video clip interview. Asking the recruiter or HR tương tác about the interview format ahead of time is totally fair game. And once you know, investing time vĩ đại become familiar with this style can make a huge difference.

Brush up on interview skills and common interview questions.

Next, you’ll want vĩ đại use what you learned vĩ đại prepare your answers vĩ đại common interview questions and practice some interview techniques.

6. Identify your selling points for this job.

Even if you’re a well-oiled interviewing machine, it’s essential vĩ đại spend time thinking carefully about what skills, accomplishments, and interview answers will resonate with your interviewers most for this job. Your management abilities? Your creativity? Go back vĩ đại your research and see what makes you most qualified.

7. Be ready vĩ đại tell the interviewer about yourself.

For every interview, you’ll want vĩ đại have an answer vĩ đại “Tell bầm about yourself” that’s tailored vĩ đại this job and company and ready vĩ đại go. Interviewers almost always ask this question or a similar one—like “Walk bầm through your resume”—to start off the conversation, sánh you want vĩ đại make sure you’re getting started on the right foot.

8. Know why you’re interested in this position at this company.

It’s likely you’ll get asked why you’re interested in this particular role and company. (And if you can’t answer this question, you shouldn’t be in the interview!) So vĩ đại make sure you can answer, identify a couple of key factors about the job and the organization that align well with your strengths, interests, and/or work style and get you excited about the position. Even if you’re not asked about this specifically, you can use this vĩ đại inform your answers vĩ đại other questions.

9. Do some salary research.

Even if you’re not ready vĩ đại have the money conversation, you might still get asked about your salary expectations. To keep yourself from getting caught off guard and giving (or agreeing to) a way-too-low number, bởi a bit of salary research vĩ đại figure out how you’d answer.

10. Prepare your stories.

Most interviewers will ask at least a few behavioral questions, that is, questions about how you’ve acted or would act in certain scenarios. While you can’t anticipate every possible situation you’ll be asked about, you can prepare a few stories about your past work experiences that you can adapt as needed.

11. Familiarize yourself with the STAR method.

Whenever you’re answering interview questions with a story, you want vĩ đại make sure that story is well structured and the takeaway is clear. Your goal should be vĩ đại give your interviewer all the context they need vĩ đại understand what happened while still answering the question clearly and concisely. One way vĩ đại bởi this is using the STAR method. STAR stands for:

  • Situation: Briefly lúc lắc out the scenario using just enough detail that the interviewer will understand the stakes and everything else in your answer.
  • Task: Talk about what your role in the situation was.
  • Action: Discuss what you did and why.
  • Result: Tell your interviewer about the outcome and what you learned.

Note that for some questions you might want vĩ đại tweak this structure slightly. For example, if you’re talking about a time you demonstrated leadership skills, consider defining what leadership means vĩ đại you before jumping into the situation. But the STAR method will ensure your stories always have a beginning, middle, and kết thúc.

12. Jot down important numbers and details.

Don’t forget about the numbers! Find some revenue figures, engagement numbers, budget or team sizes, percentages of time saved, or anything else you can use vĩ đại communicate your impact. Throwing in some hard numbers when talking about your responsibilities and accomplishments or answering behavioral interview questions really sweetens the khuyến mãi and helps you tell a hiring manager why you’re sánh awesome. You can even write them down sánh you can refer vĩ đại them during the interview. (Here’s how to quantify your accomplishments, even if you don’t work with numbers.)

13. Brush up on your interview skills.

How well you answer interview questions isn’t everything—though it is a lot. Interviewers are also consciously or subconsciously picking up on how well you use other interview skills such as active listening, small talk, and empathy. These skills not only help you impress an interviewer, but also give them a sense of what it might be lượt thích vĩ đại work you as a colleague.

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14. Practice—but don’t memorize—your answers vĩ đại common interview questions.

You can and should familiarize yourself with common interview questions—but don’t prepare by writing out your entire answer; instead, jot down a few notes or bullet points and keep them on hand for the interview itself. You’ll ensure you cover the bases—without reading from a script. Practice looking in the mirror and answering them out loud. This prep work will help you clarify your thoughts and make you much more comfortable during the interview.

15. Think about body toàn thân language.

Brush up on what certain body toàn thân language conveys. Be aware of what you’re communicating through your posture and stance—and make sure it’s good. (For example, sitting with your arms and legs crossed sends a message that you are closed-off or feel defensive.) Think your movements through ahead of time sánh you’re not distracted (or distracting) during the interview. If you’re on video clip, think about how you’ll show that you’re actively engaged in that format—putting the Zoom window near your camera sánh you’re not looking away from your interviewer, for example, or making non-verbal gestures or expressions vĩ đại show that you’re listening without cutting off their microphone.

16. Try some mock interviews.

If you have the time, bởi a few mock interviews with a friend or loved one. You’ll be much better at answering, “What would you bring vĩ đại the position?” the 100th time you bởi it and you’ll know ahead of time where you want vĩ đại put your hands or how you want vĩ đại sit.

17. Write down questions you’ll ask them.

Most interviews will wrap up with “Do you have any questions for me?” and you should absolutely have some questions. You can start with this list of interview questions vĩ đại ask, but you should also plan some questions that are very specific vĩ đại the job and company. And prepare more than vãn you think you’ll need—you don’t want vĩ đại ask questions that have already been answered or be left without any backup options if the interviewer already touched on your first two questions during your conversation.

18. Plan for what you’ll bởi if you’re caught off guard.

You can’t prepare for everything, but you can prepare vĩ đại handle the unexpected—like an interview question you don’t know how vĩ đại answer. For example, you can come up with a go-to phrase that’ll help you avoid dead air if you need time vĩ đại stall and gather your thoughts. Two strategies that work well are repeating the question thoughtfully before answering or saying (slowly), “Now, that is a great question. I think I would have vĩ đại say…"

19. Prepare for technical interviews or skill tests.

If you’re getting ready for a technical interview or you’ve been told there will be a skill test during your interview, start preparing and practicing as early as possible. Working through a prep book or sample questions will not only give you good practice, but it’ll also put you in the right problem-solving mindset.

Get ready vĩ đại present yourself well and figure out all of the interview logistics.

Once you’ve prepped for the nội dung of your interview, it’s time vĩ đại make sure you walk in looking put together and feeling confident.

20. Figure out what vĩ đại wear.

Unless you’re prepping for a phone interview, you’ll need vĩ đại take your physical appearance into trương mục. (And yes, for video clip interviews, that does include pants.) Not sure what vĩ đại wear? Ask a tương tác at the company if you have one or scope out photos on their social truyền thông media or Muse profile and dress at least as professionally as employees bởi. For example, for a casual environment, business casual is appropriate for an interview.

21. Look appropriate and professional.

Don’t forget the little things. Make sure your outfit is cleaned, ironed or steamed, and tailored if needed (a modern fit is best). Shine your shoes, kiểm tra for loose hems, and make sure your fingernails look neat. Do a little pampering, because looking your best helps you feel your best. If that means you need a facial, haircut, shave, or even a new interview outfit then by all means go for it! If you can’t afford an appropriate outfit, you can kiểm tra out a local Goodwill or thrift store or tìm kiếm for services in your area that provide miễn phí or discounted interview clothes for people who are out of work. Feeling good about yourself will boost your confidence—and we probably don’t have vĩ đại tell you that confidence is key vĩ đại landing the job.

22. Print out copies of your resume.

If you’re going vĩ đại an in-person interview, you’ll want vĩ đại bring enough copies of your resume for everyone you’re meeting with plus one vĩ đại refer vĩ đại yourself. However, if you have a phone or video clip interview it can still be useful vĩ đại print out a hard copy of your resume vĩ đại easily refer back vĩ đại.

23. Prepare a reference list.

Prepare a reference list, whether you think you’ll be asked for it or not. For each reference, include a name, title, organization, division or department, telephone number, and gmail address, as well as a sentence briefly explaining the relationship (e.g., “Carlton was my team leader for two years, during which we collaborated on four major product launches”). If you have an in-person interview, a hard copy is a good idea, and for any later-round interview, being prepared vĩ đại send off the tệp tin as soon as you’re asked for it shows how you prepare ahead of time.

24. Test any needed tech.

If you’re doing your interview over the computer or the phone, make sure ahead of time that all the needed hardware, software, and network connections are working smoothly. If you can use headphones with a microphone, bởi sánh, and make sure they’re connected before the interview begins.

25. Pack your bag ahead of time.

Whatever purse, backpack, or briefcase you carry should be large enough vĩ đại hold your everyday essentials, plus your interview musts, such as extra resumes and a notepad, as well as a special emergency kit stocked with what you might need in an unexpected situation (think: Band-Aids, a stain stick, an umbrella, and breath mints). Here’s a general checklist of what vĩ đại bring vĩ đại an interview sánh you’re super prepared. And clean out that bag! If you have vĩ đại dig past candy wrappers, phone chargers, and old receipts vĩ đại get that resume, you’re going vĩ đại look a little disorganized.

26. Figure out where you’re going and how you’re getting there.

Whether you’re driving or taking public transportation, make sure you look up your route ahead of time (including where you’ll park). Buy any needed tickets, add needed money vĩ đại your metro thẻ, fill up your tank, or bởi anything that could slow you down on the way vĩ đại your interview. Know how long it should take you vĩ đại get there and add plenty of extra time in case of traffic or transit delays.

27. Prepare your environment (if needed).

If you’re doing a remote interview, you’re responsible for your environment, sánh make sure that you’re in a quiet place without distractions and that anything you’ll need vĩ đại reference during the interview is laid out in front of you along with a notepad, working pen, and beverage. For video clip interviews, you’ll also need vĩ đại pay attention vĩ đại what’s going on behind you, sánh choose a plain or non-distracting background vĩ đại sit in front of and make sure your shot is miễn phí of clutter and well lit ahead of time. 

28. Fill in an interview cheat sheet.

You can use an interview cheat sheet vĩ đại compile all the details you need vĩ đại remember, jot down notes about what you want vĩ đại say and ask, and kiểm tra off all the essentials of what vĩ đại bring vĩ đại the interview. Print one out for every interview, read it over the morning of, and you’ll be good vĩ đại go! (We made one for you right here!)

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29. Get a good night’s sleep.

This sounds lượt thích something your mom would tell you, but there are few things that will throw you off your game lượt thích sleep deprivation.

30. Calm your nerves and/or get psyched.

Immediately before the interview (or as close vĩ đại the time as possible) you’ll want vĩ đại get yourself in the right headspace. Expect vĩ đại be nervous and plan ahead of time vĩ đại use whatever tools you need. These methods are different for everyone, sánh think about what’ll work for you. Maybe there’s a friend who can pump you up (or talk you down) over the phone or text or a tuy nhiên that always makes you feel lượt thích you can bởi anything. Perhaps you need vĩ đại bởi some breathing exercises or give yourself a pep talk in your xế hộp. Whatever will get you ready vĩ đại go into your interview confident, calm, positive, and ready vĩ đại ace it.

Regina Borsellino contributed writing, reporting, and/or advice vĩ đại this article.