How to Prepare for a Job Interview

Interview Chairs

Best Foot Forward

First impressions matter. We may not like to admit it, but we judge others in an instant. Research shows we make assumptions about others in about seven seconds – some say even less than a second. Studies also suggest the majority of people believe their initial opinions are accurate. That means when your dream job calls, those first impressions are crucial. They’ll stick. Therefore it’s important to put your best foot forward and know how to prepare for a job interview.

The Facts of First Impressions

All five senses influence first impressions, so, here are some things that are good to know before your next interview:

  • Making good eye contact conveys intelligence and trustworthiness.
  • Mimicking the interviewer’s body language and leaning forward also shows that you are trustworthy. Trustworthiness, according to studies by social psychologists, is even more important than exuding confidence when meeting someone for the first time.
  • Having good posture implies competence.
  • Wearing practical shoes is better than wearing new, highly-shined shoes because this suggests that you’re more agreeable versus showing that you’re anxious and desperate to please.
  • Research shows that dressing smartly implies that you are successful or on your way to success. (“But I’m meeting over the phone,” you say? Research also shows that dressing for success affects your mood, putting you in a better frame of mind on a meeting.)

Talk to Our Experts

Once you’ve read all our handy tips, you may be thinking, “I don’t need help with preparing for a job interview – I need an interview first!” – Elevate Digital can help with that.

We specialize in connecting digital and technology experts with great organizations who appreciate top talent. Let’s help you find the next career of your dreams. Connect with Elevate Digital today.

All Interviews

When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, the rise in hybrid and remote work options shifted into overdrive. With this dramatic shift, organizations had to quickly adjust to this new dynamic.

One way they did that is by conducting interviews via the phone or computer. And just like remote workers, this trend isn’t going anywhere. In fact, in-person meetings may not happen until a new employee is hired and onboarded. Some rules, however, are the same across the board.

  • Do your homework. Step one in preparing for a job interview is researching the company with whom you’ll be meeting, and composing questions you’d like to ask. If relevant, have your portfolio or examples of your work ready to share. If the organization is located in another country, familiarize yourself with any customs or cultural taboos that could affect a first impression.
  • Dress neatly. We talked about the importance of dressing professionally, no matter your interview format, so the general rule is that you should scope out the company’s dress code and do one better.
  • Be on time.
  • Greet your interviewer warmly.
  • Show enthusiasm and focus.
  • Demonstrate your value.
  • Share stories or show examples that clearly convey why you would be a great fit for the position and the organization.
  • Keep in touch post-interview.
  • Send a thank-you email within the first 24 hours that reiterates your top skills and your interest in the job. Don’t forget to check your spelling and grammar! A few minutes with Grammarly can save hours of regret.


Phone Interviews

  • Treat a phone interviews just as important as a virtual or in-person meeting. Many companies use phone interviews to dramatically reduce a larger pool of candidates. Your goal, then, is to score a second interview.
  • Do not monopolize the conversation. Remember to listen, and do not interrupt the other person.
  • Phone conversations make it easy to use a cheat sheet for remembering questions you want to ask or valuable skills you want to share.
  • Make sure you keep a glass of water on hand. You don’t want to be in the flow of promoting your unique set of skills and end up getting caught with a cough. Awkward!
  • Make sure your phone is charged. Running out of power in the middle of your interviews is a definite faux-pas – and one you won’t recover from.


Virtual Interviews

  • Make sure your technology is operational, working, and ready to go.
  • Pay careful attention to your surrounding environment.
  • Reduce distractions. Make sure the area where the interview takes place is clean and quiet.
  • When it comes to dressing for a video call, dress simply. Patterns typically don’t work well. Also, make sure the colors you wear don’t blend in with your background.
  • Smile and make eye contact.
  • Remain visibly focused. You can even put a post-it or sticker near the camera, so you remember where to look.


A Final Word to the Wise: Do a Trial Run

Remember, first impressions matter, but so does being prepared. No matter the interview format, put in some practice. Practicing will help you become better aware of how you sound on the phone, how you appear online, and you can also rehearse your answers.

If you have a partner who can do a dry run with you, even better. Having a supportive sounding board can give you an extra boost of confidence.