Strategies for Successful Job Interview

Whether you’re just from college or university and it’s your first time looking for a job. Or you want to move to another position in a different firm, one factor determining if you get the job is how you conduct yourself before and during the interview.

Sure, a job interview is one of the most nerve-cracking processes of job application, more so if it's your first time. And some would handle their interviews than others. But, what does the other do that makes them ideal for their positions?

Don’t worry; we are here to make guide you to land your dream position or job. This article covers some of the best tips or interview preparation techniques that would help you prepare and perform your best during an interview. 

But first;

Why would an organization conduct job interviews?

It’s common for companies to hire individuals to replace or fill a place left by other employees. But before hiring someone, companies would want to find out whether the candidate in front of them is the right person for the position.

So they'll have to check if the person has the excellent quality, skills, and experience to manage the different responsibilities that come with the job. In short, most employers would be seeking candidates that have the personality that fits their position.

Therefore, it’s the responsibility of the candidate or the applicants to prepare for the interview and convince their employers that they are the best fit. So, demonstrate to them that you have the knowledge, experience, and capabilities they need. Also, it would help if you connected with your employers by understanding their needs to be convinced that you're the best candidate.  

Here are some common competencies employers look for in a candidate

  • Critical thinking and reasoning
  • Problem-solving and leadership skills
  • Oral and written communication skills
  • Collaboration and teamwork spirit
  • Relationship and association with fellow employees and employer
  • Work ethic or professionalism

So, what can you do to ensure a successful job interview? Simple, follow the tips and guidelines provided below.

Successful interview preparation techniques

It would help if you kept in mind that whatever you do before, during, and after the interview would significantly count in your success.

So, here is what to do before the interview

a) Know and understand the needs of your employer

This is where you research more about the company of firm you’re yet to join, of course, if you pass their interview. So, you have to browse through the company’s website to know more about them. Please familiarize yourself with their mission, vision, and core values.

You can as well talk to a colleague or someone with detailed information about the company. This would help you get an inside view of how things are run, including the company’s culture.

Also, you must know what the company deals in, because you may be asked to mention some of the activities you most love about the company. Or what you know about the firm. Failing to provide the correct answers may be seen as a disinterest.

In short, you must consider researching for:

Skills and level of experience your employer values- know what the company looks for. So check the desired qualifications to enable you to position yourself to fit the position.

The company’s key players- check for the individuals who hold various top-ranking positions like CEO and the directors of different departments. Make good use of the employee bios and the company about us page.

News or recent events about the company- you have to know your employer's latest news or updates. This shows your passion and your level of interest.  

Your employer's mission, culture, and core values-knowing what the company stands deals in gives you the upper hand in answering questions concerning the company.

Company clients, products, and their services- you have to know the type of work you’ll be doing plus the type of customers you expect to interact with.

Find out who the interviewers are- It can be hard to figure out who will be interviewing you. But if you can do it, the better. Because it would allow you to learn more about them, and in return, you can create a more meaningful connection. So, if possible, research a bit about the panel to ensure you get to know the kind of treatment to expect during the interview.

b) Know yourself

The interview is like your reflective experience. You'll have to elaborate or share your knowledge, skills, failures, achievements, and career ambitions. The question is, can you, without referring to some notes, discuss your accomplishments and experience? Or, are you able to back your qualifications?

Therefore, you must take time and get to know yourself, especially on the role applied for, while prepping for the best answers to the questions they may ask.

Here are some of the things you should know about yourself before an interview;

Strengths and weaknesses

Believe it or not, the interviewer would want to know you. So, the chances are high that they may ask about what you have achieved. Therefore, equip yourself with some three achievements and one weakness. Just don’t dwell on your weaknesses, though try to be honest as possible.

Identify skills that would differentiate you from other applicants

Of course, it can be hard to know the skills level or qualifications of other applicants. However, after thorough research about the company, you'll see the status of qualifications they are looking for.

So, you must be able to point out some quality or skill you believe differentiates you from your peers. You can tell your interviewing panel a situation where you felt you even anticipated an outcome before it could happen. Or where you helped solved a problem that most people didn't.

Anticipate your interviewers concerns

One thing about interviews, you can never assume you’re the only candidate. So, it would help to have a rough idea of why the interviewer may not want to hire. As part of knowing yourself, seek to find out what you luck but other candidates have. This would help you in preparing your defense.

c) Prepare for common interview questions

This is another interview preparation technique that every candidate must prepare for. Of course, there are several commonly asked interview questions.

So it’s your responsibility to pick a list of questions that you think you may be asked. After that, you must prepare your answers so that you won’t have to fumble during the interview.

Interview commonly asked questions

Tell us about yourself.

Congratulations if you have outlined some of your qualities and experience. Now, this is the stage where you clarify to your interviewer (s) all your skills and knowledge relating to what they are looking for.

Here is the deal, provide your educational and professional experience of the role. Provide an overview of your recent or current positions, personal interest, professional and academic goals. Also, give a pitch of what shows you’re the best fit for the job. Just ensure you provide brief answers.

Why do you want to work for our company?

This question attempts to find out your research level and the amount of information you have about the company. To answer this question, outline something the company does that appeals to you. You can also focus on the firm's opportunities for future growth and how you would want to be part of the growth.

Still, you can mention a few things that got you excited from interacting with the firm and its employees. The more detail you give the better ensure you're specific.

Why should we hire you?

This is the opportunity to sell yourself. So, summarize why your background skills and expertise or interest in the job would help the company achieve its desired objectives. So, address your top strengths, achievements, or accomplishments.

Also, let the hiring managers know that you're capable of handling the task, but you can also deliver quality results. With the knowledge of the company culture, make the interviewers aware that you understand their culture and address the question with the company’s cultural system at the back of your mind.

What is that you can bring to our company?

Most people fail to answer these questions correctly because they tend to focus on their backgrounds. However, they won't know if you understand the challenges or problems they are facing and how you will help fix them.

Still, your research kill would help you through, so ensure you read the job description before the interview. This would give you a deeper understanding of what you're hired to solve. After that, connect your skills and experiences with what’s needed.

Where do you see yourself in 5 years to come?

With this question, the interviewer tries to find out if your career vision. In other words, what are your long-term goals? So, make your career goals known by demonstrating your aspired educational, leadership, and training pursuits.

To successfully answer these questions, you must first anticipate and rehearse your performance before the actual interview. So how best can you rehearse for your interview preparation?

How to rehearse for an interview

Suppose you want to ease your tension during the actual interviews, then you must practice prior. This would help make you comfortable hence increase your chances of landing your dream career job. The following tips would help improve your performance:

Conduct a Do-It-Yourself interview- you can do that by having a friend or family member supervising the process.

Set up an interview look-alike to give you the feeling of being in the actual room. You can either set your kitchen or bedroom like a proper setup for the interview.

Rehearse in front of a mirror- mirrors would help tell you how you look. It may help improve your presentation, smile, maintain eye contact, and help handle different questions, among other benefits of mirror practice.

Provide the best first impression

The first few minutes of your interview are significant. It's then that you can still the show. So, consider the following tips:

Dress for success

Though your skills and expertise should stand, you must also ensure you present a professional image. So, dress above the job you’re seeking.

Arrive early to your interview

You must plan and arrive early for the interview. This gives you time to de-stress from various activities and collect yourself. Also, respecting the schedule helps create an impression of your time management skills, among other benefits.

During the interview:

Bring everything you need

Although you had emailed your resume, it would be wise to have a copy of it. Also, have copies of the reference list in case you're asked about them. You can as well have your notebook and pen ready in case you're expected to take notes.

Show some sense of composure

You can fail or smell success from the moment you set your feet at the door of the interview room. So, relax and believe in yourself. All you need to do is trust that you're well prepared, project your courage, and maintain eye contact with your interviewer.

Be real and stay positive

When allowed to speak, do it with a lot of passion, courage, and enthusiasm. Be composed and audibly talk about your skills and expertise. However, you must ensure you stay positive all through your interview. Remember, no interviewer wants to hear about your failures and excuses.   

So, you must also ensure you truthfully respond to the interviewer's questions. Keep in mind that most employers find honestly respectable and refreshing. Therefore, try and tie your answers with your accomplishments and skills.

Seal the interview

After your interviewers are done questioning, and they have also answered some of your questions. In that case, you have to appreciate them for their time. You can also do that by writing a thank you later.


Preparing for an interview is not an easy task; it demands that you adequately get prepared. So, to help you land your dream job, ensure you sufficiently research your employer to find out more about their culture, mission, vision, and challenges they expect you to solve.

Also, know yourself enough to handle different questions that may arise during the interview. So, equip yourself with the skills, expertise, or experience needed for the position.