How to shine in a job interview

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by Joyce Baker
Assistant Director of Career Services, Fort Wayne

How to shine in a job interview

I conduct a lot of mock interviews in my role as Assistant Director of Career Development here at Ivy Tech Community College. I realize job interviews can be stressful. But there are a few things to keep in mind that can help to calm your fears and increase your confidence.

They contacted you because there was something about your resume that sparked their interest.

Remember that! This is not a cold invitation. The hiring committee wants to meet you! You have qualifications, education and experience that prompted them to invite you in for a meeting. Approach the interview as a conversation in which you are engaged, asking questions and offering ideas.

The hiring committee wants to see that you can get along well with others.

Things haven’t changed a whole lot since elementary school when it was important to play nicely with the other kids. In the way you answer the questions, demonstrate that you can “play well with others” and that will go a long way toward making a good impression! They need to see that you are going to get along with the rest of the team.

How to shine in a job interviewEvery answer must have a positive conclusion.

You will have basic questions such as, “What are your greatest weaknesses?” “Have you ever had a disagreement with a supervisor?” “What are your strengths?” The key is to always be authentic, specific, and to end on a positive note. Maybe your weakness has been procrastination. Talk about how that has been an issue for you, but emphasize that you recognized the problem and took steps to overcome it. Maybe you disagreed with your supervisor on how to conduct inventory in the warehouse. Describe how you communicated your thoughts on the matter then explain what action was taken. (For behavioral questions such as this, remember the STAR acronym. Situation, Task, Action, Result—and always talk about a positive result!)

Remember: The interview is an awesome opportunity for you to demonstrate three key traits—confidence in your abilities, interpersonal communication skills, and a positive attitude. The hiring committee wants to see you shine—you just need to show up and make it happen!

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The wide world of Human Resources allows people to adapt to companies properly. To this end, we’re going to talk about some possible tips and tricks to take into account if you are considering sending your CV in for a job.

Basic steps to having a good CV

  • Your CV having relevant information and catching the recruiter’s attention with an original design.
  • Being available by mail/phone for a possible interview.
  • Being prepared on the planned day of the interview.

The profession I’m in (hiring in an HR department) requires being attentive to both verbal and non-verbal language. When evaluating a candidate in interviews, the content is as important as the way they express themselves.

Candidates often ask themselves: what will the interviewer be like? What will they ask me? How long will it last? Will I do it well? What will the other candidates who apply for the position be like?… Each candidate has a different personality, and that comes across in every interview. There are different profiles: the one who speaks as though it were a monologue, the one who asks many questions to get information, the one who has answers ready for the interview, the one who doesn’t even know what the company does…

The most important thing is to go into it with a clear mind and confidence, to feel calm and prepared, and to believe that this position is for you. This will give off a great sense of well-being within yourself.

How to have a good interview

Next, we’ll offer some guidelines to consider when it comes to the interview itself:

  • Rest for the necessary amount of time the day before. A rested mind works three times better than a tired one.
  • Eat healthily. What we eat influences a large part of our day to day life; that is why it’s so important to eat a healthy diet so that our mind and body work better.
  • Get exercise. Exercising stimulates the brain and ensures your well-being.
  • Avoid doing any activities that have negative effects. Don’t get into arguments in the hours before the interview, and if you have to travel, leave in time so that you don’t get nervous.
  • Be yourself. “A liar is caught faster than a lame man.” Try to be the best version of yourself and convey confidence; after all, if you feel at ease, you’ll make others feel it, too.
  • Think about your strengths and weaknesses. Taking a few minutes to reflect on what you’re like and what you want is great since that can bring you awareness of what you can contribute to a company, both professionally and personally.

How to shine in a job interview

If you follow these guidelines, you will get better results in interviews.

Attending to your emotions in interviews

Another factor that we must attend to is our psychological well-being, listening to our thoughts and emotions.

We spend so much time working, studying, sharing moments with family, friends, our partners… But on many occasions, we don’t attend to our own emotions. Emotions are a set of human reactions that allows the individual to adapt to different situations. They may be positive or negative, depending on the specific experience you’re going through.

When you first walk into work, do you ever stop and think about how you’re doing? What are your motivations? What do you aspire to in life? It is as important to listen to yourself as it is to be heard. Most of us aren’t aware of how useful it is to talk about what is not working in our lives, about what we’d like to change, whether personally or professionally. Actually, the most important thing of all is to think : how would you do it, what the steps would be to carry that out, and how much time you would be willing to dedicate to it .

How to shine in a job interview

A few months ago, I came to a conclusion about the phrase, “time heals all wounds.” I doubt that time can repair something irreversible, since we’re all human and have memory. Healing will never be enough for regret, nor will any period of time give you back something you lost. We don’t know what we’ll do tomorrow because we don’t know how something as complex as time is going to act; we don’t know who we’re going to meet along the way, nor do we ever plan to take a completely different turn in our lives.

The best option is to know how to manage time with what you like the most, what fills you up, and what you struggle with. Seeing that there is something beyond your mind – time is money, but if you share it with people that are worth it, that is priceless.

After reading this article, I hope you see the importance of spending time on mental health. A healthy mind successfully achieves goals and will achieve whatever it sets out to do.

An interview is a “formal meeting”, in which a person is being evaluated by an interviewer. A job interview is also a “formal meeting” in which you will be asked different types of questions that you are responsible to answer in a correct and formal manner.

These are some ways on how to shine in a job interview:

  • The secret behind the job interview simply depends on how you will answer properly on the interviewer’s question and on how you will express your self.
  • Try to research and find anything that will help you know more about the companies you’re applying for, before being interviewed try to find articles and other special information that will greatly help you on your interview day.
  • Try to be calm and show what you learn in school by being civilized and answering most of the questions properly.
  • Try to read on what the company is working with, what the company specializes in, and what the company needs in hiring new employees.
  • Show that solving problems and working well under pressure for you is no sweat. Both skills are mostly required in every field of work that you will be facing in your job. Be confident and calm enough to answer the questions that will be thrown to you during the job interview. Nervousness is common in this manner, but overall mannerisms such as nail-biting will show on how stress greatly affects your mind and body. Confidence is one factor that must be maintained during the time that you really need it.
  • Just focus on the question, focus on the interviewer and focus on how you will balance all your emotions and whatsoever that may cause mental breakdown on your part.
  • Before and after entering/leaving the interview hall being polite is a must. Review all the strengths and weaknesses in the letter and point out different qualifications that you think you are strong with. Tackle on specific conversations/discussions that you had with the interviewer to help him/her remember how professional, polished and enthusiastic candidate you are. End the conversation by letting the interviewer know of your sincerity through your interest in the position and your confidence in doing it well.

Keeping in line with most of these suggestions helps you boost your morale. You can greatly impress the interviewer and maybe the company itself. Always remember that “Big things came from, small things” and that will be the greatest challenge you may ever excel and advance in your job for the future.

Saundra Loffredo offers a four-step process to help you answer those challenging interview questions that require you to draw on previous experiences.

How to shine in a job interview

Job interviews are filled with all types of questions. The easiest are usually closed-ended ones that require you to answer a specific question directly. An example of a closed-ended question is, “Are you willing to relocate?” Your answer to this question would be brief and direct.

Open-ended questions require you to answer using an explanation. Such questions are more difficult and require some preparation on your part. Questions like, “Why do you want to work for our organization?” or “What are your long-term career goals?” need a more detailed answer than standard closed-ended questions.

Behavioral interview questions are typically the most challenging. These questions have become a favorite of interviewers because it is believed that your past behavior is a predictor of your future behavior. Behavioral questions require you to draw a response from your experiences. The questions will be phrased like, “Tell me about a time …” or “Give me an example of how …”

Responses such as “If I were in that situation” or “I would do this if” are not acceptable. You must respond with a specific event or situation that you have experienced. If you haven’t had the particular experience that the interviewer is asking about, then be honest and tell him or her that.

A few of the more common behavioral interview questions that you might be asked to answer during an interview include:

  • Describe a situation where you showed initiative and the result of that initiative.
  • Tell me about a time when you were part of a team and there was conflict among the team members. What role did you play and why?
  • Describe a time when you were under a lot of pressure and how you handled that situation.
  • Explain when you encountered one of your biggest challenges and what you did to overcome that challenge.
  • Tell me about a time when you did not agree with feedback you were given and how you handled that situation.

While behavioral interview questions are usually the most difficult to answer, they are also your best opportunity to shine. Weave your response into a story by using the STAR method, a four-step process to answer those challenging behavioral interview questions:

  • Situation — Describe the situation, project or event that you were involved in.
  • Task — Explain what you needed to do to analyze, adjust and/or rework the situation.
  • Actions — Describe the actions you took to make the changes.
  • Result — Explain the specific results of your actions.

Here is an example of the STAR method in action.

Charlie was interviewing for his dream job at a great organization when his interviewer said, “Tell me about a time when a project you were working on did not meet its goals or was delivered late.” The U R Involved project immediately came to Charlie’s mind. He began to describe the U R Involved project as his big idea when he was president of Supergreat University’s Graduate Student Association. The association was having difficulty recruiting committee members and future leaders. Charlie felt that was because graduate students who only went to the campus for classes, and often lived off it, felt detached from campus life. His theory was that graduate students needed to see that they were already involved in campus life just by being students. He believe that if they understood this concept, he could get some of them directly involved in the Graduate Student Association and begin to build a bench of future leaders.

Charlie described how he developed and implemented the U R Involved project. He personally created a social media blitz by posting news and information about the association. He did this actively for about two months and had nothing to show for his efforts. No one had responded to any of his posts; no one had personally approached him or even emailed him about the association. His efforts had failed.

After some thought and seeking more input, Charlie decided his approach had been too impersonal. Some of his friends suggested trying a friend-get-a-friend campaign next. Charlie asked each member of the association to identify and talk with five to 10 people whom they could invite to get involved in campus leadership. Each person spent time finding and holding conversations among friends, fellow class members and lab mates about the student association. After two weeks, seven new people joined an association committee, and two individuals asked Charlie how to become an officer of the group.

In the job interview, Charlie summarized his response by saying he learned from his experience that he needed to take input from others and delegate responsibilities to get the job done effectively. Using the STAR method, he described the following:

  • Situation — The lack of committee membership and future leaders for the Graduate Student Association.
  • Task — He had to identify how to recruit new members and build a leadership bench.
  • Action — How he personally implemented the entire U R Involved campaign.
  • Result — When the U R Involved campaign failed, he switched gears and asked for help from officers to recruit others; that personal contact approach produced seven new committee members and two potential officers.

Here’s how you can make STAR stories work for you during interviews. Start by collecting a list of 15 common behavioral interview questions. Begin brainstorming how you could answer those questions. Think about challenging situations, tough projects, tight deadlines, difficult personalities and intense team activities. Consider things that happened at work, in graduate school, in the lab or when volunteering. Your experience in each of those arenas can be used to create your interview answers.

Choose the situation that fits the behavioral question and outline your response with the STAR method. As you practice responding to those questions, you can fill in the details around the bullet points to create a strong response for your interview. You may need to practice your STAR stories several times in order to have a clear and fluid delivery.

Don’t avoid preparing for questions that bring up uncomfortable situations where you missed a desired outcome, made a mistake or misjudged an event. Such situations have happened to all of us, so be honest. Use your responses to explain what you learned from your actions and the situation. Explaining how you have grown from a negative situation — such as developing a stronger attention to detail or improved negotiation skills — are important concepts to express in your interview.

Behavioral interview questions can be a great way to sell your skills and experience. Develop STAR stories directly from your life experiences. Then use those stories to answer interview questions, sell yourself as a candidate for that job and shine in future interviews.

The interview is the most important milestone for a job seeker/job provider in the hiring process.

Interviews can be stressful for anyone if you do not follow the right process. With our teams of professionals who have interviewed more than 1000 professionals, JobAxle has prepared the following guide to shine at an interview:

1.Before the Interview

  • Research about the Company

Before going to a job interview, make sure to do some research on the company via their website and other sources on the Internet. This helps you to understand the vision of the company, their plans, and their clients. This will turn out to be very helpful during the interview .You can use this knowledge to answer the questions about the company. You will also learn about the company culture that will eventually help you to compose yourself during the interview.

  • Analyze the Job Description

While preparing for the interview, take your time to analyze the job description and evaluate your skills and qualities that match the job description. This will help you realize the expectations of the company.

  • Prepare yourself for the commonly asked questions

Make a list of frequently asked interview questions and start practicing the answers before going to the interview. This will help to maintain a good flow during the interview. Your preparedness will please the interviewer and help you secure the job.

  • Groom yourself

In any job interview, the first thing the interviewee notices is how you look. Therefore, make sure to look tidy and cleaned up for the interview. On the night before the interview, plan an appropriate outfit for the interview, so you don’t have to worry about it right before the interview.

  • Prepare the documents that you need for the interview

Depending on the job, there may be various things that you might need to carry while going to the interview. You might need the copies of your Portfolios and Resume before going to the job interview. Prepare all the documents one day before the interview, and offer the documents to the interviewer to read.

2. During the Interview

  • Greet your Interviewer

During the job interviews, your personal attributes are more noticeable than your technical capabilities. It is very important to greet the company staffs and your interviewer.

To make a good impression on the reach on time, shake hands firmly, answer with a pleasant smile, and make occasional eye contact.

  • Be Calm and Confident

Most individuals tend to hassle during job interviews. You should be calm and answer confidently during the interview. This will help you to make a positive impression on the interviewer. Before answering a question, take a few seconds to analyze the question. It is always better to answer late than to answer wrong.

  • Listen to the interviewer carefully and ask questions

When the interviewer is talking to you, you should listen to them carefully and ask questions when necessary. It is very important for the interviewer to know that you are interested in the job. Therefore, pay attention to everything the interviewer says and act accordingly.

  • Ask the interviewer when you will hear back

Before leaving after the interview, you should ask the interviewer when you can expect to hear back from them.

3.After the Interview

  • Send a follow-up email

After the interview, if you do not hear from the company at the expected time, you can write them a follow-up email to check on the status of the hiring process.

If you get rejected after the interview, you can send an email to ask what are the attributes and skills that you should work on. This will help you to perform better in your next interview.

As one of the most prominent job site in Nepal, JobAxle strives to provide the best services in the field of recruitment solutions and career building. You can find the most recent IT jobs in Nepal along with the jobs in every field at our website.

How to shine in a job interview

If you mastered my ‘Nailing Your Phone Interview” tips, you will, of course, now be preparing for your face-to-face interview. So you will be glad to know that I have some killer tips for that too!

Often, it’s the subtle nuances and attention to detail will make the choice clear for a hiring manager. So you should leave nothing to chance and prepare for this important meeting.

These tips are meant to help you secure one of two things: an invitation to the next round of interviews OR a job offer. Communication is key here and, unlike in a phone interview, you communicate in several ways including verbal communication and body language, as well as your eyes and your facial expressions.

This is a lot to keep in mind during a nerve-inducing interview. However, if you keep these tips in mind and practice with a spouse, friend, family pet or just in the mirror, you will have more confidence and a better shot at landing the job.

Tip #1: Prepare questions
Take 20 minutes to review the company’s web site and prepare 2-3 questions. These questions should both show that you’ve taken the time to prepare for the interview, and should absolutely not focus on salary or benefits. Should an opportunity come up to utilize these questions, start with “When I reviewed your web site…”.

Tip#2: Bring your resume
As a part of your preparation, print your resume on resume letterhead and bring enough copies for each person you are meeting with plus one. Be sure to bring a portfolio to carry these resumes and a pad of paper and pen to take notes.

Tip #3 : Wear a suit
…and, Guys, wear a tie. Don’t over think this one – you can’t over-dress for an interview.

…positive experiences, ways you have contributed to organizations, successes, career goals, etc. Be prepared with examples of each of these that you can weave into the conversation.

…negative experiences, things you hated about your previous boss, how much money you want, how important vacation time is, how much you hate companies that are open the week of Christmas, etc.

Tip #6: Smile. A lot
People should enjoy speaking with you – whether it’s someone you say “good morning” to in the parking lot or the receptionist when he asks you to sign the log book.

Tip #7: Observe lobby etiquette
If you are going to sit in the lobby, do not bury your head in a magazine. Stay alert and be prepared to immediately stand and shake the hand of the person who comes to get you. A firm handshake and warm smile goes a looooooong way.

Tip#8: Be likable
Amazingly, the hiring manager automatically puts most candidates are in one of two pools when they arrive for an interview. There are the “I don’t know if this person has what we need” people and the “I hope they don’t screw this up because I want to hire them” people. Unfortunately, you have little way of knowing which group your interviewer represents, so it is important that they both like your personality as well as your background. Liking the person generally supersedes experience (when experience is within the parameters) and most hiring managers will hire the person they like and forsee enjoying working alongside.

Tip #9: Watch your body language
While interviewing, sit up straight, lean slightly forward, take notes, smile where appropriate and make lots of eye contact with everyone in the room.

Tip #10: Keep it professional
Do not discuss your personal life. If you find the interviewer’s favorite baseball team is your favorite baseball team, great! Make a personal connection and talk about the team. But do not talk about the party you went to last weekend and how much you drank; your personal life should not be a part of the interview at all.

Tip #11: Be excited about the job!
Even if you are unsure, even if you “know” you do not want the job, stay positive and excited. You may change your mind. If you intimate in the slightest way that you are unsure, the company will decide against moving forward.

Tip #12: Ask relevant questions in the conversation

Often times, interviewees ask things that would be “nice to know”, but have no bearing on whether or not they would take the job. Spend your time focused on the areas that matter to you or, if you know you want the job, focus on questions that allow the interviewer to talk about how great their company is.

Tip #13: Be confident
You have every reason to be! Remember, they are interviewing you for a reason: you have the skills they need. Be confident in your skills and share examples with your interviewer on how you made your most recent firm better by being a part of the team. Do not be arrogant. Remember, personality will outweigh experience most of the time.

Tip #14: Take the bull by the horns

By asking this question to anyone who interviews you: “Do you have any concerns about my ability to succeed in this position?”

9 out of 10 times a direct question yields a direct response. The interviewer will either say “no” (great!) or they will say “yes” and tell you their concern. If their concern is accurate, acknowledge that it is accurate, but share experiences you have that would mitigate the concern and what you would do to address their concern if given the opportunity (examples include self studying, taking classes, staying late, research, etc). Either way, it is better to know what you are up against rather than hanging up and not knowing. IMPORTANT: If you know what their concern is, then work to address it before the interview and show that you are proactive (i.e. “I took the liberty of reviewing the most recent GLP standards as it pertains to your company in an effort to demonstrate my commitment to this job.”).

Tip #15: Ask for the job
If you are interested in the position, do not leave the interviewer in any doubt that you are.

In my experience, following these tips will give you an opportunity to viably compete for any position. What tips would you give from your own experiences?

First impressions are never more important than when you are attending a job interview; perception plays a vital role when attempting to make a powerful impact and impress your future boss.

Taking time to put some thought and effort into your image will benefit you throughout your career. Here are some things to avoid when preparing for an important meeting.

How to shine in a job interview

Your perfume should not arrive before you do. The lingering scent of any fragrance is not an excellent first or last impression. It comes across as if you have something to mask and can cause headaches to those around you. One client said an interviewee wore so much fragrance; she was nauseous by the end of the interview. The otherwise perfect candidate lost the job because of a simple, avoidable choice.

Leading etiquette expert and modern manners authority Diane Gottsman shares six tips on how to shine at your next job interview.

Inappropriate Clothing

You may love the way your form-fitting sweater hugs your great body, but too much of a good thing is not your goal. Take a good look in the mirror and ask yourself if you fit the corporate image of the company you are applying to. Dressing in layers is a safe bet. If the weather is hot, you can remove your jacket at a meeting when everyone else is rolling up their sleeves.


For the job interview or office, understated is always a better choice. If your multiple bracelets are drowning out your verbal message, you may not be the right candidate for the job. Chipped, half polished, or unkempt nails show a lack of motivation and will alert your boss; you may take care of the client in the same manner. Too much makeup is also a deterrent and appears as if you slept in it. Jewelry, makeup, and nails should be carefully thought through before you walk through the office door.

Gym Clothes

The weather may be frigid, and a great pair of leggings and boots with a chunky sweater is excellent for the weekend, but not for “casual Friday” when you may need to meet with a client. Comfort is not your first goal 1 when you choose your clothing for the day. Stay professional, even in a relaxed work environment. Change into your workout gear at the gym or after hours, before you leave the office.

Blingy Shoes

You are attending a job interview, not going dancing! You may think your high heels are fashion-forward, but if they look as if they belong on a date, rather than a staff meeting, reach for the mid-heel pump instead. Avoid satin, sequins, multiple straps, and zippers when choosing your work footwear.

Dress Up Not Down

Like it or not, one of the main ways we are perceived is by the way we choose to present ourselves to the world. The same holds true in the office. If you strive to dress your best, even when your colleagues are not giving it theirs, you will send the message of a true professional. It’s a subtle sign you take your job seriously and care about your appearance. Your boss will take note and so will your clients.

Be Informed

Do your research before your interview; a glance at the website may give you a good indication of the formality of the company. Establish a work clothes budget. When in doubt, it’s always a good idea to err on the side of conservative. After you get the job, you can review the corporate dress policy and observe how your boss and colleagues come to the office. While dress codes vary from one business to the other, some things will never become outdated: clean, well-groomed, and an adequately maintained image will guarantee you get noticed in the best possible light.

Diane Gottsman

Diane Gottsman is a national etiquette expert and modern manners professional, sought out industry leader, television personality, accomplished speaker, Huffington Post blogger, author, and the owner of The Protocol School of Texas, a company specializing in executive leadership and etiquette training. Diane is routinely quoted in national and international media including The New York Times, The BBC, CNN, Bloomberg Business Week, Kiplinger, Huffington Post Canada, U.S. News and World Report, and Forbes. She is the resident etiquette expert for two popular morning talk shows, SA Living and Good Day Austin. She has been seen on The TODAY Show, HLN Headline News, WGN Chicago, and CBS Sunday Morning. Her clients range from university students to Fortune 500 companies and her workshops cover topics ranging from tattoos in the workplace to technology at the dinner table and the proper use of social media.


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How to shine in a job interview

How to shine in a job interview

It is my sincere hope you find my blog insightful, inspiring and most of all fun. Here you’ll find timely posts with tips on everything from business etiquette to lifestyle etiquette, written from a modern manners perspective.
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How to shine in a job interview

Before preparing for an executive-level interview, it’s always a good idea to think about how it will be different from interviewing for an entry-level position. First, the questions will add another degree of difficulty because hiring managers determine your potential in the post.

Next, if you want to shine, you have to communicate your leadership skills, ability to implement change and cultural fit to the organization. Use these tips to prepare for job interviews.

Executive Interview Tip #1: Conduct Research

Some basic interviewing rules can still be applied, like dressing the part and researching the company. Competence and confidence are crucial to making a positive impression at these high-stake interviews. And the more research that you do in advance, the more confident and competent you will be.

Look at its website, press releases, and social media accounts to learn about its history, leaders, and other trends. Researching can also help you learn about the background of those people interviewing you and discover any standard connections that can help you stand out.

#2: Practice Difficult Questions

Since executive-level interview questions are more geared toward determining your ability to lead teams, preparing for some more challenging questions is essential. The odds are good that you will be asked some variation of these questions:

  • What is your leadership style?
  • How would you encourage an unmotivated team?
  • What is something that you would change about this company?
  • What is the most challenging part of being an executive?
  • What are some of your weaknesses?
  • How do you create and improve core competencies?
  • How do you conduct employee evaluations?
  • Why are you the strongest candidate for this position?

Create an engaging story and provide specific examples for each question highlighting your management style and strategic vision. This will help give the interviewer insight into your thought process, attitude and priorities.

#3: Ask Insightful Questions

Perhaps the best way to demonstrate your knowledge about an organization and interest in the job is by asking thoughtful questions. Don’t hesitate to ask why the position is available and how they measure success to confirm it’s a good match for you too. Then, inquire about the most significant issues that the organization is currently facing.

The key takeaway is that the hiring process will be more intense for highly compensated roles like these. Executive interview tips we listed here can aid you in overcoming potential challenges so you can show you are the most confident, competent candidate on the market.

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How to shine in a job interview

We caught up with Rachel Doueck, the Director of Sales: Spirits, Wine & Beer Division at ForceBrands, a leading recruiting firm for consumer brands, to learn some best practices for making a great impression during the interview process.

1. Research the brand

There is nothing worse than walking into an interview with no knowledge about the company. Do your homework beforehand so you can confidently talk about the company and its portfolio. Nobody is expecting you to be an expert before you’re hired, but if you’ve never tried their products, try them out to form your opinion.

The wine and spirits industry is rapidly growing, so researching recent press coverage as well as the company website is also a smart idea. This will help you ask relevant questions during the interview and will also help you determine if this is the type of company you want to work for.

2. Be prepared

This is a common, yet critical interview tip. Preparation ranges from being physically prepared (always bring extra copies of your résumé) to being mentally prepared. While having a piece of paper listing your accomplishments and skills is a great reference for your future employer, do your best to avoid reading off of it. Be able to speak to your own successes and how your accomplishments are relevant to the position you are interviewing for.

Be ready to speak about your past positions, certifications, and relevant industry experience. What skills have they taught you? Then, take it one step forward and explain how those skills can be applied to benefit the company you are interviewing at.

How to shine in a job interview

3. Know the competition

No matter what position you are interviewing for, making sure you are up-to-date on competitors. If you are interviewing for VP of Marketing, being up-to-date with some competitors’ marketing techniques will show awareness and attention to the industry.

Bringing up a few creative ideas that would differentiate the company from others in the field will not only show your passion for the industry but also help you stand out among other potential hires. While companies may want consumers to see them through rose-coloured glasses, employees should be critical thinkers who can recognize flaws and help to improve them.

4. Stay confident

If you thought the interview went great and you really want the job, write a thank you note. And even if you thought the interview went poorly but you really want the job, still write a thank you note. Just because you think you could have done better it doesn’t mean it’s game over.

Reiterating why you think you’d be a good fit for the company and thanking the interviewer for their time goes a long way. And even if this job doesn’t work out, the wine and spirits industry is a huge web of companies and positions. Who knows, maybe the connection you made will help match you with your future dream job.

Interested in working in wine and spirits? Explore BevForce.

Preparing for a job interview can be a nerve-racking experience. You want to be your best self when you make that critical first impression on your potential employer. How can you give a naturally confident, winning interview that truly allows you to shine? Recruiters with The Stepping Stones Group offer the following five tips to help you prepare for an interview.

Do your homework.

Gain as much knowledge as you can about your prospective school or company, as well as your interviewers. Start with the organization’s website—specifically, the “About Us” page. Don’t stop there—expand your research to include Google and other sources.

  • Find relevant press releases.
  • Visit the organization’s social media pages.
  • Talk with current or former employees.
  • Get the specifics on company or school goals, initiatives, developments, and services.

This practice can help you get a feel for the culture of the organization and its leaders, and to see if there are any details that you can use in your interview to show how well you know the company or school. Doing this shows that you are proactive, with an eye for detail. It also demonstrates that you are not only excited about the position but also organized and well prepared.

Maximize your online image.

A professional online image is more important today than ever before. Prospective employers will search for you online and take a hard look at what they see.

Clean up your social media presence. Delete—or ask others to delete—anything that may be questionable or inappropriate. Focus on posting interesting, relevant, helpful content instead.

Be consistent with your content. Whether it’s on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or your blog, be sure you provide information and images that align with your desired message or professional brand.

Practice ahead of time.

Anticipate the questions you may be asked, and practice. Your responses should not sound rehearsed—be enthusiastic, natural, and concise.

Here are a few common sample questions:

  • “What is your greatest weakness? What have you done in past situations to overcome it and be successful?”
  • “Why are you leaving (or why did you leave) your current/former position?”
  • “Why should we hire you?”
  • “Where do you see yourself in 5 years?”

Many employers are also using behavioral interview questions, and using the STAR method can help you tackle these questions with ease. Find a trusted friend, and practice your answers in advance of your interview. This will help you put your pre-interview jitters to rest.

Present a professional image.

A job interview is not only about how you answer questions. It also gives an employer a chance to see how you present yourself and get a sense of how you would fit into their organization.

Be punctual. If an emergency comes up, tell your interviewer immediately. This will help show that you are a responsive, strong communicator.

Dress for success. Choose an appropriate outfit that is a notch above what you would wear on the job. Take stock of your appearance and the message it sends. Does your outfit exude confidence, experience, and professionalism—or comfort and casualness? Make sure that you look and sound the part. You want to show that you realize, and fully appreciate, the importance of the interview.

Have a compelling story to tell.

When selling yourself to interviewers, tell a story that holds their interest and demonstrates your unique qualifications for the position.

Describe specific examples of your successes and achievements. These stories enable you to stand out. Use numbers, percentages, and other quantifiable facts to strengthen your case.

Good luck—you’ve got this!

Original post: “How to Shine During Your Next Interview,” posted February 25, 2016, on Cobb Pediatric Therapy Services Blog.