No More Bad Interviews: The Job Interview Tips You Need to Impress

job interview tips

You never know what you’re going to face once you send in that resume, so get ready to be adaptable! Everything from video interviews to bizarre questions may be coming your way.

One of the big reasons I've always found interviews stressful is that there is no standard interview process. Some companies conduct a phone interview first, while others will bring you in to meet with multiple people. Still another may want a video interview. And that doesn’t take into account the mystery of what the hiring manager will be like. Friendly? Tough? Who knows.

If you're out there interviewing, this latest Heard in the Lunchroom has job interview tips that can help you survive different situations.

Let’s Skype

Nice! You don’t even have to drive in to this interview; you get to interview from the comfort of home. Don't get too excited, though. A Skype interview still requires careful preparation, so you come across well on camera. Check out our short video for advice on handling video interviews:



Some interviews aren’t at all what you were expecting. Here are a couple of challenging scenarios and job interview tips if faced with them:

You’re asked an odd question: Don’t be alarmed if the hiring manager asks you a question that seems to test your IQ instead of your job knowledge. These questions are intentional and help reveal a candidate’s ability to think and solve problems creatively. If an interviewer poses an unconventional question, don’t respond, "I don’t know." Take a moment to think about what’s being asked. Request more information to soundly formulate your response, and answer the question as honestly and thoroughly as you can.

Interview tipsYou feel a pessimistic vibe from the interviewer: Sometimes it appears that the hiring manager has sized you up the moment you met and you feel as if your interview is taking a turn for the worst with every question. Stay calm as you offer a response and, when applicable, make sure to include examples of your accomplishments and success. Additionally, ask relevant questions to assure the interviewer that you are engaged and interested in the position.

To learn how to handle other difficult interviews, be sure to read our post How to Handle Challenging Interview Situations.

Ring, ring!

It’s phone interview time! Before you sit around in your sweat pants and wait for that scheduled call, here’s what you need to know:

1. Prepare, prepare, prepare

Phone interviewIf you know how to research for an in-person interview, you know how to research for a phone interview. Make sure you’re up to speed on the company, job description and your interviewer ahead of time. Prepare as though this is your one and only chance to convince them to hire you. One benefit of talking on the phone is that the interviewer can’t see you, so you can easily place your research notes, resume and list of phone interview tips right in front of you for easy reference.

2. Know your answers cold

The call may start with (or consist entirely of) typical interview questions. These questions, although basic, will hold great importance if this is the only time you get to talk to the company before a decision is made. The difference between knowing exactly what you want to say and fumbling for the right words could be the difference between getting an in-person interview or not.

For more critical phone interview tips, check out Good Call! The 5 Most Important Phone Interview Tips to Follow.