Interviewing for a job can be nerve wracking as the finish line is in sight and you know you are so close to getting the job you really want. The best way to fight those nerves is to be as prepared and comfortable as possible when going into the interview. Some tips are timeless, while others may come as a surprise to those who haven’t been job hunting in a while. But all are critical for giving you the best chance at your dream position.

Most common interview questions

While times may change, many of the most common interview questions are ones we’ve all heard before, even if it’s been awhile since your last interview. Almost any job seeker can expect to hear questions like: What are your greatest strengths? Can you tell me about yourself? What are your goals for the future? And why should we hire you? These are straightforward questions and it’s easy to have an answer prepared for when they’re inevitably asked. Getting the easy ones out of the way makes your interview preparation that much simpler, and it will show employers you come with a plan. Don’t forget to come up with some questions of your own as well. Employers want to see your curiosity and true level of interest in the position.

Beyond the questions

Coming prepared to answer a hiring manager’s interview questions is only half the battle, because it’s not just about what you answer, but how you answer. Some key factors that could make or break your interview don’t have anything to do with your actual responses. Things like body language, tone, clothing, and attitude all play a crucial role in how you come across in an interview. While you’re drilling your responses, also practice sitting up straight, listening attentively, smiling, and responding calmly. Practicing with a friend or even in front of the mirror will give you a better idea of how you’re coming across to potential employers.

Following up after an interview

The interview isn’t over when you leave their office. Hiring managers say they are much more likely to contact and hire those who follow up after an interview than those who do not. While email is always an option, consider taking the time to send a handwritten note. It will show you’re sincere about pursuing the position, and if nothing else, it will help you stand out in the mind of the hiring manager.

Below you will find additional information and resources on interviewing skills:

How to answer the most common interview questions

Interview tips that go beyond questions and answers

Top ways to practice your interviewing skills

The dos and don’ts of interview questions