Your Complete Guide to a Successful Job Interview

Congratulations, you’ve landed a job interview. Now what?
Whether it’s your first, 15th or 100th time interviewing, it’s important to be prepared if you want to succeed. From your initial contact with the hiring manager to following up after your meeting, here’s everything you need to know to ace your next job interview.
In this article:
Prepping for the Interview
Reviewing Your Resume
Answering Interview Questions
Following Up
Prepping for the Interview
Before you arrive at the interview, you should be well-versed in everything the company does and stands for.
“Know the company you’re interviewing for. Make sure you know the company’s mission statement and values,” said Margaret Freel, corporate recruiter at TechSmith, a business and academic software company.
Freel suggests being up to date with everything the company has been up to recently, such as if it has been in the news, released new products or won any recent awards. If you have the opportunity to try the company’s product or service, do it so you have firsthand experience with what the business offers.
Candidates should also “research the company through blogs, publications, studies and speaking with industry leaders,” said Taylor Dumouchel, marketing specialist for Peak Sales Recruiting. “Use this information to demonstrate your knowledge of the company’s current market position and where they are headed in the future.”
“These are things a candidate should know and be prepared to talk about during the interview,” Freel said. “Doing your research is a signal to the interviewer that you’re not just looking for a job, but this job.”
Reviewing Your Resume
Your resume is likely the reason the hiring manager called you. Although you submitted a digital copy with your application, remember to bring a printed copy of your resume to an interview.
“Don’t assume your interviewer has seen your resume, let alone has an available copy for your interview,” said Susan, career advice expert for AceCareer. She adds that you should be prepared with at least three copies of your resume.
“Additional employees may be pulled into the interview process at the last minute,” she said. “Be prepared to hand them a copy of your resume, walk them through your career story, and tie your qualifications back to the position at hand.”
Augustine advised rereading the job description before your interview, and going through your resume to develop a narrative that explains how your previous experiences have shaped you into a great candidate for this role at this company.
“Always think about your experience in the context of this particular job and its requirements,” she said. “You don’t need to rehash every role that’s listed on your resume, but you should call attention to the parts of your experience that are most relevant for this job opportunity.”
If there are job gaps on your resume, you may be asked what happened or why there is one. The good news is that you can easily rehearse and prepare responses to questions about short stays or work gaps, said Erica Zahka, CEO and founder of Own The Boardroom, a website that rents out professional attire.
“Always be honest, concise and never point fingers at previous employers,” she said. “For short stays, make sure it is clear that the reason you left company X after such a short period of time is not a reason that applies for this role.”
“Explain the gap honestly and with confidence, and then shift the conversation back towards your future-facing goals as they relate to the position,” said Dana Leavy-Detrick, founder and chief creative scribe at Brooklyn Resume Studio. “If you’re returning to the workforce from an extended leave, talk about what inspired you to make a transition and how you plan to leverage your strengths.”