Preparing for a Job Interview: 10 Useful Tips

Preparing for a Job Interview: 10 Useful Tips
Written by Oana Schneider

According to, people working in the private system are 3 times most likely to get fired this summer. Since most of our audience is coming from the private sector, this article could come in handy.

In case you didn’t know, there are a few ways to ensure that your interview will be a huge hit with the company you’ve been pursuing for so long. Also, let’s take a few things into consideration: your work experience, your communication skills and your wardrobe. Read this article and find out how and what to talk about, which clothes to put on and when to ask a good question.

1. Dress to impress

You probably heard this a million times by now, but clothes really say a lot about you. When it comes to job interviews, be sure that people will over-analyze them, so give them no reason to frown. Here are the rules: no polka dots, prints, crazy colors (yellow, orange, fuchsia, turquoise), avoid blue (although many people go for this color thinking it’s professional, blue makes you look like a person who’s insecure, cold and tends to lie a lot, according to scientists).

What to wear, in this case? Ladies: a white shirt/blouse, a loose cardigan (grey/ black/ beige), a skit that’s not above the knee or too tight in a light color (white, beige, grey), professional shoes (not high heels, but also not nurse shoes either!), your hair in a low bun and as little makeup as you can. Also, you may want to leave your jewelry at home and only put on your watch.

Gentlemen: a one piece suit that’s grey, preferably, a black tie and a white shirt. Fix your hair, but don’t use too much hair product, shave, use a tiny bit of cologne and trim your nails. For both men and women: use deodorant, make sure your breath smells fresh and always walk up straight.

2. Watch your tone

Scientists discovered that the tone of our voice is probably more important than what we are saying, so your voice should be soothing, relaxed, and confident. Don’t speak too fast or too slow, try to avoid urban expressions like “making some dough”, “playing with the big guys”, “you know what I mean”.

Don’t raise your voice no matter what question you are asked, always keep your cool and have a handkerchief on you, if you know you sweat a lot during interviews. Apologies for sweating and admit being nervous (“I’m nervous because I really want this job and wouldn’t like to miss such an opportunity”- people like honesty and flattery).

3. Be positive

Even if you’ve been waiting for an hour to speak to your interviewer, pretend like that was nothing (“It actually gave me a chance to put my thoughts in order and have a look around your wonderful establishment!”), be fresh, quick on your feet and assertive. When asked a question, don’t be allusive and tell the truth.

Admit being wrong about things, don’t blame your former employee (“It just wasn’t meant to be. That was a great company, just maybe not for me”) for not having a job now, don’t show resent towards your former co-workers and try to be politically-correct. Don’t oversell yourself, don’t sound like a car salesman (unless you’re applying for that exact job!) and do make eye contact. There’s no reason to hide your eyes from your interviewer- if you do, it will look like you’re hiding something.

4. Ask questions

Of course, you have to ask more about the company, how many employees has, what’s their internal policy, what the company expects from its employees, ask about any potential benefit, if the company is thinking of expanding its activity and so on. You may also want to ask about the working conditions, free days, sick days, dental and medical insurance and the list goes on.

I noticed that a lot of people like to ask “What could get me fired?” which is a terrible idea. First of all, it lets the interviewer think you’re not serious about your work and that you just want to avoid getting fired. Secondly, it may sound like your work ethics are not the best and that you only care about getting paid.

5. Be sincere

The interviewer will also ask personal questions like: “Are you married?”, “Do you have any kids?”, “How do you spend your free time?” Be sincere and answer all the questions: don’t hide your children from your potential employer even if that could make you less desirable, be proud of who you are, of your family and try to get everything straight right away: “I have this many kids and I love them, but I also love working and need a job just like they need to go to school”.

If you are a man, talk about your relationship status without giving too much information. If you are about to get married, keep that to yourself. Don’t let the interviewer think that they also have to cover your new spouse’s insurance. When you already have kids, they can’t really do much about it but accept the fact.

6. Engage with your interviewer

Yes, the interviewers are human beings too: they like to go on vacations, try new food, take selfies and look at kitty videos on YouTube.  When asked about you traveling destinations, go with “I’ve been to (insert location here). Ever been there?”. The interviewer needs to feel at ease with you, making sure you engage in conversations. Also, if you only talk about yourself, what’s that going to look like? Don’t be too egocentric and everything should go well!

7. It’s all about the handshake

The perfect handshake is: two shakes and release. Not too squeezed, not too loose. No sweaty palms, no weird nails, no invading the interviewer’s personal space and no looking down when talking.

8. Be confident

Don’t be too humble, take credit for your merits, bring out your best features (hard working person, dynamic, creative, people-skilled, great co-worker, fun to be around) and it’s important to let your interviewer know that you’d love to learn from other people and also share your knowledge with the rest of your potential department.

9. Admit you don’t know everything

You’ll probably be asked if you can use this or that program. If the answer is no, then don’t lie about it. But try to tell what you can use instead, come up with a different method and way of doing things and try to lie as little as possible. Admit that it takes a lot to be a great employee and that you have all it takes.

10. Smile every now and them

Sure, your number one priority is to look professional, but that doesn’t mean you have to be so serious all the time. Smile every now and then, make little jokes (harmless!), be open, and make the other person want to know you better as an individual and as a co-worker. Many times the person interviewing you is a potential co-worker, boss, manager and so on. You have to make them want to work with you above everybody else.

Also, here are a few rules for you: be there on time, don’t frown, don’t look down, be polite to everybody, stand up straight and don’t hide your hands under the desk- place them on it and use them in conversation, but not too much though.

Keep this in mind next time you go to an interview and you’ll definitely get the job! Good luck, everyone!

About the author

Oana Schneider

Oana Schneider is a published author located in Chicago, Illinois, who currently works for as a communication specialist and blog editor. She writes about lifestyle, family budget, has a degree in Communications and advocates for women’s rights. Her future plans include getting a Labrador and losing a few pounds.


  • These are some really handy tips. I often go in slightly unprepared and nervous, so having a guideline for certain questions is wonderful. There was actually a report on our news last night about body language in job interviews, which was quite interesting and pinpointed a lot of gesture mistakes people make during interviews. With all this knowledge I sure do hope to ace my next interview!

  • I am a student but after reading this post I can’t wait for my first interview so I can use all these tips!

  • This is a great article. I would just like to caution interviewers that to much confidence can hurt your job chances. Show that you are not over confident by asking questions. I like to google search the company before I arrive at an interview.

    • Absolutely! I can relate to that because too much confidence can bring you down, and over expectation can also bring you down emotionally in despair. It’s very good to be cautious.

  • WoW, These tips helped me yesterday when i went to my interview. It is really needed and you should not miss these 10 helpful and easy steps to your next interview.

  • Thank you so much, this is really helpful and indeed it is something that I’ve thought about before. I’ve failed quite a few job interviews, but it’s alright, that’s how you learn.

  • Reading this article gave me confidence and pride to know that I practiced every tip on here on my recent interview for an upscale restaurant cook job that I applied for and got. I went in with some prior experience but haven’t work there for years. The manager is friendly and I just came back off the same way and presented my sincere self to go along with it . It’s amazing what you can do when you think pessimistically but have every optimistic intention.

  • Awesome and helpful tips! What I like most about the tips mentioned in this article is that fact that we have to be honest and sincere. Nothing good will ever come with lies and dishonesty so it is wise to always tell the truth, even if it means not being super perfect in everything you do. And it’s true; we’re not perfect. I think employers know this too and would be happy to have someone know that they can’t deliver perfectly and 100% all the time. There’s always room for improvement and room to grow. I’ll most definitely remember these tips in my future job interviews!

  • If you have a job interview, it is always absolutely essential that you are as prepared as you possibly can be, as this makes them think that you have done your research about the company, and therefore makes it look as though you are keen to take the job that they have on offer. Although it might not feel like it, even knowing small pieces of information can make a huge difference, so it is more than worth taking the time to think about what you’re going to talk about in your interview.

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