Make no mistake — your interview is a performance. You will be judged on more than your accomplishments. If a piece of paper could land you the job, there would be no need for the interview (or multiple interviews).

Do not overlook the subtleties of presentation and communication that will improve your chances of landing your dream job. No matter how good you may be in your core competency, practice makes perfect in the interview room. Here is a guide on how to optimize your preparation time.

study common interview questions

  • Most interviewers will ask common interview questions during the “feeling out” part of the process.
  • Practice answering these questions in a way that will draw attention to your strengths and how they relate to the company.
  • Your goal should be to make the conversation as personable as possible. Your interviewer is guiding the general conversation, but you are the one who must focus it.
  • You will know you have been successful here if your interviewer moves "off the beaten path" and is inspired to ask questions about your experience and personality more specifically.

practice body language

  • Appear comfortable, confident, assertive without being insubordinate, and genuine while remaining professional.
  • Your interviewer is testing for these qualities from the second you sit down. If you can showcase them in the interview, then you will likely showcase them while working.
  • Practice with a friend for best results. Pay attention to how your friend responds to you during a conversation. If that person leans in, you likely have his or her attention. Longer eye contact means you are being taken seriously. Foot tapping or a lazy posture signals disinterest. Learn these signs so you can adjust your behavior in real time.

practice with another interview

  • Take interviews for positions you may not want in order to practice in a real setting.
  • Take notes immediately after every interview while your memory is fresh about what went well and what you need to improve, and practice some more.
  • Take the responsibility to improve your own performance with each interview, and you should see fast results — and more job offers.

Next step: phone or video interviews