7 Interview Tips that Will Help You Make a Strong Impression

Surviving panel interviews | Energy Resourcing

After spending weeks applying for jobs and anxiously waiting to hear back from companies, you finally get a call: one of these companies wants to meet you for an interview! However, your work isn’t over yet. There are a lot of things you need to do before your interview, and you want to make the best impression you can. With that, here are some helpful tips to help you prepare for your next interview.

Research

Research on a company is incredibly important when you have an interview with them! Look more into the company you plan on speaking with as well as your interviewers if you know who they are in advance. It is crucial to understand some of the key components behind the company as this will show how knowledgeable about the company and your interest in them. Moreover, companies love to ask what you know about the company to see if you did your research. Great places to find some information is the corporate website as well as social media to see their culture and values.

Learn the Job Description

It is always a good idea to read over the description for the job or internship that you are interviewing for. Printing out the job description and highlighting key points that you can talk about is good preparation for your interview as you will be able to shape your responses towards the position directly. Additionally, you can point out skills that you have that heavily align with the position or explain how your set of skills can aid you in performing highly in that position.

STAR Method & Practice

One of the best ways to answer interview questions is by using the STAR method! STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action, and Result. This method of answering questions allows for you to paint a story in the interviewers minds as to however you approached what they asked. Sometimes, the interviewer will ask you a question where you may not be able to apply this method. However, most of the time, expect situation-based questions from your interviewers!

You will need to be ready to bring up times where you acted in such situations. It is key for you to bring in examples from your classes, work experience, volunteer experience, or extracurricular activities to best address the questions at hand. Being able to answer these questions with your examples will show your interviewers that you have the skills to handle similar situations in the future if it were to happen during the job if they decide to hire you.

Additionally, it is important to practice! Ask a friend or your counselor if they could run through a mock interview with you so that you can better prepare yourself to answer the interviewer’s questions. Being able to get your responses secured will allow for you to speak confidently and concisely.

Prepare Good Questions

Always come to an interview with a few questions in your back pocket to ask. Asking questions can show your interviewer that you are intrigued and interested in the interview and seeking to learn more about not only the position, but the company as well. This shows the interviewers that you are thinking seriously about the opportunity they could give you and that you are seriously considering them as your next potential employer.

Respect

It is important to treat everyone that you come across with respect. The reason behind this is that you do not really know what could happen as a result of it. Being rude and disrespectful to others is not only wrong, but could lead to some unforeseen consequences. Being respectful you come across will lead you strong into your interview and it can be seen in your tone. Also, you never know who your potential employer could ask for feedback from. It could be from the person at the check in desk or even the security guard.

Honesty

You might decide to exaggerate on your responses to impress your interviewers. However, they value your honesty much more when you respond to their questions. By answering questions truthfully, your interviewers will be much more engaged throughout the interview and can focus on how your background and credentials make you both unique and a great fit for the position you are interviewing for.

Body Language

Good body language is key for making a strong impression at your next interview. From walking into the building confidently, greeting the person at the check in desk, and sitting/standing with your shoulders back and tall will give you that boost of confidence you need. Do not forget to breathe! An interview can be a stressful and nerve racking time, but you will get through it!

Practice a few breathing exercises before arriving at your interview and while you stay in the waiting room to calm your nerves a bit. This will help with any anxiety and stress that you have been building up before your interview. When starting your interview, it is important to stay positive with a smile on your face to brighten the mood and show your excitement about this potential opportunity. A good and firm handshake is critical as you do not want to crush their hand or have a weak handshake either.

If you are nervous and get clammy hands, remember to wipe your hand on the side of your pant leg before meeting with them to prevent an awkward experience from happening. Always maintain eye contact with your interviewer as much as possible to show your attentiveness. Overall, this should help your interviewer be able to better understand you as a person and enjoy the interview a bit more. Doing all of this should lay your interview in an easy going environment that will also be a valuable experience for you in the future.


Interviews can be a nerve-wracking experience, especially if it’s your first time going through one. However, by practicing these tips consistently, you’ll be making a very strong impression on your interviewers when the day finally comes. Even if the interview doesn’t go as you want it to, those people will definitely keep you in mind. Whatever happens, don’t give up – keep practicing and pushing forward, and you’ll get the job you’ve been searching for.

Published by Gerardo Lucena

Gerardo Lucena is a Junior at the University of Michigan pursuing a Bachelors of Science in Engineering (BSE) degree in Mechanical Engineering with a minor in Computer Science. He has programming experience in C++, and he has worked with Michigan Hyperloop and MRover during his first two years at the University.

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