ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How to be successful in a job interview

Updated on September 6, 2011

Job interview preparation

Of course every one of us wants to know how to be successful in a job interview. During my career I have had occasion to interview scores of applicants. While many candidates do come well prepared for an interview, it never ceases to surprise me to see a whole lot of candidates who seem totally unprepared. It is extremely important to be well prepared for any interview, at the least it shows your basic interest in the job, and indeed this is half the battle done; remember the interviewer is also as much interested in getting a suitable candidate as you are interested in getting a job. But if you do not seem prepared for the interview itself, the interviewer will naturally wonder whether you will be able to sustain a decent performance on the job. Getting a few basic things right and with some simple job interview preparation, you can face job interviews with a great deal of confidence.

When should you start preparing for a job interview?

Start preparing even when you are not looking for a job.

Right through your career, even when not looking for another job; keep a detailed career file: Keep record of each of your jobs done, your specific roles, special assignments, training programs attended etc. Keep good record of any special achievements, awards or certificates won, appreciation letters from employers etc. After all a job interview is one place where you do need to blow your own trumpet albeit discretely and with finesse. How else will a prospective employer know what he is getting. Keeping good and authentic record of your achievements is often a credible way to demonstrate competence/excellence to prospective employers.

When you start looking for a job

Do a complete and honest self-assessment (ideally do this every year). List out fully your knowledge/skills and experience. Understand your values and goals (both long-term and short-term); be clear of the field you are seeking a position in and the type/level of position you seek. See if any refresher course / training will add much value to you. Also brush up if needed the fundamentals in your specific field. Prepare a list of common interview questions likely to be asked and be clear in your proposed answers to them.

Some commonly asked interview questions

Questions about your previous job such as:
- your designation
- starting and last drawn salary
- job profile and responsibilities
- whom you were reporting to
- working hours etc
- reason for resignation/looking for new job
- gaps in employment history if any
- problems faced in earlier jobs if any
Personal questions such as:
- strengths and weaknesses
- what you liked and disliked about your job
- how well can you work in a team
- how well can you handle work pressures/stress
- what motivates you
- your ambitions/career goals etc

After you get a job interview call

You have applied. You are excited to get an interview call. What now?

It is important to prepare for each job interview. Research the organization well. Gather whatever publicly available information is available about them from business magazines, newspapers, internet etc. Most interviewers will be favourably impressed if you are knowledgeable about the organization - it shows that you have taken the trouble to prepare and are meticulous and serious about your attempts. Analyze the position you are interviewing for and how you can fit in and add value. What jobs have you done, what assignments have you handled that prepares you and makes you a right fit for this position. Once the interviewer is satisfied with the basic mettle, temperament and knowledge/skills of the candidate, he needs to assess whether he will fit in the specific position.

On the interview day

Ensure you know the venue well and will not reach late. (you can make a visit the previous day if necessary so that you don't spend time searching the location. Dress in keeping with the organization's dress code. Needless to say, your attire does make a significant first impression. Usually you will not go wrong with formal attire for a job interview. Make sure you keep with you several copies of your resume. Keep with you any other materials you are expected to bring such as certificates, sample works (if appropriate), interview call letter etc. Get a good nights sleep the previous night. Be relaxed and confident.

Plan on reaching the interview location 15 - 30 minutes in advance, (even more if traffic is unpredictable). Ensure you have a contact number to reach the interviewer in case you happen to get somehow delayed. 

More tips on the job interview

1. Make a good first impression: Remember you get only one chance to make a first impression. Many times interviewers make up an impression of you in the first few minutes of seeing you walk in and converse with them. And they are often significantly guided by this first impression. Dress right, walk in with a good posture, be polite and courteous to everyone. This might appear so very basic, but you would be surprised at the number of people who don't even measure upto these. 

2. Talk positively: Candidates who appear negative about themselves, past employers or organizations, or about their work in general would not make a good impression. Avoid deriding your old organization or boss, even if there is good reason to do so. The interviewer will be left wondering if you would do the same thing to his organization in your next job interview.

3. Don't talk too much or too little: Avoid giving one or two word answers. Let your answers be clear, descriptive yet to the point and brief. Talking too little leaves the interviewer not finding about enough about you to take a hiring decision. Talking too much is not productive either.

4. The job interview is like a sales call: You have to sell your services to the organization. But like any good sales call keep the selling discreet. The best sales happens when you inform/educate the buyer and make him want to buy. So while this is the time to blow your own trumpet, don't blow too hard either. Remember this is a buyer who wants to buy. He has called you for the job interview. Give him a factual account of your accomplishments and skills with particular reference to the job you are interviewing for. 


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • wwriter profile imageAUTHOR


      7 years ago from India

      Thank you. I am glad you found it helpful

    • Sneha Sunny profile image

      Sneha Sunny 

      7 years ago from India

      this will help a lot a people appearing in some job interview.. nice useful hub.... :-)


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)