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3 Underrated Tips for a Successful Interview

You know that feeling you get when you’ve landed an interview? No, I’m not talking about the excitement and euphoria; I’m talking about the anxiety that follows- When you’re wondering what to wear, and most importantly what you should expect in terms of questions.

Something they don’t tell you: For most interviews, questions are the least of your worries. The interviewer is mainly trying to read you, your personality, the way you carry yourself and how prepared you seem at the first instance.

These factors will determine whether you are a good candidate or not. That being said, here are 3 highly underrated tips to ensure a successful interview.

1. Prepare for the type of interview

Gone are the days when interviews were limited to in-person office meetings. Nowadays, you can secure a job a country away by interviewing via Zoom or WhatsApp. Nonetheless, you should always be ready for the venue and type of interview. Here are the main types of interviews and how you can get ready for each:

In Office:  This is the most traditional type of interview. The main things? You should be properly attired, early and visibly confident and prepared. For your outfit- Try to keep it formal and comfortable unless told otherwise. Lastly, easy on the eyeshadow-Avoid wearing too much make-up.

Out-of-office: For lunch or dinner interviews, try to arrive a few minutes early. You can research the type of restaurant so you can dress accordingly. You can also browse through the restaurant menu and choose your meal and/or drinks beforehand to avoid that awkward silence thing when it’s your turn to order.

Phone and video-call: Ensure that your surroundings are quiet and that you won’t be interrupted by your pets or children. If unavoidable, let it be known as soon as you are able to. Finally, double check your devices and technology (internet connection, video and audio) before the interview starts. When it comes to appearance, your hair should be neat and your face clean and within clear view at all times.

Group/panel Setting: For a group interview, the main things are to be punctual, dress appropriately and practice your answers beforehand. If you were not prepared for a group interview, don’t worry. Keep your cool and be the best version of your professional self while being social and maintaining a positive attitude throughout.

2. Prepare for the common questions


“Tell us about yourself,” said every interviewer ever. There are a handful of commonly asked questions that come up in every interview. These don’t take a lot of brainwork and you can easily maneuver them. However, because they are common, many people tend to not prepare for them but in the same breath, because they are common, the interviewer will be looking for uniqueness in each answer. This is where you need to show your true authentic self and build rapport. Here are the most common questions:

Can you tell me about yourself?
How did you hear about this job?
Why should we hire you?
What are your strengths and weaknesses?
What do you know about our company?
Where do you see yourself in five years?
What kind of environment do you prefer to work in?
How do you handle work-related disagreements with your colleagues or difficult customers?
How do you handle pressure?
Do you have any questions for me?


Bonus: The interviewer will probably ask you for a scenario of a time where you had to exhibit leadership, or a time when you had to deal with a difficult situation. So….. dig into your memory (or imagination) to prepare for this request.

3. Don’t go empty handed

This may be the most underrated advice for interview preparedness but it’s a good idea to bring something other than your swinging hands and high expectations. This shows that you are prepared and qualified. Here are a few ideas:

A printed copy of your resume with a few references
A list of questions to ask the employer/interviewer
Work samples and publications or a portfolio to show the employer
A notebook and pen to take notes


Takeaway: Making a great first impression is key for securing the job you want. Remember to be your true self, be professional, stay calm and follow up at least a week later if you do not receive a call back.

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