The 7 Elements of a Successful Job Interview

Posted on May 15, 2010

A successful interview is often the key to success in obtaining a contract or job. The decision to hire is based on first impressions, so you want to create the most positive image that you can. Most successful interviews rely on the preparation that was done before the interview itself. Here are some pre-interview tips that can prepare you for the successful interview.

1. Have updated reference material available

A job interview is often done with more than one person, so have extra copies of your resume on hand. Know where the company is located and approximately how much time it will take you to get there. If the position you are applying for requires it, have a briefcase with samples of your work on hand. Make sure that your reference sheet is up to date.

2. Wear clothes that are appropriate for the position

There should be no stains on your outfit, and it should be the first time you’re wearing it after washing. Show that you care about yourself and the company you’re applying to. Get a general idea of what people in similar positions at your new company are wearing and dress like them. Doing this creates the impression that you are a team player. A good pair of slacks and a button-down shirt is appropriate.

3. Don’t smoke or drink before your interview

Cigarettes and alcohol leave distinctive odors on the body. You don’t want to take the chance that the interviewer is a rabid non smoker who can detect cigarette smoke from a mile away. Drinking before the interview gives the impression that you are sloppy and just don’t care about your potential employer.



As seen on Forbes, Mashable,

4. Be punctual

Remember that the interviewer is making their judgments on hiring based on the presentation that you make in that interview. They are looking for qualities that best suit their company, and will make their decisions appropriately. Being late to an interview for any reason (barring calamity) creates a negative tone for the rest of the interview. The interviewer’s time is valuable and it is quite important to respect that by being early or on time.

5. Practice

There is a standard set of questions that are used in interviewers. What are your greatest strengths? Describe a situation where you solved a problem. Why should we hire you? Prepare yourself by writing down answers to these questions and memorizing them. Try working with a friend or loved one to see what impression they get from your answers and modify accordingly. Your friends will be honest with you. Practice your interviewing skills to identify and strengthen your weaknesses.

6. Learn about the company

Who are the key players at the company? Who is the major competition? Look for this information on the company’s website and on the web. See what you can find out about the person who’s going to be interviewing you. An interviewer wants someone just as motivated and purposeful as they are when seeking to hire.

7. Know the skills you have to offer

While preparing for the interview and doing practice interviews, you will have the opportunity to discover what your skills are. What unique traits can you offer to the company? Conversely, know your weaknesses and strive to turn them around into strengths and skills. Do you have the advertised skills for the job that you are applying for? Knowing where you stand offers more confidence and improves your chances to get the job.

The success of an interview is determined long before you’re face to face with a potential employer. Preparing and presenting yourself in the best possible light is the key to creating the best first impression and getting the job you’ve dreamed about.

16 Replies to "The 7 Elements of a Successful Job Interview"

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    May 16, 2010 (12:13 am)

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  • Suresh Khanal
    May 16, 2010 (9:22 pm)

    All of them are really great suggestions. In fact an interview is to judge and decide moment for both parties. Many times I develop my mind ‘Not to work with them’ or ‘not to lose the opportunity’ during the interview. Its true that they are very concerned to gather reasons to accept or reject you, but at the same time it is for you too to gather ‘should you sell your time for them?’

    While showing skills, there is an interesting incident with me. I sit for an interview and I was not selected. After 6 months I was contacted again and joined them for a part time job. Then I learned that I was rejected 6 months earlier because the facuilty head who was interviewing me was much low in qualifications and skills. It was only when he quit, I was contacted again by new head. Funny, but it is human relations!
    .-= Suresh Khanal´s last blog post: Prove Yourself NOT SPAM Register =-.

  • Tom
    May 16, 2010 (10:55 pm)

    It’s been a long time since I’ve had a face-to-face interview. So far, all the jobs I’ve had in the past 3 years I’ve had phone interviews. Still, most of your points apply to this except perhaps 2 and 3.
    .-= Tom´s last blog post: 30 Relaxing Activities =-.

  • Dennis Edell | Direct Sales Marketing
    May 17, 2010 (10:48 am)

    “Get a general idea of what people in similar positions at your new company are wearing and dress like them.”

    “A good pair of slacks and a button-down shirt is appropriate.”

    What if everyone there is in “everyday clothes”, should you still dress-up?
    .-= Dennis Edell | Direct Sales Marketing´s last blog post: Oops I Lied-HAHA =-.

  • TomWalker
    May 18, 2010 (9:07 am)

    Hey there guys, thanks for checking out the post!

    Hey Dennis, well, it’s just a question of how you feel you should present yourself. Dressing smart and just generally looking well presented shows that you put effort into your appearance, and that you’re taking the process seriously. If everyone else is in everyday clothes and you feel it’s ok, by all means go ahead. You can still wear smart casual outfits which give off a sense of professionalism…the point is to avoid looking sloppy or unkempt 🙂

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    May 22, 2010 (11:05 am)

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  • Travel Harriet
    June 8, 2010 (7:57 am)

    Am preparing for an interview and i was puzzled about i was going to say and wear.Thanks to this site that i have been able to get all the information that i needed.Thanks for the blog.

  • Jordan
    January 19, 2011 (2:26 am)

    This is a great article. I believe that the success of a job interview is not purely based on luck but it is based on your strategy. It is not enough that you put in a lot in your resume to impress the employer. You also need to walk the walk and talk the talk.

  • David Booher
    May 20, 2011 (2:51 am)

    The clothes which you wears is very very important!I agree with you,author!

  • reeha@printer toners
    April 7, 2012 (3:35 am)

    Clothes makes a great difference because if we wear clothes according to our post than we look professional and well managed. thanks for bringing these new points into my knowledge.
    this post will surely brings success in many young job searchers.  

  • Michael
    April 16, 2012 (11:59 am)

    My advice is watch what you say to the interviewer,a few years ago I interviewed a lady for an admin assistant within my company. Not Realising that I was the MD the lady spent 10 mins explaining how much of a prat her ex boss was and informed me that she intended to sue him for sexual harassment as she took offence when she was sacked for bad time keeping!, to “teach him a lesson” she said. I tried to over look this and continued with the interview, when it came to the point where I asked if she had any questions she said” can I nip out for a quick ciggie or are we nearly finished now”….. I can’t recall what happened to her file, it may have got mixed up with the shredding pile when she left the office.

    From Michael: visit  

  • sean
    April 29, 2012 (1:54 pm)

    Great article, the last point “Know the skills you have to offer” is extremely important. You can prepare for a handful of interview questions but it is impossible to prepare an answer for every possible question, knowing your strengths will help you to form an answer that  shows why you are the best fit for the job.

    • Scoyne2
      April 29, 2012 (1:55 pm)

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