How to nail an interview in 9 easy steps

Most of what makes for a successful job interview should be done before even shaking the hiring manager’s hand. Preparation and practice are key to nailing an interview and getting the job. The interview itself is all about making that thoughtful prep shine through. It sounds like a lot, but don’t worry, it’s manageable! Just follow our step-by-step guide on how to nail an interview.


How to nail an interview in 9 easy steps


1. Research, research, research

Before a job interview it’s important to start out by conducting some research on the company where you want to work. If you know anyone that works there, reach out to them and ask about how the hiring process went for them and what the company is looking for. Learn who will be interviewing you and also spend time investigating the specifics of the job opportunity. Try to understand as much as possible about the duties and expectations that come with the position so that you’re prepared to explain why you would be the best fit. Remember that you can never do too much research.


2. Consider company needs

After you’ve done your research, contemplate what the company really needs. Why are they hiring for this position? Is it a new position? Is the position changing? Whatever you can find out about the job should help you to understand exactly what role the position plays in the company.


how to nail an interview


3. Think: “Where do I fit in?”

Now that you understand the needs of the company, consider how you are especially suited to fill this need. Spend some time brainstorming ideas about how you are able to meet the demands of the company. You might find it helpful to write down your relevant experience and the skills that you can bring to the table. Analyze your strengths and abilities and what the company needs to see how they match up.


4. Consider common interview questions

Start with the most common questions like, “What are your strengths and weaknesses?”, “Why should our company hire you?” and “Why do you want to work here?”. Write down and practice your answers. So many interview questions are repetitive and frequently used – you should have a pretty good idea of what will be asked beforehand. Practicing these questions is great not just for this interview, but also for job interviews to come.


5. Practice makes perfect

When a professional basketball player steps up to make a free throw or an actor takes the stage at a Broadway show, they are expected to perform at a high level – near perfection. They deliver because the performance is just one small part of their job – they spend the rest of their time practicing. Think of your interview as a performance. You need to rehearse beforehand in order to have the optimal effect on the interviewer.


how to nail an interview


6. Come to the interview with your own questions (and ask them!)

Don’t be that person who doesn’t have any questions at the end of the interview. Asking questions shows the employer that you’re seriously considering the position and that you have a genuine interest in the company.


7. Prepare your body and mind

Eat a healthy, balanced breakfast the day of your interview and maybe even try to get a morning workout in beforehand. If you eat well and exercise, you’ll be in a better mental and physical state for your interview. Also, make sure that you are hydrated before going in to make sure that your brain is working at its highest capacity. It’s also a good idea to mentally prepare yourself and think positive thoughts!


8. Be friendly (to everyone)

Remember that you may be working with the people at the front desk and others that you interact with during the interview process. Leave a good impression, smile and be friendly. Show that you’re a pleasant and professional person to be around throughout all types of interactions.


9. Follow up

After your interview, shoot a quick email to the interviewer thanking them for the opportunity. In this email, follow up with something that you discussed in the interview. Try to make a memorable closing statement that connects the interview, your desire to work for the company and, most importantly, how you would fit in there.


An international internship is the perfect way to stand out from your peers in the recruitment process. Apply today to launch your career!




Photo 1. based on handshake, by 드림포유, CC-by-ND 2.0

Photo 2. based on DSC00227, by Andrew_Writer, CC-by-2.0

Photo 3. based on business men, by Markus Spiske, CC-by-2.0


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Elizabeth Trovall

After short stints in Argentina and Belize, Elizabeth is finishing up her fourth year in Santiago, Chile. Elizabeth writes about international internships, life abroad and professional development for The Intern Group. She also reports on politics, business and culture in Latin America for public radio and print media. An Austin, Texas native, Elizabeth first left home to earn her journalism degree from the Reynolds Institute of Journalism at the University of Missouri. Besides her friends and family, she misses live music and Mexican food the most.
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