Preparing for an interview can feel overwhelming, but don’t stress! Capella University Career Counselor Sue Fransen Way gives the inside scoop on how to interview like a pro. (Hint: Preparation is key.)

4 Interview Tips and Tricks

No matter what the job is, keeping these four tips in mind will help you knock that interview out of the park.

  1. Keep Your Answers Short and Honest. To accommodate short attention spans and to make your point quickly, shoot for concise, 30- to 60-second answers. Think of them as little commercials about yourself. But be warned—a verbal minute is actually a lot longer than you might think. Get familiar with how much you can say in that timeframe by timing yourself as you practice. Also keep in mind that an interview is meant to determine if you’re a good fit for the job and that the job is a good fit for you. Be careful not to answer questions with what you think the interviewer wants to hear. Answer honestly.
  2. Know Your Audience. Make sure you spend some time researching the industry, the company, and the position for which you are interviewing. This will help you cater your answers to the specific interview. It will also help you identify the questions you have for them.
  3. Sound Natural, Not Scripted. When you’re answering questions, be sure you don’t sound like you’re reading from a script. You should definitely spend some time writing out your answers to common questions, but practice saying them aloud without actually reciting them word-for-word. Often you’ll find that something that sounds good on paper sounds over formal when you read it aloud—and that’s why it’s important to take the time for this. It’s all about practice, practice, practice.
  4. Remember: An Interview Is a Two-Way Conversation. Most interviewers will ask if you have any questions. If you’ve done your homework (see #2 above), you probably do. Asking your questions shows you did the homework, and it helps you determine if the job would suit you.

The Capella Career Center offers networking tips, job search tools, career counseling, and more. Its mission is to empower students and alumni to proactively manage their careers and make meaningful, and effective career decisions.