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How to Pass a Job Interview: 10 Best Tips for 2024

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“What to wear to an interview?”
“What to bring with me?”
“How to pass an interview?”

These are some typical questions that might pop into your head before the meeting with a recruiter. You’ve gone this far, so it would be a shame not to know the answers.

Interviews can be stressful. Luckily for you, there are some things you can follow that apply to any job, which can help you understand how to pass a job interview! Let’s see some useful tips that will help you impress your interviewer!

This guide will give you: 

  • 10 tips on how to pass an interview for any job.
  • A variety of successful interview methods.
  • Guidance that will help you pass an interview and calm down before the meeting.

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Sample resume made with our builder—See more resume examples here.

Want to prepare yourself for the interview even better? Visit our interview guides:

Without further ado, let’s see the top 10 tips that will help you pass a job interview!

1. Start With Research

Did you know that almost half of the recruiters would reject a candidate with little knowledge about the company? Every good preparation starts with a decent amount of research, no matter whether you’re trying to figure out how to pass a phone interview or a face-to-face one. You don’t want to come across as someone who sends resumes to many companies without learning what they represent, right?

How to do good research to pass an interview?

  • Google them and try to find any articles about the company. Look for their values, challenges and news that might come in handy during an interview.
  • Visit the company’s website and social media profiles to learn more about their recent projects.
  • Discover the company’s values. It can come in handy when the recruiter asks you, “Why do you want to work here?”.
  • Learn more about the company’s competitors and clients.

Learning more about the company you’re trying to get into shows that you care. And that is always impressive! Not sure how to pass an interview with no experience? Showing that you care is one of the answers.

Want to make sure you know all the tricks in the book and are ready to impress the recruiter? Read our guide: Best Interview Tips & Tricks

2. Study the Job Ad

Your research doesn’t end with learning more about the company you’re applying to. There’s one more thing you should look into carefully if you want to know how to pass an interview with flying colors. Revisiting the job ad and learning more about the requirements can help you prepare for many interview questions.

What to focus on when learning about the job requirements?

  • Study the job ad carefully. Focus on the desired qualities they list and make sure you can answer questions regarding all of them.
  • Search for similar positions and learn more about your future duties, chances of professional development, and salary range.
  • Make notes if anything is unclear. That will help you prepare some questions for the interviewer

That’s the research part done. Time for some practice!

Pro Tip: Before going into an interview, try the products or services the company provides. Employers not only expect you to understand their business, but they also love hiring fans!

3. Practice Your Answers

There are many questions you might come across during a job interview. It’s really impossible to be prepared for every single one of them. 

However—

There are some questions worth a practice before you enter a meeting with a recruiter. How to pass an interview with flying colors? Be prepared to answer them with confidence. And practice is always a great way of preparing for an interview!

What answers should you practice before a job interview?

  • Learn how to introduce yourself professionally. It’s important not only to do it professionally but also casually. And without oversharing. TMI is never a good thing!
  • Prepare to tell the interviewer about yourself. Think about how you can impress them with your achievements and what can make them think you’re the perfect fit for the company.
  • Have an answer to the “Why should we hire you?” question ready. Doing research will help you find out why you really want to work with them. FYI, the money-related answer is not good at all.
  • Be prepared to explain gaps in employment if you have any. Without a good explanation, your recruiter might assume the worst.

You’re almost ready to understand how to pass an interview successfully for a job. So let’s learn about the STAR Method that will only make it easier!

Stressed about the recruiter asking you about your previous job? Find out what you can tell them that will make you look good: Best Answer For a Reason For Leaving a Previous Job

4. Use Different Answering Methods 

Some questions can be more stressful than others. These questions often require a real-life example of how you have dealt with a challenge in the past. Or how would you deal with it now. Or about your mistakes and what you’ve learned from them. Learning how to answer these types of questions is learning how to pass an interview and get the job.

You get the idea. Pretty stressful, right? But luckily for you, there’s a good method of handling them well! It’s called the STAR method. Using the STAR method for an Interview is pretty simple once you learn why it is called that way. Let’s have a look:

Situation—Task—Action—Result

That’s the STAR. But how to apply it in practice? Let’s see a rather stressful example:

Question: Can you tell me about a time you failed, how did you handle it, and what did you learn from that?

Answer: 
1. Situation: A client I worked with as a freelance graphic designer asked me to deliver all the creations faster than usual because they were in a hurry.
2. Task: I agreed because that was an exciting project, and our cooperation has been extremely successful so far. Unfortunately, I found out I was unable to do it on time, and that was an overpromise on my side.
3. Action: I decided to be 100% transparent about what happened. I contacted my client immediately and apologized. I asked for a one-day extension and offered a -20% discount on this set of graphics.

4. Result: Working hard over the night has led me to finalize everything before the new deadline. The client was satisfied with the results, we continued our cooperation for years, and I learned never to overpromise because it can backfire really quickly.

Another helpful way of answering interview questions is called the PAR method. It’s great for describing your success based on precise actions.

Problem—Action—Result

Question: You’ve mentioned reducing testing time by 55%. Can you please tell me how you achieved it?
1. Problem:The testing time took too much time, and because of that the team didn’t have enough time to finalize other tasks.
2. Action:I decided to introduce the team to a new AI-based testing tool called TesterAI.
3. Result:It cut testing time by more than half, which led to saving the company $50,000 in the first two months of implementation.

Pro tip: The STAR method can work magic whenever you come across behavioral questions in an interview.

5. Get Everything You Need Ready

Wondering what to bring to an interview? Have a look at our lists for both online and offline meetings. Just keep in mind that it can slightly differ, depending on the job you’re trying to land.

What to bring for in-person interviews?

  • Several copies of your resume. Carry them in an organized manner and have them ready to handle.
  • An ID with you, just in case the building has a strict security policy that requires you to show documents with your photo before you're allowed in.
  • Bring a pen and a notepad. Taking a few notes shows you're actively listening to the interviewer. You also make sure you won't forget significant details about the job.

How to prepare for an online interview?

  • Prepare and charge your devices. Nothing says “I am unprofessional.” more than a sudden need to look for the charger.
  • Check the camera, headset, and microphone. Having problems with the audio or video can be really distracting to your interviewer.
  • Test if the apps and internet work properly. You don’t want any sudden updates or connection difficulties during an interview.
  • Make sure your workplace is tidy and comfortable. Also, check the lighting to ensure you’re visible well enough. 
  • Have a notepad and pen beside you to make notes. 

Now you know what to bring. But how to look—that’s another important part of our list!

You’re about to have a phone interview? Read our guide: 10+ Phone Interview Tips

6. Dress To Impress

Did you know that more than 70% of employers wouldn’t hire someone who doesn’t follow the appropriate dress code? Wearing a suit is not necessarily a must, but looking well is always welcome. And you can only benefit from it if you do it right.

How to make sure you’re dressed well for a job interview?

  • Research dress codes for your position and industry. You'd choose a different set of clothing for a creative graphic designer in an advertising agency and another for a law clerk in a major law firm.
  • Prepare your clothes a day before. That will help you make up your mind prior to an interview and will lessen the stress of going through your wardrobe an hour before the scheduled meeting.
  • Stay comfortable. Remember that the right fit is as important as the right outfit. Not only will it make you look better, but you’ll also feel better and, therefore, more confident!
  • Keep away from too much jewelry. A bit of bling can look great, but it can also be distracting. 
  • Remember that having an online interview doesn’t exempt you from these rules!

Now you know well what to wear to your interview. But it’s only the first step to making a great first impression!

Pro Tip: Being too formal is always safer than being too casual. Having a full suit during a casual business meeting is better than wearing a favorite band T-shirt during the interview.

7. Make a Great First Impression

Did you know that 33% of bosses know whether they will hire someone within the first 90 seconds of an interview? So making a great first impression is a no-brainer, really. But how can you do it? Let’s find out!

How to make a great first impression on a recruiter?

  • Be on time. That means not only not being late, but also not being there too early. 15 minutes before a face-to-face interview will do just fine.
  • Learn the interviewer's name. It’s never a good idea to ask for it at the reception just before a meeting. However, if you’re not sure, call beforehand and ask the secretary about it.
  • Greet an interviewer with a firm handshake and a smile while keeping eye contact. Don't stare down, but remember your recruiter looks not only for a professional but also for someone who’s friendly and has a high confidence and self-esteem level. Handshake, smile, and eye contact will help you give that impression.
  • Stay focused. You're here to sell yourself, so staying focused on your skills and experience is crucial. If you're not experienced, focus on your strengths and your willingness to learn.
  • Be honest. At this point, your recruiters have probably done some online research on you, as three out of four recruiters do it. Undermining your credibility is never a good idea.
  • Never insult your previous employers, colleagues, or teachers. Stay positive. People prefer to work with positive people.

Pro Tip: Remember to always be polite. The way you treat other people reflects who you are. No matter whether you’re speaking with a receptionist or a CEO, being friendly and polite is always a great idea.

8. Have Your Questions Ready

There’s nothing wrong with asking questions—on the contrary! Having a short list of questions can show that you've researched the company and given some thought before coming to the interview.

Oh, but not only that.

The right set of questions can impress the recruiter.

Let’s see some examples:

  • How is feedback given to employees?
  • What would you consider the top accomplishments of someone in this role over the next year?
  • How do you measure performance and success in this role?
  • Is there anything else I could tell you about myself to help you with your decision?

There are many questions you might want to ask. But there’s one with which you should wait…

Pro tip: Choose the right questions to ask at the end of an interview. It will help you to spot any red flags, and it might boost your chances of landing the job!

Creating a resume with our builder is incredibly simple. Follow our step-by-step guide and use content from Certified Professional Resume Writers to have a resume ready in minutes.

When you’re done, Zety’s resume builder will score your resume and our resume checker will tell you exactly how to make it better.

9. Don’t Ask About Salary ASAP

Bringing up the salary and benefits can be tricky. You want to know them well. But again, you don’t want your recruiters to think that’s the only reason you’re there.

What are the rules for asking about salary during an interview?

  • Try to find out what’s a fair salary for the job you’re applying for in the company you have an interview with.
  • Do some research about salaries for similar positions in other companies.
  • Don’t rush to ask about the salary. It can make you look desperate, and that’s never a good starting point for negotiations.
  • Try to get the recruiter to give a salary figure or range first. It can be tricky, but it’s easier to negotiate from this point!
  • Remember that benefits don’t end up on salary. Perhaps if the high salary isn’t what they have to offer, you might be getting more paid time off or other benefits.
  • Keep in mind that there is no need to accept the first offer. Negotiating it a bit is always acceptable. Worst case scenario, they’ll say no. Best case scenario? Ka-ching!

Pro tip: Don’t bring the money talk during the first interview. It’s a time to show you’re a perfect fit, not to express your expectations. The second interview is usually a more acceptable time to ask for a salary. But remember—tact is the key.

10. Do the Follow-Up 

You need to follow up after an interview for various reasons. It’s the easiest way to keep a connection you’ve made. Reminding your recruiter about yourself will help you keep your name at the top of their mind. And most importantly, a follow-up can help you get the highly expected status update you’re waiting for.

How to follow up after an interview?
1. Express your gratitude for inviting you over. Make sure to make this fast, as many recruiters would expect a thank-you note! 
2. Write another follow-up after a week. It will show you’re still interested in the position they offer. 
3. If you still don’t have an answer, feel free to write after another week. Just make sure to attach your resume, cover letter, and any documents you’ve delivered during the process!

Looking for a template for your follow-up email? We’ve got you covered: 10 Samples & Templates for the Follow-Up Email

Plus, a great cover letter that matches your resume will give you an advantage over other candidates. You can write it in our cover letter builder here. Here's what it may look like:

See more cover letter templates and start writing.

Key Takeaway

And that’s it, our 101 on how to pass an interview. Now you’re ready to impress the recruiter, give great answers, and get hired!

Let’s go through the highlights of how to pass an interview for a job once more to ensure your success: 

  • Research the company and the position by visiting their website and revisiting the job ad.
  • Practice your answers and prepare your questions. That’s how you avoid any surprises.
  • Use the STAR Method to deliver consistent and impressive answers.
  • Prepare everything in advance to avoid any extra stress.
  • A big smile, firm handshake, dapper set of clothes, and confidence will make everything smoother.
  • Follow-up to be remembered!

And on a more personal note: You. Got. This. Good luck!

Hope you’ve enjoyed our article! Have you got any questions? Let us know in the comments!

About Zety’s Editorial Process

This article has been reviewed by our editorial team to make sure it follows Zety's editorial guidelines. We’re committed to sharing our expertise and giving you trustworthy career advice tailored to your needs. High-quality content is what brings over 40 million readers to our site every year. But we don't stop there. Our team conducts original research to understand the job market better, and we pride ourselves on being quoted by top universities and prime media outlets from around the world.

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Maciej Tomaszewicz, CPRW
Maciej is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer and career expert and resume writer with a versatile professional background, creating tools for job seekers in various industries. His creative writing background and HR-related experience allow him to create highly readable articles clarifying even the most complicated professional development aspects. Since 2022, he has authored guides on professional resumes and cover letters, written articles on work-related scenarios, and developed research-based career advice.
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