Interviewing techniques and tips to make a great impression

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 23 November 2022

Published 25 June 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Interviewing techniques can help you stand out during a job interview. They vary based on the interview type. Once you've learned, practised and mastered them, you can increase your chances of getting a job. In this article, we will explain the interviewing techniques you can use in the various interview types and give additional tips to improve your interview performance.

What are interviewing techniques?

Interviewing techniques are practices you can follow before, during and after a job interview to impress your interviewers and show them you are the best candidate for the role. There are many interviewing techniques. They can vary based on the job position, interview type and location. To achieve the best result and get the job, you must learn them and practise before your interview.

Related: Common types of interview formats and styles (with tips)

Common job interviewing techniques

Employers can conduct different types of interviews. To be successful and get your job, you must learn and practice the best techniques for each interview type. They depend on where you do the interview and who your interviewers are. Here are the most common interview types and related strategies for success:

Phone interview

A phone job interview is the first way the employer can contact you to verify whether you have the skills and experience for the role before moving to the next stage. Here are some phone interviewing techniques to help you make a first good impression:

  • Review the company information and job description in advance to better explain why they should hire you

  • Practice common interview questions to gain confidence, especially “tell me about yourself."

  • Keep your CV, job application, interview notes and other materials nearby as your reference

  • Move to a quiet environment to remove any background noise and distractions

  • Avoid multitasking to show as much interest as possible

  • Smile as you speak to convey enthusiasm

Related: Phone interview tips to get you to the next round

Video interview

Recruiters often use video interviews in the early stage, in replacement to phone interviews. Through videos, employers can see your facial expressions, body language, mannerisms and how you interact with technology and follow instructions. They could also request to send a pre-recorded video interview they can see, share and analyse later on.

For a full-time remote position, videos are sometimes the only way employers conduct a job interview. Follow these video interviewing techniques to impress your interviewers:

  • Practice your video interview using your software beforehand

  • Test your computer's microphone and camera to ensure you have good audio and video quality

  • Make sure you have a stable, fast Internet connection

  • Choose a quiet, tidy and clean area with proper light and neutral background

  • Turn your phone off or set it to "do not disturb" mode

  • Dress based on the company dress code

  • Use positive body language

Related: How to succeed in a virtual interview: a guide

Individual in-person interview

A face-to-face individual job interview is the second stage of the recruiting process after you passed the screening stage. During this one-on-one in-person interview, the employer wants to learn more about you and your soft skills (personality, behaviour, work ethic and commitment). You can impress the interviewer by following these interviewing techniques:

  • Show up in the appropriate dress

  • Introduce yourself to the interviewer with a smile and firm handshake

  • Be professional, energetic and friendly as you meet other employees

  • Maintain eye contact with the interviewer to show confidence and interest

  • Express enthusiasm and passion about the position

  • Ask follow-up questions about the company and role

  • Relax, smile and talk slowly and calmly

  • Pay attention to your body language

  • Thank the interviewer at the end

Related: 14 ways to project body language confidence (with example)

Group interview

Interviewers may conduct a group interview when they have limited time to meet each candidate or are recruiting multiple people. It consists of a group discussion during which employers interview the candidates together. Interviewers can also ask you to do group activities to solve problems and puzzles. The goal is to understand your team-working and problem-solving skills. You can use the following interviewing techniques to leave a positive impression during a group job interview:

  • Prepare a presentation in advance

  • Show up earlier

  • Turn off your phone

  • Be friendly and polite with the other candidates

  • Listen to the other candidates' answers and try to make yours better

  • Avoid interrupting the others when they are answering

  • Show yourself relaxed, self-confident and charismatic

Related: 7 example group interview questions (plus sample answers)

Panel interview

During a panel interview, you're in front of multiple employees who usually have different roles within the company. A panel interview helps understand how you behave in a high-pressure situation with several people talking with you at once. Recruiters like panel interviews because they can hear the other employees' opinions and know whether you would be a good fit for their department and team. Follow these panel interviewing techniques to make a good impression:

  • Prepare yourself for a lot of follow-up questions from all the panellists

  • Practice in advance by conducting mock interviews with friends or family

  • Make eye contact

  • Focus your attention on the person who is talking

  • Take note of each interviewer's name

  • Take note of each question you would like to ask and the person who brought up the topic

Related: How to impress in an interview: a step-by-step guide

Tips for a successful job interview

During a job interview, you can show your professionalism and value in many ways. These tips can help you improve your job interview performance in any interview type:

Practice the interview in advance

Practice your interview beforehand and pay attention to your gestures, mannerism and answers. To do that, research some sample questions and try to answer them in front of friends, schoolmates, colleagues or family members. Remember to ask for their honest feedback as a reference for improvement. Alternatively, you can practice in the mirror or on camera.

Related: 5 practice interview techniques (with practice questions)

Prepare follow-up questions

To make a good impression, you must show interest and enthusiasm. Asking follow-up questions during the interview can help you with that. So, view the company's website and read the job description in advance. Take note of what else you would like to know about the company, daily responsibilities and career advancement. Then, write your follow-up questions accordingly.

Dress appropriately

Your appearance is the first thing the recruiters see during a video or in-person interview. To make a great first impression, research the company dress code and follow it. Choose clothes that make you feel confident. Then, make sure they are clean, ironed and almost new. You'll show you made an effort.

Master your body language

Throughout the whole interviewing process, be aware of your nonverbal communication because your body tells more than you may think. To make a good impression, your body language must convey positivity and confidence. Here are some tips for an effective job interview:

  • Give a firm handshake

  • Keep eye contact

  • Maintain good posture

  • Sit upright with your head raised

  • Breathe deeply and evenly to relax your body and mind

  • Smile genuinely

  • Nod your head to show attention

  • Move your hands when you are talking

  • Keep your hands still when you are listening

  • Refrain from crossing your arms and tapping on the table

  • Avoid swivelling on your chair, looking around or out of the window

Related: Body language in an interview: importance and tips

Sell yourself during the interview

To increase your chances of getting the job, you must sell yourself to your interviewers and convince them you are the best choice for the company and the key to its success. So, think and write down your best skills and abilities, how you can help the company and why they should choose you for the job position over all the other candidates. Tell that at the beginning and focus on it through the whole job interview.

Use the STAR method to formulate your answers

The STAR method is a strategy you can use during a job interview to show your soft skills when the interviewer asks you behavioural and situational questions. STAR stands for Situation, Task, Action and Result. Here is how you can use it:

  • Situation: Think about real-life work circumstances and problems you experienced and give detailed context

  • Task: Explain your role in that situation

  • Action: Talk about all the steps you took to solve the problem

  • Result: Describe what you achieved (the benefits of your actions). In case of bad results, explain what you learned from the failure and how you will apply this positively in the future.

Related: How to use the STAR interview technique in interviews

Send a thank you note

Sending a thank you note after the job interview helps you make a good impression on your potential employer. So, contact your interviewers by sending them a personalised email or letter where you express your gratitude, remind them of your qualifications and skills and request to move forward with the recruiting process.

Related:

  • What Is an Interview Panel?

  • How to answer the question ‘what can I bring to the company?'


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