How to Successfully Prepare for a Job Interview

Posted: March 18, 2021 | Author: Savannah Byers | Read Time: 3 minutes

How to prepare for a job interviewPreparing for a job interview can be a long, intimidating process. Luckily, Southern Utah University’s Career and Professional Development Center has put together several helpful resources to simplify the process. This blog post provides some of their top tips to help you prepare for your next job interview.

Six Steps to Prepare for a Job Interview

1. Prepare and bring a portfolio

Your portfolio includes your resume and references. Make sure that both are up-to-date, visually appealing, and complete long before the job interview. Read this blog post for additional tips on writing a resume and reference list.

2. Do your homework

Research the company and the position prior to your job interview. Know what you like about the company as that can possibly be an interview question. Additionally, bring questions you couldn’t find the answers to in your research. That will show how serious you are about the position.

3. Prepare a 30-second introduction

Typically the first question an interviewer asks is, “tell me about yourself.” Be prepared for this question with a 30-second introduction. This introduction should include your qualifications, your characteristics/traits/skills, and a handoff statement to turn the conversation back to the interviewer. Read more about 30-second introductions in this packet.

4. Practice answering the most common questions

To avoid being blindsided by a tough interview question, practice answering the most common interview questions. The last few pages of this digital packet include several of the most common interview questions.

5. Be professional

Your job interview will likely be the first impression you leave your interviewer with. It’s important to dress professionally, arrive 10-15 minutes early, make sure your social media accounts are professional, and practice your manners (please, thank you, etc.).

6. Send a thank you note

Within 24 hours of your interview, send a thank you note. The note can be sent via email to whoever interviewed you. Read this blog post for additional advice and sample thank you notes.


Sometimes your interviewer might opt for a telephone or video call interview. Here are some additional tips to prepare for interviews in these mediums:

Preparing for a Telephone Interview

1. Have your portfolio ready

Having helpful documents on hand is useful as you can reference them during the interview. Helpful documents might include your resume, your list of references, the job description, and the company description.

2. Be cordial during your conversation

Being cordial includes not speaking too fast, not speaking too close to the microphone, avoiding spaces with background noise and distractions, and avoiding chew gum, eating, drinking, smoking, etc. during your interview.

3. Set aside time

Even though the interview is technically a phone call, it’s important to not treat it like that. Set aside time as you would for an in-person interview. Most importantly, never ever interrupt your interviewer to take another call. This is their set aside time, and you can always call the other person back.


Preparing for a Video Interview

1. Know your technology

There is always a chance that you will need to troubleshoot technical issues during your interview. Therefore, it’s important to be familiar with the platform you are using for your video call: Zoom, Google Hangouts, Skype, etc.

2. Control your environment

Presentation is especially important during an interview. In addition to making sure you look presentable and professional, make sure your environment is the same. Have a clean background, free of noise and people. Check the camera before you get started and adjust the lighting and angle. You have more control over how you are physically presented in a video interview.

3. Have a plan B

Anything can go wrong during a video call. Because of this, it’s important to have a backup plan. Have your interviewers phone number and/or email on hand to contact them if something goes wrong. Be prepared for anything.


Good luck with your job interview. If you have any questions or would like additional resources, contact SUU’s Career and Professional Development Center.

Tags: Career Center

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