Five Tips for Nailing the Interview

When it comes to job interviews, you only have one shot at impressing a hiring manager. Joan Kuhl, Founder and President of Why Millennials Matter — a research and consulting agency dedicated to training and empowering early career professionals — offers these tips to ace the job interview:

1. Go Into the Interview Prepared

Research the role, and consider how your experience fits the position. Search the company's website for information on products, services, partnerships, competitors, news, and financial standing. Scour the company's social media accounts for additional information.

2. Practice Your Go-to Answers

Consider the questions your interviewer might ask, and rehearse your answers until you feel confident. Common interview questions include:

  • Why are you leaving your current job?
  • Why would you excel at this job?
  • What is your expected salary range?
  • What questions do you have?

Plan for situational interview questions, which are also popular with employers. Use your research about the company to determine what character traits the interviewer may be looking for, and think about situations in which you've demonstrated those traits. For instance, you may be asked:

  • Tell me about a time when you had to balance multiple projects. How did you meet deadlines and stay organized?
  • Tell me about a situation in which you disagreed with a decision on a project and how you moved forward.
  • Tell me about a time you managed someone or worked with a team member who wasn't reaching his or her full potential. How did you help or inspire them to improve their performance?

3. Know How to Handle Questions You're Not Prepared For

If the interviewer asks questions that take you by surprise, you can buy time by rephrasing the question or asking for clarification. Or consider a lead-in like, "That's a very interesting question. It sounds like you are interested in hearing more about…"

4. Exude Confidence

Stand up straight, make appropriate eye contact, and connect with a firm handshake. Dress professionally and research the organization's culture. Make sure you're calm and collected: Eat breakfast, avoid too much caffeine, and bring a bottle of water to stay hydrated. Arrive on time, map your travel route the day before, check traffic, and ask for details in advance to navigate to the correct office or room once you enter the building.

5. Follow up After the Interview

During the interview, take notes for reference later. Before you leave, ask about the next steps and timeline. Send a thank you note or email to each of your interviewers within 24 hours of the interview — a handwritten note is always appropriate, but email is acceptable as long as the tone is professional. 

There are no guarantees that being well prepared for an interview will increase your chances of landing the job, but going in with a plan will give you the self-assurance to keep trying. A successful interview is one that you leave feeling confident about your capabilities, which can eventually help you land the job you want. Once you start a new position, build your savings account and manage your spending with these budgeting tips.


This information is general in nature and is not intended to be legal, tax, or financial advice. Although Regions believes this information to be accurate, it cannot ensure that it will remain up to date. Statements or opinions of individuals referenced herein are their own—not Regions'. Consult an appropriate professional concerning your specific situation and for current tax rules. Regions, the Regions logo, and the LifeGreen bike are registered trademarks of Regions Bank. The LifeGreen color is a trademark of Regions Bank.