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How to Impress Your Interviewer: 5 Elaborate Tips

Updated: Aug 13, 2022

Congratulations! Your professionally-written CV aced the selection process, landed in the hiring manager's hands, and piqued their interest.

You've made it to the next step of the hiring process: you've been invited to a job interview, where you will be given the chance to present your background, employment experience, interest in the organization, and career ambitions more in-depth.

Next step: nailing the job interview to land the position. Now, as you probably know, you're probably not the only candidate the firm invited, which means the competition will be tough, and you'll have to make the best use of the few hours you're given during the one or more upcoming interviews.

In other words: you're going to want to make a good first impression in the interview.

This article presents tips and good practices for impressing your interviewer, preparing high-quality answers to interview questions, and exhibiting professionalism during the conversation.

How to impress a hiring manager during a job interview?

1. Conduct thorough research on the company

Yes, this seems like a no-brainer and you've probably read this in dozens of other articles.

What does thorough research on the company really mean though?

Here are a few elements which you want to document yourself to highlight your knowledge of who you're talking with and the organization they represent:

Elements you want to look up:

  • Your interviewer or hiring manager

  • The firm's history

  • The organizational culture

  • The firm's objectives

  • The team or department in which you would be working

Let take a closer look at each one of these elements.

Know who you're talking to

Perhaps not many candidates think of this but gathering information on the interviewer can give you a head start and help you shape the approach you're planning.

Yes, you are applying for a job at a firm, an organization with perhaps a few, dozens, hundreds, thousands, or tens of thousands of employees.

Keeping that in mind, the first person you need to impress and convince is the person sitting opposite you.

Creating a sense of familiarity can leave the interviewer with an impression of knowing you better, perhaps because you attended the same high school, or university, play the same sports and share a passion for the cinema for example.

Now, we're not saying you should stalk your interviewer or try to read the interviewer's mind, but a quick check on his or her LinkedIn profile could give you more information about who you're going to be addressing, and perhaps you'll adapt your speech to a few useful discoveries.

Look up the company's history and latest news

Before the interview, conduct some thorough research and take notes on:

  • The company's history (e.g. where, when and by who the company was founded)

  • The main drivers of the firm's evolution (e.g. funding, strategic alliances)

  • The latest news, key events, and greatest challenges the company is facing

Wikipedia, the company's website, social media accounts, press releases or simply typing the company name in Google News will help you get a quick overview of highlights you need to be aware of.

To really make the best use of this information, ask yourself how the position you're applying for (and the relevant department) is influenced by these events, and bring it up in the interview questions you will prepare (more on that further down).

Document yourself on the company's culture

Well, probably one of the most important elements you want to document yourself on, both for the organization's and your sake.

By gathering information and getting an understanding of the organizational culture (if you haven't done this before applying, which you should!), you'll know more about whether you're a good fit for the dynamics of the workplace you might spend most of your days in!

In addition, understanding company culture will help you adapt your pitch, notably by adopting similar wording, phrases, and concepts that the company cherishes.

Finally, a hiring manager will definitely be left impressed and feel more connected with you, after you demonstrate both your strong knowledge and your compatibility with the organizational culture.

Research the company's mission

At the very minimum, you need to look up the company's mission statement, which you can easily find on the firm's website.

Showing you truly understand the firm's objectives and what it stands for is of crucial importance if you really want to impress your interviewer.

It also enables you to - again - adapt your speech and underline how your personal ambitions and values are aligned with the organization!

Read about your potential team and department

If you understood the organization's mission well, that's already a good start. If you understand how the team and department you will be working with contributing to the company mission, that's even better. Do some research!

How to show the hiring managers you're interested in the team you would join:

  • Find out more about the structure of the team (number of members, hierarchy, etc.)

  • Research recent and ongoing projects in the relevant department

  • Make sure you understand which role the department plays in the firm's strategy

Why is this important? Well, for the exact same reasons the above points are important: the more you research and acquire knowledge about the organization and smartly use it during the job interview, the more confidence you will build up and the more serious and qualified you will come across to the hiring manager.

2. Prepare high-quality questions

The most important thing - in addition to professionalism, ambition, and a high level of information - that hiring managers look for is curiosity.

Make sure you prepare at least 10 questions about the employer, the job description, the company story, and career opportunities, for example, to once again demonstrate your genuine interest in the organization.

This doesn't mean you have to ask 10 questions, this is just to prevent you from being dry of questions in case the interviewer already answers them during your conversation.

Make sure your questions are as tailored as possible and avoid questions that are too general. Tailor them just like you tailored your CV and cover letter. Personalize your questions by incorporating the name of the team, department, or firm for example.

Examples of questions you can ask your interviewer

  • Who will I work with most closely?

  • Which other departments work most closely with this one for the [name of the project] project?

  • What training programs are available to your employees?

  • Why did you come to [name of the firm]?

  • What are the performance expectations of this position over the first 12 months?

  • Do you expect the main responsibilities for this position to change in the next six months to a year?

  • What are the most immediate projects that need to be addressed?

3. Be aware of your body language

A firm handshake, an open stance, and relaxed shoulders are all signs of confidence and professionalism you want to give employers. Indeed, positive body language is as important as a positive attitude.

There are pretty high chances the interviewer will be consciously or subconsciously aware of your body language, which is a key factor in both the first impression and the lasting impression you will make.

Here are examples of positive body language.