Interviews are a critical part of the job search process. Employers are evaluating to see if you have the right mix of skills and experience for the job—and you are evaluating the employer to see if it's the right opportunity. With so much importance placed on the interview, it can be a source of stress for many people—what to wear, how to prepare, how to answer tough questions, etc. Here are some tips to help:

Do your homework

Learn as much as you can about your potential employer. Go beyond the basics. Find out the latest company news, upcoming projects, and recent achievements.

Dress for success

No matter the position, you want to look professional. Suits aren’t always needed, but you will want to make sure your clothes are neat and clean. Keep accessories and perfumes/cologne to a minimum.

Create an interview kit

Bring a nice portfolio to the interview with the basics: extra resumes, pen, paper, job description, references, and your list of questions. If appropriate, also bring work samples.

Make a good impression

Be confident, organized, prepared, and positive. Arrive early (15 minutes early is recommended). Treat everyone you meet with respect. And don’t forget to smile—it makes a difference!

Control your body language

Start with a firm handshake and maintain good eye contact throughout the interview. Sit up straight, avoid fidgeting and speak slowly and clearly.

Prepare for common questions

Think about answers to common questions like "Why do you want to work here?" and "What are your greatest strengths and weaknesses?" Know these answers and more. 

Prepare a few situational examples

Sell yourself by showcasing your best work examples. Have situational examples ready that address a challenge, action, and result that demonstrate your critical thinking skills. 

Ask questions

Show your interest in the position by asking thoughtful questions. Prepare questions in advance as well as ask questions that have popped into your mind during the interview discussion.

Send a thank you

Get a note out to everyone you met with within 24 hours. Email is perfectly acceptable. Reinforce your interest in the position, answer outstanding questions, and say thanks!

Most importantly - Practice, Practice, Practice

You need to practice. Ask your friends and family to help you by conducting mock interviews. When the real time comes, you want to be prepared and confident.