How To Impress In A Job Interview

by | Interviewing

Job interviews can feel daunting, since you often only have 30 to 60 minutes to leave a lasting impression on a prospective employer. Moreover, there is a lot of competing advice on what to say and do in an interview if you want to land a job.

How do you quickly impress an interviewer and increase your chances of securing an offer? Here are four easy ways to shine in your next interview:

How Do You Make A Good Impression On An Interviewer?

1. Harness the power of storytelling.

For starters, converting an interview into an offer requires more than merely being qualified for the job, you must also demonstrate your ability to communicate and collaborate effectively in a work setting.

Thankfully, you don’t have to be award-winning showrunner Shonda Rhimes to harness the power of storytelling during your next interview. That said, you’ll land a job faster if you learn how to use storytelling to your advantage, since it’ll make your interview more memorable.

Expert tip: Create a bank of a half-dozen stories you can tactically weave throughout your interview. Include a diverse set of examples that highlight both your biggest career wins and major challenges you’ve faced in the workplace, as this makes it easy to answer nearly any interview question that comes your way.

Once you’ve identified your key stories, use a simple method to keep your stories organized. One of the easiest storytelling frameworks to deploy in your interview is STAR(T):

  • Situation: What was the situation?
  • Task: What was your task?
  • Action: What actions did you take?
  • Result: What were the results?
  • Tie: How does this story tie back to the company and position you’re interviewing for?

2. Tie your answers back to the company and position.

Speaking of tying your answers back to the company and position, many job seekers forget this critical step when delivering their responses, which is a real missed opportunity.

Each time you answer an interview question, you want to communicate how your story relates to your prospective employer, as this helps the hiring manager connect the dots between your experience and their unique business needs.

This step is particularly important if you’re making a career change, as your transferable skills need to be crystal clear; otherwise, you risk being passed over in favor of a candidate who is better able to articulate their relevance.

Thankfully, this step in your response doesn’t need to be lengthy. In fact, it can be as simple as, “I imagine your initiative is similar to the work that I did at [Company Name], in that…”

3. Share your fabulousness throughout the interview.

Remember, your interview is more than just an opportunity to describe why you’re qualified for a role. It’s also an opportunity to highlight how you’re uniquely qualified compared to other interviewees.

In other words, you want the interviewer to leave the conversation with a list of specific reasons to choose you over other candidates.

With this in mind, you want to inject details about your unique value proposition (AKA fabulousness) throughout your conversation. Leading up to your big day, you might find it helpful to develop a “fabulousness phrasebook” with high-impact phrases that you can strategically weave throughout your responses. These might include:

  • Your distinct background or experience.
  • Your unique set of skills.
  • Your approach to working.

[Read: How To Stop Selling Yourself Short In Your Career]

4. Be mindful of your interview presence and delivery.

Lastly, there is more to an interview than the content. You must also be mindful of your nonverbal communication and how you deliver your responses.

Begin by learning to breathe and pause between your sentences. This will provide the interviewer with an opportunity to really absorb what you are saying, take adequate notes, and interject with any questions that arise. It also allows you to come off as calm and confident.

Additionally, you need to be mindful of your body language. If you’re not used to interviewing on Zoom, you’ll want to practice looking at your web camera as you share your stories. You can also record your interview responses and then watch them back to review your delivery, nonverbals, and use of filler words.

[Read: 6 Tips To Be More Confident In Interviews]

Final Thoughts On Impressing An Interviewer

Please know that learning how to impress a prospective employer takes time and practice. Be patient with yourself as you work to refine your interview presence.

If you want professional help as you prepare for your next interview, please don’t hesitate to contact me or schedule a consultation. I’m here for you! You’ve got this!

A version of this article first appeared on the Career Tool Belt blog with the title, “4 Quick Tips To Improve Your Interview Skills.”

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

About Dr. Kyle Elliott

Dr. Kyle Elliott is the founder and career coach behind His expertise is in Silicon Valley and high-tech. As a result of working with Dr. Elliott, senior managers and executives have landed jobs at Meta, Amazon, Google, and nearly every other tech giant you can imagine.

A trusted career expert, Dr. Elliott’s words have been featured on Business Insider, CNBC, CNN, Entrepreneur, Fast Company, Fortune, Harvard Business Review, and The New York Times, among dozens of other leading publications. He has been recognized as a Best Career & Interview Coach, Best Resume Writer for Silicon Valley/Tech Managers & Executives, and LinkedIn Top Voice (the platform’s highest honor).



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