How to Succeed When Interviewing for Your Dream Job: Advice From Business Superstars (2023)

An upcoming job interview for a position you are interested in is enough to induce mild anxiety. After all, having your professional and personal qualities evaluated by an unfamiliar party is not your everyday activity. What can you do to succeed when interviewing for your dream job?

Author Travis Bradberry offered one suggestion, “Get to know the job intimately that you’re applying for. Don’t just read the job description — study it and picture yourself performing every task required of you. When you interview, framing your responses so that you reveal your significant knowledge about the job gives you a massive advantage.”

Of course, you can use many other strategies for success when interviewing for your dream job. To help you uncover more of these, below you will find applicable advice from a variety of business superstars.

Ask Your Own Questions

Some say a successful job interview is one that’s remembered by the person conducting it. If so, you should do everything you can to give those interviewing you positive, lasting memories of your interview. Asking questions of your own is a surefire way to make this happen.

“At this point, nearly every job interview will have space for questions from the interviewee,” says Dan Potter, Head of Digital at CRAFTD. “But many candidates willingly say no and hurt their chances of receiving an offer. Instead, ask your interviewer genuine questions to learn more about the role and whether it’s a good fit for what you want.”

The anxiety that comes with a big-time job interview may prevent you from conjuring up a great question on the spot. That’s why you should be proactive in preparing for the interview and ensure you come up with a list of questions you want to be answered.

Know What You Are Getting Into

Twenty years ago, a job interview was vastly different than it is today. How many different interview formats are out there now? Between video, phone, in-person, and group interviews, there is no shortage of format options. Each one of these is unique. To give yourself the best chance at succeeding, learn what you can about the type of interview you’ll be undergoing.

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“Some companies want their job interview process to be totally remote, especially if they have hybrid or remote roles,” says Soji James, Lead Expert Certified personal trainer at 1AND1. “Come prepared knowing what platform you’ll be interviewing on to ensure everything runs smoothly.”

Your interview format will likely be detailed in the advertisement for the position or in communications from the company. Failing to double-check whether your interview is remote or in person could lead to an awkward moment or two.

Be Firm About Salary Expectations

Speaking of awkwardness, the topic of financial compensation also has the potential for some less-than-comfortable moments. However, you have certain financial needs which must be met. Not only that, your skills are valuable and should be compensated accordingly. For that reason, don’t shy away from voicing your salary expectations.

“Confidence is a winning ingredient in any job interview,” says Derek Flanzraich, Founder and CEO of Ness. “Especially when it comes to the discussion of salary — employers want to see that potential employees are direct and confident in what they bring to the table.”

Be Ready With Personal Examples

At most interviews, you’ll be asked about your relevant experience. Employers want proof that the person they’re interviewing can tackle every aspect of a job. As the interviewee, you can nail this portion of the interview by providing real-life instances of your own relevant experience.

“The bullet points of a resume can only provide so much information,” says Christy Pyrz, Chief Marketing Officer of Paradigm Peptides. “As you prepare for an interview, look over what’s on your resume and develop practical examples to demonstrate what your personal experience really looks like.”

Before your interview, consider how you can relate past roles to the position you’re interviewing for. Your past job may not fall in the same industry as your dream job, but a little creativity on your end can help bridge this gap.

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Bring a Copy or Two of Your Resume

This idea may sound antiquated due to how widespread digital technology is, so why bring paper to a highly digital space?

“A job interview is like a test in school — you must perform well to receive a passing grade,” says Kim Walls, CEO and Co-Founder of Furtuna Skin. “Bringing a few copies of your resume is like extra credit and shows the person in charge that you’ve prepared.”

A hard copy of your resume will ensure that your interviewer actually looks at the document, which may not always be the case otherwise. Even if you don’t have a printer of your own, turn to your local library or printing shop for help. The extra effort will pay dividends.

Practice, Practice, Practice

Just as with a sport or a creative skill, repeated practice of something will improve your prowess at it. A job interview is no different. Set aside time in the week leading up to the interview to practice responses to generic interview questions or talk about your professional life.

“A job interview is an environment all its own, and you really can’t recreate it outside the office,” says Dr. Michael Green, Chief Medical Officer of Winona. “But, as the subject of the interview, you can get better at describing your skills verbally or working on body language in front of the mirror.”

The mirror is a wonderful place to evaluate your demeanor, facial expressions, and hand gestures while speaking. You could also ask a family member or friend to act as a mock interviewer and give you feedback on your responses.

Dress Appropriately

How to Succeed When Interviewing for Your Dream Job: Advice From Business Superstars (1)

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What is the first thing you notice about other people? Usually, it’s their physical appearance, and as much as you may not want to, you likely form some expectations about a person based on the way they’re dressed. This is true in a job interview as well.

“Some job interviews will have a clear dress code in place,” says Cody Candee, Founder and CEO of Bounce Luggage Storage. “There are others where this isn’t the case. Either way, it is your responsibility to be dressed appropriately if you want true consideration.”

Center Yourself Before the Interview

A job interview can be emotional and stressful, especially if you really want the role. That’s why it’s worth taking some time to calm down and de-stress beforehand.

“Centering yourself in the face of something as large as a dream job interview is anything but easy,” says Max Ade, CEO of Pickleheads. “But it should be something to work towards because a distracted mind or body can derail your interview faster than you realize.”

Some might refer to this process as practicing mindfulness, and it works differently for everyone. Some do well with breathing exercises. Others do well with mental visualization. You might even listen to a pump-up song before you walk in the door. Don’t be afraid to use different methods to see what suits you.

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Information Is Everything

Imagine a world where you run your own company and are in search of a new hire. You come across two applicants you decide to bring in for interviews. One greets you by name and mentions their awareness of your more-recent business moves. The other asks simple questions about what your company does and who you are. After such interactions, the choice of who to hire should be obvious.

“When an interviewee demonstrates they are aware of the ins and outs of the company they are speaking with, it’s like a giant green light for the employer,” says Joshua Host, CEO of Thrivelab. “Companies want people who already know and are invested in their plans.”

Conversations with current employees (or former) of the company as well as some basic perusing of the company’s website and employee LinkedIn pages, will set you apart from the competition.

Be Early!

Time is money. Companies will not and do not wait around for a random applicant to show up to the office in search of a job. For them, it is a much more serious evaluation — if someone is late to the interview, they will likely be deemed unfit to work for the company.

“Some of the best professionals out there have lost career-making opportunities solely because they were late,” says John Berry, CEO and Managing Partner of Berry Law. “Don’t let yourself fall into this category when your dream job interview shows up — prepare and plan ahead of time.”

From traffic patterns to the moment you put your feet on the floor in the morning, you should consider many elements of the day so you’re not late.

Get Ready to Ace the Interview

There are several variables to account for if you want to succeed in your dream job interview, but don’t let this reality dissuade you from your aspirations. Instead, take to heart the words of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, “I knew that if I failed, I wouldn’t regret that, but I knew the one thing I might regret is not trying.”

(Video) How to speak so that people want to listen | Julian Treasure

McClatchy newsroom and editorial staff were not involved in the creation of this content.


What are the best answers to dream job? ›

Here are a couple of ways you can begin your response:
  • I've mentioned my experience with __. My dream job would definitely have to relate to that. I'd also love to grow my skills in __.
  • I've thought about this before, and I know I would want to keep honing my skills in __ as well as learn more about __.

How do you ace an interview for a dream job? ›

How to Be a Standout Candidate and Land Your Dream Job
  1. Make sure your online profiles are complete. ...
  2. Make smart connections before the interview. ...
  3. Be remembered for something before the interview. ...
  4. Deliver well during the interview. ...
  5. Leave a lasting impression. ...
  6. A little planning goes a long way.

What are 5 tips for a successful job interview? ›

Tips for a Successful Interview
  • Be on time. ...
  • Know the interviewer's name, its spelling, and pronunciation. ...
  • Have some questions of your own prepared in advance. ...
  • Bring several copies of your resume. ...
  • Have a reliable pen and a small note pad with you. ...
  • Greet the interviewer with a handshake and a smile.

How do you stand out in the final interview? ›

5 Ways to Stand Out in Your Next Job Interview
  1. 1) Avoid talking about what you're not.
  2. 2) Tell a story about yourself.
  3. 3) Allow yourself to be vulnerable.
  4. 4) Don't hide who you are.
  5. 5) Pose thoughtful questions to your hiring manager.
Jul 1, 2022

Why should we hire you answers? ›

“I should be hired for this role because of my relevant skills, experience, and passion for the industry. I've researched the company and can add value to its growth. My positive attitude, work ethics, and long-term goals align with the job requirements, making me a committed and valuable asset to the company.”

How do you answer what motivates you? ›

Good Answers to the Tricky Interview Question "What Motivates You?"
  1. learning new things.
  2. acquiring new skills.
  3. meeting deadlines, goals and targets.
  4. coaching others.
  5. improving processes, finding ways to solving problems.
  6. leading a team or being a part of a team.
  7. completing a difficult project.
  8. overcoming challenges.
Feb 24, 2023

How do you become a standout candidate? ›

7 ways to stand out from the crowd
  1. Add a personal touch. ...
  2. Do your research. ...
  3. Start doing the job already. ...
  4. Make use of your other skills and experience. ...
  5. Show your creativity. ...
  6. Show some grit and resilience. ...
  7. Demonstrate a growth mindset.

How do I successfully apply for a dream job? ›

How to Get Your Dream Job
  1. Make a Plan. The first step toward achieving your goals is setting them. ...
  2. Hone Your Skills. ...
  3. Tailor Your Resume. ...
  4. Cast Your Net(work) ...
  5. Ask for Help. ...
  6. Prepare and Practice for Interviews. ...
  7. Dress for Success. ...
  8. Prime Your References.
Sep 20, 2018

How do you shine in an interview? ›

7 Ways to Shine in an Interview
  1. Dress to impress. ...
  2. Do your homework. ...
  3. Be as friendly and relaxed as possible. ...
  4. Turn your strengths into skill statements. ...
  5. Know your weaknesses, and be ready to turn them into strengths. ...
  6. Have questions for the interviewer in mind. ...
  7. Follow up soon after your interview.
Dec 2, 2013

What are the three P's to the perfect interview? ›

So my three Ps of interview preparation are, past, people and personal, but more on these shortly. The next thing to think about is what your preparation looks like.

What are the 3 parts of a good interview? ›

An interview is structured into three parts:
  • Opening the interview and welcoming the candidate, outlining the purpose and structure of the interview.
  • The body of the interview. The fact finding part, ask questions and allow the candidate to answer.
  • Closing the interview.

What are 5 things you should not do during an interview? ›

15 Things You Should NOT Do at an Interview
  • Not Doing Your Research. ...
  • Turning Up Late. ...
  • Dressing Inappropriately. ...
  • Fidgeting With Unnecessary Props. ...
  • Poor Body Language. ...
  • Unclear Answering and Rambling. ...
  • Speaking Negatively About Your Current Employer. ...
  • Not Asking Questions.

How do I sell myself in an interview? ›

When you're talking about yourself and your experience, keep the following six points in mind.
  1. Be the Solution. ...
  2. Be Specific. ...
  3. Prepare Sound Bites. ...
  4. Prepare to Talk About Your Resume. ...
  5. Be Aware of Nonverbal Communication. ...
  6. Be Positive.

What do you say in Tell me about yourself? ›

Your answer to the "tell me about yourself" question should describe your current situation, your past job experience, the reason you're a good fit for the role, and how you align with the company values. Tell the interviewer about your current position and a recent big accomplishment or positive feedback you received.

What makes me stand out from other applicants? ›

These can be professional skills, areas of expertise, personal qualities, or any relevant experience. Also, consider any impressive accomplishments from your past or career goals that speak to your commitment to the field. Think of ways to out-do the other candidates.

Why do you want this position? ›

Talk about specific examples of how you can help this company achieve their goals and highlight any relevant transferrable skills that will make you stand out as the right candidate. Write down any recent achievements you can talk about or any challenges you've faced recently that might be related to this new job.

Why do you think you are a good fit for this position? ›

You need to highlight why you're the best match for the role by explaining the accomplishments, skills, or personality traits that set you apart. However, don't criticize other candidates while you do so. Maintain a positive tone and keep the response focused on what you can offer, rather than what others can't.

How do you handle difficult situations? ›

Begin by describing the difficult task and laying the groundwork to provide context. Then, explain the problem. Discuss your job and responsibilities before going into how they relate to the challenge. Next, detail the steps you took to address the difficult situation before describing the results of your actions.

What do you consider your strength? ›

In general, your strengths should be skills that can be supported through experience. For example, if you list communication as a strength, you may want to recall a situation in which you used communication to reach a goal or resolve a problem.

What unique skill or trait would you bring to this position? ›

I can bring dedication and a drive to succeed in this company. I've always been appreciative of what the organizations I have worked for have done for me. I'm a loyal and dedicated employee who wants to do my absolute best for the company I work for.

What makes me stand out? ›

Standing out often comes from hard, consistent work. Attitude. There's no denying that positive people have better relationships. Keeping an upbeat attitude and being pleasant to be around can really make you stand out from everyone around you, especially if you're surrounded by toxic people.

What makes you the strongest candidate? ›

Compare the related skills to the job responsibilities, experience requirements or characteristics, and explain how they correspond to the job role. Convince the hiring team that your industry experience, education or skills, as noted in your resume, make you the best candidate for the position.

What value can you bring to the company? ›

Think about: your enthusiasm for the profession and the employer and your desire to make your mark. your personal qualities, such as your drive and willingness to learn. the skills the employer seeks and how you have demonstrated them in the past – your answer should show why you would be competent in the job.

What skills do I need to be successful for my dream job? ›

8 'Soft' Skills You Really Need to Land Your Dream Job
  • Critical Thinking/Problem Solving. ...
  • Attention to Detail. ...
  • Communication. ...
  • Ownership. ...
  • Leadership. ...
  • Interpersonal Skills. ...
  • Grit. ...
  • Curiosity.
Feb 17, 2017

How do I find my passion and dream job? ›

How to find your dream job
  1. Contact established professionals. The first step in finding your dream job is deciding where to look for first-hand insight. ...
  2. Choose specific titles to pursue. ...
  3. Consider continuing your education. ...
  4. Research certifications or licenses. ...
  5. Search for job openings.
Feb 16, 2023

How can I look smart in an interview? ›

Wear smart slacks or dark coloured jeans, tailored jeans are often best for interviews. A knee length or midi skirt can also work. For shoes wear flats or small heels with closed toes. Choose a blouse or shirt that fits well, avoiding low-cut tops.

What are the 3 main characteristics for interview answers? ›

5 qualities and characteristics recruiters look for in interview answers
  • Communication of Motivations and Preferences. ...
  • Confidence in Skill and Experience. ...
  • Preparation for Proceeding Further in the Process. ...
  • Be Honest and Reflective about Professional Failures or Shortcomings to Show How You've Grown.
Jun 2, 2022

How do you nail a third interview? ›

How to Ace a Third Interview
  1. Use Previous Interviews.
  2. Research the Company.
  3. Look up Your Interviewers.
  4. Speak with Confidence.
  5. Behavioral Interview Questions.
  6. Hypothetical Situations.
  7. Common Interview Questions.
Oct 20, 2021

What are the three ways to answer interview questions? ›

You can mimic this formula to answer interview questions by following the pattern of scenario, solution, resolution. Following this three-step formula will not only help you make a positive impression on the hiring manager, but also ensure that you're answering every question with as much detail as possible.

What are 3 questions to avoid in an interview? ›

Questions to avoid in an interview:

Never ask for information you could have easily found with a quick Google search. Never ask if you can change the job details, the schedule, or the salary. Never ask many questions about the interviewer's background. Never ask about pay, time off, benefits, etc.

Can you bring notes to an interview? ›

It's acceptable to bring notes with you to an interview if the notes contain the questions you plan to ask your interviewer. You might also include questions about the company that you were unable to answer through your research.

What are the 4 best interview practices? ›

During the Interview
  • Plan to arrive early. ...
  • Be prepared to summarize your experience in about 30 seconds and describe what you bring to the position.
  • Listen carefully to each question asked. ...
  • Remain positive and avoid negative comments about past employers.
  • Be aware of your body language and tone of voice.

What can ruin an interview? ›

10 Mistakes That Can Ruin Any Interview
  • Arriving Late. ...
  • Jumping Into The Discussion Of Pay And Benefits. ...
  • Answering Your Phone. ...
  • Talking Badly About Your Previous Or Current Employer. ...
  • Being Brief, Hiding From Questions, Or Talking Too Much. ...
  • Not Asking Questions. ...
  • Dressing Inappropriately. ...
  • Being Unprepared.

What are common interview mistakes? ›

Common job interview mistakes
  • Arriving late or too early.
  • Inappropriate attire.
  • Using your cellphone.
  • Not doing company research.
  • Losing your focus.
  • Unsure of resume facts.
  • Talking too much.
  • Speaking poorly of previous employers.
Feb 3, 2023

What should never I say for an interview? ›

Discussions about benefits, vacation and pay

You should try to avoid asking about benefits, vacation time and pay unless these topics are first brought up by the interviewer. Instead, try to wait until they give you a job offer before you begin negotiations.

How do you sell yourself in one sentence? ›

By focusing on the benefits and impact of what you do, before mentioning what you do, gives people the desire and curiosity to know more about you, which can eventually makes them your potential clients. After thought: let the benefits of what you do be the primary focus and who or what you are a secondary focus.

How do you handle stress and pressure? ›

Taking steps to manage stress
  1. Track your stressors. Keep a journal for a week or two to identify which situations create the most stress and how you respond to them. ...
  2. Develop healthy responses. ...
  3. Establish boundaries. ...
  4. Take time to recharge. ...
  5. Learn how to relax. ...
  6. Talk to your supervisor. ...
  7. Get some support.
Jul 1, 2014

What's your greatest weakness? ›

Answer “what is your greatest weakness” by choosing a skill that is not essential to the job you're applying to and by stressing exactly how you're practically addressing your weakness. Some skills that you can use as weaknesses include impatience, multitasking, self-criticism, and procrastination.

What makes you stand out from the rest answers? ›

Appreciate others

Most people do not appreciate others because of their personal ego problems or the jealousy factor. If you wanna stand out from the rest. Even if you do not like that person, but that person is worthy of some appreciation then do it. Nobody is going to tax you on that.

What motivates you to do a good job? ›

Success is what motivates me to do a good job. Knowing the fact that my hard work and perseverance will help me achieve greater professional success is what keeps me going. I feel that aligning the company's vision and values with my own is one way to achieve that.

How to win a dream job? ›

Landing your dream job takes a lot of self-awareness, perseverance and creativity.
  1. Build a career-specific resume. ...
  2. Create a cover letter tailored to the business you are sending it to. ...
  3. Establish an online presence using your full name. ...
  4. Focus your job search on careers in which you are truly interested.

Why did you choose this career best answer? ›

'I see the role as a way of developing my career in a forward-thinking/well-established company/industry as…' 'I feel I will succeed in the role because I have experience in/softs skills that demonstrate/ I've taken this course…' 'I believe my skills are well-suited to this job because…”

What is a dream job in your opinion? ›

Your “dream job” doesn't have to be a specific position, like “Account Executive” or “Public Relations Director,” but can instead include different responsibilities you would enjoy having as part of your position. Your profile can also include skills you enjoy using and the type of company culture you thrive in.

What are the top 3 things that motivate you at work? ›

Inside Thomson Reuters
  • The chance to make an impact.
  • Learning something new.
  • Finding innovative solutions.
  • Staying curious.
  • Working with great people in a great culture.
  • Having fun.
  • Continuous improvement.
  • Having flexibility.

What are the three elements of career motivation? ›

The three key elements of our definition of motivation are intensity, direction, and persistence.

What attracted you to this position? ›

Focus on the role
  • Experience - pick out areas of the job description that match up with your experience and showcase how your previous experience will be invaluable in this role. ...
  • Opportunities - focus on how the role will provide you with the ability to further develop your career and specialise within your industry.

How do you win a competitive interview? ›

5 Interview Secrets That Will Help You Beat The Competition
  1. Focus On Your Unique Abilities. Bigstock. ...
  2. Provide Specific And Tangible Examples. Bigstock. ...
  3. Use Evidence And Concrete Examples To Back Up Your Statements. Bigstock. ...
  4. Demonstrate Your Soft Skills. Bigstock. ...
  5. Forget About The Competition.

What are two key contributions you can bring to this company? ›

How to answer "What can you contribute to this company?"
  • Provide concrete examples from your past. ...
  • Discuss your skills. ...
  • Demonstrate how your skills fit with this specific company. ...
  • Support your answers with data.
Mar 10, 2023

What factors do you think could make a job a dream job? ›

This is what to look for in a dream job:
  • Engaging work that lets you enter a state of flow (freedom, variety, clear tasks, feedback).
  • Work that helps others.
  • Work you're good at.
  • Supportive colleagues.
  • No major negatives, like long hours or unfair pay.
  • A job that fits your personal life.
May 23, 2023

Why would you want this opportunity? ›

Talk about specific examples of how you can help this company achieve their goals and highlight any relevant transferrable skills that will make you stand out as the right candidate. Write down any recent achievements you can talk about or any challenges you've faced recently that might be related to this new job.


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