Congratulations! You’ve scored an interview with a company on your wish list, and are one step closer to getting an offer. So now what do you do? Prepare!
The process of preparing for the interview is critical. It’s like studying and preparing for a test – the more you know about the subject, the higher your chances of acing the test. Once your interview is confirmed, here’s a series of steps to follow to make sure you get to the interview with confidence.
Let's dive into each of these a little more:
Step 1: Research and review
Start simple with the company’s website and history. Then find news and information about the company’s growth, products, clients and vendors. Next, learn more about the company’s market share, executives and competition. Check out LinkedIn or Glassdoor for employee reviews and feedback.
Step 2: Understand the job description
Start with the general description of the role – like the overall responsibilities and minimum requirements. Go through and highlight keywords that are critical to the role. Then consider examples of how you accomplished something similar, and what skills you used. Be sure to jot down your results, too. If there is something in a job description you haven’t done before, develop a list of ideas on how you could acquire those skill sets and tackle those responsibilities.
Step 3: Interview preparation
Put yourself in the interviewer’s shoes and think of questions they may ask. Review the job description again – do you have the experience, technical expertise and courses to meet those needs? When thinking about those answers, make sure you have examples to share. The examples should outline the steps you took, and the methods you used, while demonstrating the skills the company requires. Speak highly of yourself, your achievements and potential – but keep to the point!
TI Tip: Utilize the STAR Method (Situation,Task, Action, Result) for answering more behavioral type questions.
Step 4: Interview attitude
Two pieces of advice (just like mom or dad always told you) – just be yourself and practice makes perfect! If you walk into an interview playing a role, your interviewer will notice. Also, be sure to practice in front of the mirror or even video yourself – consider your smile, handshake, expressions, confidence and level of enthusiasm.
Step 5: Prepare questions to ask
Usually, you will get a little Q&A time with your interviewer. Be prepared with good questions, but also be mindful of what NOT to ask. Rethink your question if the answer is:
- Confidential. If you even think the answer may be confidential, just avoid asking.
- About benefits. If your question is about pay, benefits or vacation time – talk with your recruiter or wait until you get the job offer to ask.
- Something you could have found out on your own. If the question is too basic and easily available on the company’s website, your interviewer may think you didn’t do your research.
Best of luck in this next stage of your job search! As always, utilize your career center on campus for additional support.
Additional Career Prep Resources: