After putting the finishing touches on your resume, spell checking every word in your cover letter, and then filling out dozens of applications for a position, you would think the hard part is over, right? Wrong – now you have to get through the interview process.
It’s scary going into an interview and not knowing what to expect. Although you always need to be ready for whatever is thrown at you in the conversation, there are some things you can to better prepare yourself.
Here are some tips for interview success:
1. Research, research, research!
Companies love to see a candidate who is interested in their business just as much as they are in yours. After all, you could potentially be working at this place, so some preliminary research is always a good idea. Take a look at the history of the company, the different departments, past work they’ve done, and make a special note of their mission, values, or charitable ties. Ultimately, companies are looking for people that align with their values, so point out a few that stand out to you and have those ready for some conversation-starters to break the ice.
2. Think of some practice questions.
You can assume that one of the questions they’ll ask will start with, “Tell us about a time when…” These types of questions always come up and they could catch you off guard if you aren’t prepared. Think of similar questions and have stories ready-to-go so you aren’t fumbling for words during the interview.
3. Know yourself.
Your interviewer has already seen your resume; it’s what got you the interview in the first place! Make sure you’re able to provide additional information and insight from each of your employment experiences and/or extra- curricular activities. Pick out key points and strengths to discuss in your interview, and wow them to a point where they couldn’t possibly forget you.
4. Dress to impress.
When you are going in for an interview, this will most likely be the first time they are ever seeing you in person, so make sure you’re making the right first impression. They are looking for a candidate that can fit in with their culture, someone who is taking the job seriously, and someone who can carry themselves professionally. Research the company and get a feel for their dress code. While you don’t want to be underdressed for an interview, sometimes being overdressed can send the wrong impression as well.
So you’ve researched the company, you thought of some practice questions, you’re confident in your resume, and you’re in an appropriate outfit – the only thing left is to just be yourself. Remember, they’re hiring you for being you! Have confidence and let your personality shine through.
Also, be sure to follow up with your interviewer by drafting a thank you email or handwritten note. It shows proper etiquette and professionalism, which will set you apart from the other candidates in the running.