Here are ten helpful tips to help you feel confident throughout the interview process!
Research the business or organization you are interviewing with
Carefully read over their website, paying close attention to the mission and history of the company and any future initiatives they’re working on. Check out their social media presence (LinkedIn, Instagram, and Facebook). This is a great way to see timely and sometimes really fun information about a company or organization. Use LinkedIn to research the people who will be interviewing you to get an idea of who they are. This will make you more comfortable leading up to your interview, they’re less like strangers!
Come up with questions about the business or organization based on your research
Develop 3-5 insightful questions based on what you found online that show genuine interest. Do not ask questions that could be easily found on their website or through Google. They’ll be impressed by your research and that you thought about what you learned!
Prepare your Top 5 key selling points
What makes you the best person for this job? What skills and experiences are you bringing to the business or organization? Have examples in mind-they will ask! What really interests you about this job in particular? They have to feel your excitement!
Be prepared for tough questions
A hiring committee often interviews far more people than there are openings, giving them the option to be very specific about the person they ultimately offer the job to. To that end, they may ask you questions regarding your skill set or ability to do the job well. Think about reasons why they may not want to hire you ahead of time and be prepared to put a positive spin on those concerns! Practice saying these out loud so it flows more easily when asked.
Do a drive-by
There is nothing worse than getting lost and being late for an interview! Make it a point to do a drive-by and be sure you know where you’re going the day of your interview. Figure out the parking situation and if you will need money for a parking meter or garage. You’ll be glad you did!
Dress for the job you want
It goes without saying that first impressions mean a lot. If you’re not sure what to wear, do a quick internet search on interview outfits in your field and see what will work for you. While professional dress is absolutely important, you should also be comfortable during your interview. Ex: If you cannot walk comfortably in heels, do not wear heels. Check the weather to see if you’ll need a rain jacket or umbrella. You don’t want to ruin your outfit or materials walking through a parking lot in a downpour right before an interview!
Bring a copy of your application materials in case the interviewer neglects to bring it. Look, you’re already a help to them! Put your application materials inside a professional padfolio. Buying a professional padfolio will serve you well in a variety of circumstances, so it’s worth the investment. Don’t forget to put a pen in there as well! Take notes and write down the names of those you’re interviewing with.
Be a little early
As the old saying goes, if you’re on time you’re late and if you’re early you’re on time. This applies to job interviews! Plan to arrive and park about 20 minutes early so you have a small buffer if there is traffic. This will also give you a few moments once you are parked to get your head in the game. Additionally, you’ll have time to freshen up and use the restroom if need be! Do not park directly in front of the main entrance. This may sound odd, but if you need a moment to freshen your make-up or adjust your clothing in the car, you’re right in the line of vision for anyone looking out the window. Here lies the potential for an embarrassing situation!
Eye contact and engagement
Interviewers form an initial impression right away, and use the rest of the interview to validate that impression. Go in with a warm handshake and a genuine smile to start it off right! Interviews can be long! Be mindful of your body language and do not let your eyes wander to a clock or out a window. Be mindful to keep your arms uncrossed, and continue to sit up straight. Keep your eyes actively engaged on the person speaking. Be aware of your facial expressions, it helps to smile with your eyes!
Send a thank you email or note after your interview
Last impressions are important too! Be sure to get business cards from those you meet with, and send a short, but personalized thank you email or note after your interview. Aim to send it the same day as the interview. Include a few things you really felt positive about, as well as a detail or two about something fascinating you learned. Be sure to thank them for their time, and you hope to see him/her/them again soon.
Career Services is here to help you through all aspects of the interview preparation process. We realize this can be a stressful time, and we’re here to help you be prepared to do your best. Please reach out to us anytime, we’d love to help you have your best interview yet! Please call (207) 509-7213 or email firstname.lastname@example.org. You are also welcome to stop in anytime during office hours. Career Services is located in the John Burwell Building.