Networking, cover letter, and resume can get you the interview, but the interview is what gets you the job! It's important that you are able to articulate how your skills and interests relate to the position and the company.
Top 5 Interviewing Tips
1. Practice makes perfect.
Use our practice questions to help you prepare for the interview. Practice with your advisor, at on-campus events, with a friend, and even in the mirror. This practice will help you focus and be ready to talk about your skills and abilities out loud (which can be the hardest part).
2. Know the job and the company.
Read the job description fully before the interview. During the interview, point out key words that the company is looking for in a candidate (e.g. strong work ethic, ability to multi-task, high energy, strong communication skills, etc). Talk about how you have these qualities and why you're interested in the company. Are they international? Large? Small? Customer driven? Have a great company culture? Good reputation? Opportunity for growth? Know why you want to work there, because the hiring manager will want to know too!
3. Give examples.
If they ask you, Tell me about your strengths? and you say, I have strong communication and leadership skills, you're only half right! You need to list a skill and then give an example, otherwise they won't know how you developed that skill. Instead say, My top strength is that I have excellent communication skills. When I worked as a peer mentor on campus, I was responsible for facilitating presentations on training large groups of mentors as well as on an individual basis.
4. Be enthusiastic!
A smile goes a long way in an interview. Not only are you more approachable, but it allows employers to see have a more positive view of how you would fit in to the organization. Typically people prefer to be around friendly, positive individuals rather than someone who is monotone and expressionless. If you're nervous for the interview, you really must want the job, so turn your nervousness into excitement and show your eager side instead!
5. Say thank you.
Ask for business cards at the end of the interview and send a thank you note within 24 hours of the interview. Each person gets their own thank you. Use this opportunity to touch on any points you forgot about in the interview process (download How to Write a Thank You). If after you ask the question, What are the next steps in the interview process? and they say it will be a few weeks, then send a hand written note. If they say they will follow up within the week, send an email to ensure they receive it before making their decisions. If you're unsure, stick to an email.
- Interview Prep Tips
- Informational Interviewing
- Common Interview Questions
- Answering Difficult Questions
- Tips for Phone Interviews
- How to Write a Thank You
- Prepping for a Mock Inteview with Go Far Volunteer
- Dressing Professionally