Spring is a busy time of the year for summer (and full-time!) internships and job searches. I myself am a graduating senior (omg), and have been applying for jobs and internships constantly. For those who have never been through the interview process, or need a quick refresher, this article is for you! Below are some tips I have found useful to prepare for interviews.
- Read over the job description
So you made it past the initial application round onto the interview. Congrats! While it is exciting to hear the news, you have to remember why you applied to the position to begin with. What about the role excites you? What do you find interesting about the organization or company? The interviewers will most definitely ask these questions, so make sure you know what the job expectations are and why you wanted to apply to the position.
- Read over your resume
The bulk of your interview is going to be about your past experiences and work ethic. I highly recommend going over your resume and coming up with about three bullet points to talk about per experience. Be specific about what you’ve done in your past positions and what you liked about it, what you’ve learned, etc. Another common interview question is describing what kind of worker you are, so think about that too!
- Mock interviews
Colby’s Davis Connects provides wonderful resources for interview preparation. They can also supply you with common interview questions as well. I’ve had the chance to have mock interviews in order to get me in the mindset for an interview too, and it’s great practice! If you can’t access Davis Connects, you can also ask a professor, family member, or an experienced friend to help.
- Know who your interviewer is
In most situations, the company or organization will let you know beforehand who you’re going to interview with. This helps you prepare who your “audience” is. What is their job title and role? Looking them up on LinkedIn certainly helps to see what the interviewer has done in the past, and what their current role is.
- Speak with a current employee
One of the best things about being a Colby student is the immense amount of support you receive from alumni. I’ve had such wonderful conversations with alumni in the field I am interested in, and this has been a great way to hear about their work experience post-Colby. If one of them currently works at the organization you are interviewing for, it’s definitely a good idea to talk to them to know what to expect.
- The day of: mental preparation and what to wear
On the day of my interview, I like to quickly go over the bullet point list I made of my resume so I don’t stumble over my answers. There’s not much else you can do the day of, and I really try not to freak myself out. As for what to wear, I think business casual is the way to go. A nice blouse or a casual dress (definitely not jeans) is what I recommend. Being on Zoom helps alleviate the dress code stress, though!
- Final tips
If you’ve done all the previous six steps, you’re definitely on the right track! You’ve done everything you could possibly do to prepare, so you should go into the interview feeling confident. There are so many curve balls thrown at you—I’ve had interviews where it was just awkward, where I didn’t feel like I connected with the interviewer, etc. I know it’s tough, but those are uncontrollable factors; as long as you did your best, it should be fine!
Going into the interview is definitely nerve wracking, but as long as you prepare well, be confident, and realize what a boss lady you are, it’s all going to be ok. And even if the interview goes well and you don’t end up with the position, that’s ok! Think of it as a good way to practice for future interviews. Good luck!