So you’ve been offered an interview… now what? Proper preparation for an interview can help relieve any anxiety you’re having about the big day. Here are nine top interview tips you can follow to make sure you land the position!
1. Research the organization.
You’ve obviously done some preliminary research to find the organization and their open internship or job. Now it’s time to dive deeper. Check out the website and social media accounts the organization manages. Learn about what’s most important to them and get a feel for their organizational culture. See how long the company has been around and see where they stand in the market. During your interview, show them you took the time to get to know their organization.
2. Find out who you’ll be interviewing with.
This isn’t always possible, but you can usually find out through a simple phone call to human resources or the main office. Knowing who will be conducting the interview will make the process run more smoothly. You’ll have the chance to research their role in the company, so you’re better prepared. You’ll also know who to ask for when you arrive to the office on the day of your interview. Asking this question may also give you insight into whether or not you’ll be interviewed by several people or if other candidates will join you for a group interview.
3. Make sure you’re familiar with the interview location.
The best way to ruin an interview is to not show up. You do not want to get lost. Be sure you know how to get to your interview location and how long it will take you. It never hurts to do a drive by just to be sure. Also be aware of companies with multiple locations in the same region. Make sure you drive to the right one.
4. Talk to other students who have interned or worked for the company.
If you’re applying to a position near your college, chances are pretty high that some of your peers or alumni have previously worked or are currently working for the company. Take advantage of their insight. Ask questions, find out about their role in the organization and find out what types of questions they were asked in the interview. You may be surprised how valuable their knowledge will be to the success of your interview.
5. Practice your answers to common (and not so common) interview questions.
In almost any interview, you are almost guaranteed to tell the interviewer some background about yourself, your strengths, your weaknesses and why they should hire you. Practice answering these questions alone, with a friend or during a mock interview with a career services pro. Get in the habit of using examples from your previous experience to answer questions. If one of your strengths is being organized and detail-oriented, talk about the times you had to manage client work, edit material from people on your team, etc. Anyone can make themselves sound great by listing off strengths. It is up to you to prove your greatness through your past experience.
6. Prepare for the unexpected.
As much as you practice, you’ll never be fully prepared for an interview unless you expect the unexpected. Get ready to think on your feet and answer the strangest of questions. Relax and be flexible.
7. Let your personality shine.
Many times when you are asked to interview, the organization has already determined that you are qualified for the job based on your resume and other application materials. The interview is their chance to get to know you and determine whether or not you are a good fit for their organization. Be yourself. If you’re the right fit, you have nothing to worry about. If the organization isn’t the right fit for you, it’s better to find that out during the interview than after two weeks of working for a new company.
8. Be confident.
Enter the room with confidence and don’t let it fade until after the interview is finished. Greet your interviewer and shake their hand firmly. Do the same as you leave. Show them that you’re confident in your abilities and that you’re ready to take on this new challenge.
9. Send a thank you note.
Regardless of how you think the interview went, always send a thank you note. If you think the decision will be made soon, an emailed thank you note will probably arrive faster. That being said, handwritten thank you notes are more personal and show your appreciation for the company and the interview. A handwritten thank you note will also set you apart from the competition.
Follow these tips and you’re sure to land your dream job!