Guide for a Successful Job Interview

Whether it’s a summer job, internship, or you’ve just graduated and are looking to start your career, you must complete a formal job interview. Though they can be quite intimidating and overwhelming, let’s face it, there’s no way around it. The good news is that out of hundreds, or even thousands of candidates, you were chosen for the next step in the hiring process! Now all you need are the tools to conduct a successful interview that’ll land you the job!

Before the interview: 

Research The Company. It’s very important to know about the company you’ll potentially be working for. Knowing key facts can make you stand out as an interviewee, as well as knowing the culture of the company beforehand. Studying the job description will also give you an idea of how the interview will be structured.

Study a Q&A. At the beginning of most interviews, the first few questions refer to your experience and work history. Develop answers that highlight your key skills, and practice in a mirror or with a friend. This will prevent you from pausing so long after questions, and you’ll be less nervous.

Print Extra Copies of Your Resume. When you walk into an interview, the interviewer is likely to have a copy of your resume; however, bring extras. You’ll need a copy for yourself, and there may be additional interviewers in the room.

Dress for the Job. Try your best to stick to the company’s employee dress code. Remember it’s better to be overdressed than underdressed!

Arrive Early. Interviewers don’t care if you got a flat tire, or how long the line was at Starbucks! There is NO excuse for being late!


During the Interview:

Answer Your Questions In STAR Format. Most corporations require that you answer your questions in STAR format. This formula is used to describe a challenge you faced, and the approach you took for a positive result.

S: Situation – describe it!T: Task or problem – what dilemma or problem did you face?A: Action – what action did you take?R: Result – what was the result of your action?

Highlight your Accomplishments. There’s no such thing as “bragging” in an interview. You want to showcase your talents and achievements to prove you are the best option! As a collegiate, there will be other candidates with years more of experience.

Have Goals. Employers are seeking candidates who will be an asset. If you’re not sure where you want to be in the next five to ten years, prepare an answer ahead of time. Also map out a career path based on positions offered by the company. This will show them that you’re looking for a career and longevity in the company.

Ask Questions. Have about 2-3 questions prepared for the end of your interview. For example,

“How do you develop your employees and make them better once they start working here?”

“How are decisions made here? How much is team-based and how much is on the individual?”

“What is the organizations plan for the next five years, and how does this department fit in?”


After the Interview:

Send a Thank You Note. Taking the extra effort to send your interviewer a thank you note reinforces your interest in the job. Remember to keep it short and sweet!

Good luck, and don’t forget to Smile!