Ace that Interview

Securing a job interview is hard– but acing a job interview? Well, that’s a whole other story! Many people fall victim to the potential pitfalls that come with the job interview process, and they may find themselves struggling to find the secret to interview success. I regret to inform you, dear readers, that there is no secret. By following these five basic steps, you too can be a more successful job candidate.

1.     Research the company/organization

It is imperative to research the company before the job interview. Know the company’s mission and values, your job role, the company’s past and future projects and anything else that is noteworthy. Be prepared to answer questions that the interviewer may ask about the company. You want to prove to the interviewer that you are invested and have taken the time to familiarize yourself with the company.

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2.     Have Questions Ready

Saying that you don’t have any questions for the interviewer after your job interview is one of the worst things you can say. To avoid this rookie interview mistake, prepare at least three questions to ask the interviewer. For ideas on what to ask the interviewer, pick up a copy of Terp Guide Internship & Job Search at the Career Center or find the guide online

3.     Dress appropriately

First impressions are everything. When going on a job interview, business casual attire is usually appropriate (unless otherwise specified by the company). You should not be wearing your four-inch stilettos and a tight mini skirt that you wear regularly to Cornerstone. Dress conservatively. Wear knee length (or longer) skirts that won’t ride up when you are walking. If you are fidgeting with your skirt a lot, then ditch it. Dress pants are a safe bet if you are worried that your skirt is borderline inappropriate. As for your shirt, do not wear anything low cut – cleavage is a no-go.

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4.     Think About Clever Answers

Your job interviewer will probably ask you questions about yourself and your capabilities at the company. Think about why you are a good candidate. List your various strengths (i.e., a strong work ethic, attention to detail) and provide personal and work experiences that demonstrate them. Also, think a few of your weaknesses ahead of time, but make sure that your answer ends on a positive note. For example: “My weakness is taking on a lot of projects and tasks; however, because I have a strong work ethic and great organizational skills, I am able to balance all my activities.”

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5.     Follow up with the interviewer

After your interview, email him or her within 48 hours of the interview, thanking him or her for the interview. Make sure to highlight a specific circumstance in the interview that will make them remember you. For follow up interview email formats, refer to the Terp Guide Internship & Job Search.

Job interviews are stressful, but now they don’t have to be. The most important part of a job interview is making sure you thoroughly prepare yourself for your job interview. Your interviewer will be impressed and you may just secure that job! For more information about job interview etiquette, visit the University Career Center and The President's Promise, located in Hornbake Library, and refer to the Terp Guide Internship & Job Search.