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How To Confidently Interview

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Siena chapter.

Interviews are defined as a meeting of people face to face. Seems simple enough, yet just the thought of being interviewed is almost guaranteed to bring about some stress. The age old technique used to find new workers is nerve-racking to most people, but it doesn’t have to be. With the right prep and attitude, you’ll be walking out of that interview feeling like a boss. Here’s some advice on what to do:

1. Find Your Focus

Before you can start worrying about an interview, you first have to find the job or internship you want. Although it may be time consuming to apply to multiple options, it increases your chances, so make sure you have at least three. Look into fields of your interest. It may seem obvious, but having a passion for what you’re applying for makes all the difference when asked “Why do you want to work for us?” (11/10 you’re going to be asked this). Take the time to find the types of positions you want to try, and don’t be afraid to look outside whatever your major says you should do.

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2. Make a Friend

Reaching out to an employee that works where you’re applying to is an amazing opportunity to learn the inner workings of the company or place that you’re applying to. Making connections is crucial and doesn’t have to be as hard as you may think. Finding an alumni of your school via LinkedIn or reaching out to an employee that holds a position in the field you want to work in through email can help you gain helpful knowledge and advice that others won’t have. This can also help get your name in the door and resume at the top of the stack.

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Be polite and read over your emails before sending them. Having an advisor or career counselor help out with finding someone to connect with, look over emails or other pieces of writing, and give you application advice will give you the reassurance that what you’re sending is professional and error free.

3. Do Your Homework

Research the place that you are applying to carefully. Company websites are a great way to find the values of the company. This will help prepare you for answering interview questions because you’ll be showing the interviewer your values align with the company’s. Try looking for the mission and vision statement, any associated social or environmental projects, and, if available, the story behind the company or institution. Keep in mind that the website is purposefully displayed to highlight the positive aspects and may not always reflect reality of the organization. Going through Glassdoor, Indeed, and other review sites may give you some insight on employee satisfaction. These sites can also be used to find out the structure of your interview and some questions you may encounter so you can better prepare your answers.

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4. Practice

Setting up appointments for mock interviews is a great way to gain real experience if you’ve never had a real interview and with almost no pressure. Going through CareerSaint, you can choose when and where the interview takes place (ie. in the department’s office or via skype). This saves the trouble of worrying about fitting the mock interview into your schedule. However, there are also online interview simulations available, however it is best to be faced with tough questions with a real person to best give you the feeling like you’re being interviewed. I’ve found that although this can be hard, you overcome the fear of being interviewed.

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5. Last Tips

Making sure you have the information necessary to answer all the questions you face in an interview is only part of the equation. Confidence is a state of mind that anyone can achieve. Help get yourself excited to be interviewed: buy a new “hire me, you know you want to” interview outfit, write out a positive saying on a post-it and say it to yourself any time you feel stressed about the upcoming interview, listen to your favorite music before the interview to elevate yourself, and, most importantly, remember that you are amazing.   

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Alanna DiFiglia is a Siena College Class of 2020 alumna. She studied Management during her time at Siena.