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5 Steps to Kill Your Next Job Interview

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

Internship and job posting season is coming up, and for some, it is already here! With that being said, this means it is also interview time! A time filled with awkward interaction, nerves, and a little bit of fabrication. However, as someone who has done many interviews and is the daughter of an HR queen who has had to employ many people, I want to provide some tips that will hopefully help eliminate those stereotypes and land you the job! Without further ado, here are five interview questions, along with tips to help you!

1. Tell me about yourself?

I can 99.99999% guarantee you that you will get this question in an interview and it is usually the first one asked. Although this is one of the few moments in the interview where you don’t have to carry some type of script, there is still a layout to how it should be answered. When asked this question and depending on the role, the recruiter is usually not looking for “omg I love dogs, my favorite color is blue, Drake is my favorite artist, and pizza is my favorite food!” This is the perfect opportunity to guide the recruiter through your resume and highlight your experience in the applied field. It is ok to sprinkle in some personal hobbies, but don’t let that overshadow your professional work.

2. What are some of your greatest strengths and weaknesses?

This is also a question that I can almost 100% guarantee you will receive. This can be a tricky one because you have to find a balance between boasting and humility. Being able to find your greatest strength is easy. Your answer can vary from being timely, organized, a listener, etc. However, the weakness question is where it gets tricky. Let me start by saying this, the interviewer always knows a fake answer when they hear one. It is great to spin your weakness as some type of strength, but it is very noticeable when you basically just label another strength and claim it as a “weakness.” For example, try to avoid, “oh my gosh I am just such a perfectionist, I like to do everything right and that’s such a downfall!” This is a moment where the interviewer is searching for vulnerability and honesty. Your answer can be something like being too opinionated or too trusting or maybe a little shy. These are all areas that are true and transparent and can also change while being at the company. The best way to answer the weakness question is by spinning how you have or will change that weakness you have listed. The interviewer is looking for growth and you can show that by presenting yourself well in that area.

3. Do you have any questions for me?

The answer is YES, always YES! First thing first, you ALWAYS have a question to ask. Not asking a question is an automatic way to show that you do not take advantage of your resources. The standard amount of questions to ask is usually up to three. You can usually gauge the interest level on their side by the end of the conversation and then determine how many questions to ask. I would strongly encourage already having the questions you want to ask beforehand, however, if an alternative one comes to mind while you are in the interview ask that also or instead of one of your prepared ones. Good questions to ask recruiters revolve around the culture of the company, the goals of the company and how you fit into them, and maybe some challenges as well. Asking a question that is not standard and requires them to think a bit will give you a one up. Here are some examples:

What does a typical day at ____ look like for you?

What are some of the current obstacles facing upcoming projects in this department?

What are some short-term/long-term goals of the company and how can you expect me to fit into that?

An important thing to note and never forget in an interview is the value that YOU hold! You got the interview for a reason! They want you just like you want them, therefore, you are interviewing them just as much as they are you.


I CANNOT stress this point enough! It is probably one of the most cliché pieces of advice given to anybody about to go into an interview, but some people still manage to forget it! Doing your research on not only the company, but the industry as well is one of the most vital parts of the interview. It is a very big distinctive factor between candidates. Please note that “doing your research” is not just finding out when the company started and who owns it. Researching for an interview means you need to dive into EVERYTHING even remotely surrounding the company so that when receiving questions, you’ll be able to provide their history with your answer. This does not mean be a trivia bot in your interview. There is such a thing as overkill. However, being knowledgeable about the company’s mission, plans, values, goals, challenges, publicity, etc. is very helpful and ultimately essential.

5. Practice, Practice, Practice and Prepare, Prepare, Prepare, Prepare!

Some people can just walk into an interview, wing it, and still do great! However, even those people highlight the importance of preparing and practicing beforehand. Acing the things that YOU can control before the interview will help remove the nerves the day of the interview. Participating in mock interviews, writing down stories to tell, picking out your outfit beforehand, practicing eye contact, etc. Those are all things that you can do beforehand that will help you and relieve you whilst in the interview. One of the biggest and best resources for interview prep is a website called “Glassdoor.” It provides you with information, statistics about the company AND reviews of people who have worked or interviewed with the company as well. Setting up a time to look at yourself in the mirror and practice your answers may sound crazy, but it is important. Writing out and thinking of stories about when you had to deal with conflict or group projects may sound time-consuming, but it is necessary. Meeting employers and representatives at expos and career fairs, adding and keeping in touch with them on LinkedIn may sound weird, but it is very helpful. These are all the little things that recruiters will notice and that is also in your power to make or break you!

In conclusion, interviews can be one of the most nerve-racking experiences for even the most confident of people. Nevertheless, if you do all the things in your control for preparation, and know your value, you are destined for greatness! I hope these tips were helpful and good luck with your interview! 


Add me on LinkedIn, Gabrielle Darko. 


My name is Gabrielle Darko and I am currently a credit junior at the one and only Spelman College. I am majoring in International Studies/Economics and minoring in Spanish. I have a grand heart for other people and human rights so I plan to go into diplomacy as well as run my own international business. I would most definitely say that I was born a creative. Ever since I can remember, I was writing my own novels, composing my own music, and then making my own art with photography. I truly believe creativity is a natural unifying tool in society. Everybody whether realized or not has some sense of creativeness inside of them; the key is discovering what it is! You can follow my own creative stem @eliza___photography!
Kimani Leftridge is currently an Anthropology and Sociology major at Spelman College. Kimani loves writing and talking about politics, they have aspirations of becoming a college professor and continuing to work in the field of journalism. If they are not writing, they can be found organizing, involved in political discourse, reading or painting. In addition to being a writer, Kimani is also a visual artist who's pieces often have the same subject matter as their writings. You can follow them on Instagram @angstyblkartist.