How to Ace Your Next Interview

Feeling stressed about your next interview? Or just looking for some general tips and tricks when it comes to interviewing like a boss? Well, I've got you covered!

I recently went to an interview basics workshop at the Student Academic Success Center, and it turned out to be really helpful. I highly recommend stopping by at least once; they even have a resume basics workshop!

If you prepare for your interview in advance, the interview itself will feel a lot less stressful, I promise. Here are some tips that I learned that will help you present your best self during your interview:

Pre-Interview:

1. Research, research, research.

You should know as much as you can about the company beforehand. This means that you should be familiar with their website, their mission statement, and what they do. An interviewer is likely to ask you the question, "So what do you know about our company?" So be prepared! Even just memorizing key phrases from their mission statement will help guide your response.

2. Write down a list of potential interview questions and what your answers will be.

Make sure all your bases are covered and you have responses for all the typical interview questions like, "Tell me about yourself." Don't make the list too long, or else it will be too big of a project to tackle before your interview.

3. Rehearse your answers, aloud.

The workshop I went to suggested not only rehearsing how you will answer questions, but also looking in the mirror while you do it so you can adjust your posture and mannerisms. Remember, your answers shouldn't feel rehearsed, they should come off as if you're having a natural conversation with another person.

4. Pick out your outfit the night before.

Save yourself from any potential stresses that will fluster you before your interview. Try on the outfit to make sure it's something you're comfortable wearing. Remember: it's better to dress too professionally than too casually. The speakers at the workshop suggested wearing matching pants and a blazer, a plain top, and hair pulled back and away from the face.

During the interview:

5. Slow down. Answer slowly and clearly.

There's no rush to regurgitate all of your experience and skills in a minute. Take a breath and put some thought into each answer. Try to make it feel like a natural conversation.

6. Questions.

At the end of almost every interview, your interviewer will ask if you have any questions for them. Come up with two to three questions beforehand and take notes. This shows your interest in the company and that you came prepared.

After the interview:

7. Send a thank-you email.

Within 24 hours of the interview, it's common procedure to send out a thank-you email. Don't do this immediately after the interview, but make sure to do it within the 24-hour period. Show that you reflected on the interview and briefly elaborate on something that you found interesting.

It's done! Breathe a sigh of relief and give yourself a pat on the back.

Cover photo source: Daniel Fazio, Unsplash