Your Guide to a Great Interview

A job interview can be one of the most- if not the most- nerve racking part of finding a job. Luckily, we've got you covered. You've spent months researching internships, looking at companies, perfecting your resume, and filling out applications, and you finally got a few interviews. It's normal to feel nervous, but feeling prepared will relieve some of those nerves so you can do your best and impress.

Arrival Time

The general rule is to arrive 10-15 minutes before the interview. If you're debating about what time to leave, it is always better to leave a little early than to be rushed and stressed right before your interview. This also leaves time to figure out parking, find the correct building, and walk inside. If you've never been to the building and live close by, try finding the building a few days before the interview. It will save you the stress of having to figure out where you're supposed to be going. It's better to leave a little sooner, than late. Personally, I would rather arrive too early and wait in my car for a few minutes than to be rushed.

What to Wear

A general rule of thumb is to determine what you would typically wear every day at the job, and then go one step up. For instance, if the job only requires jeans, wear dress pants during the interview. When in doubt, it's better to be too overdressed than entirely underdressed. Colors are also important to keep in mind. Anything neutral, such as; black, gray, white, or navy blue are perfect. Even your color choices send a message, so stay neutral rather than going bold. This may also change depending on where you are interviewing like a position in the art industry.

What to Bring

You may think that an interview is just sitting at a desk talking to someone about the job, but you may need other materials. Bring a small purse or briefcase and pack it with a few essentials like a pen, notepad, and a planner. It's also good to bring an "emergency kit" just in case. Pack some band-aids, lipstick, chap-stick, concealer, breath mint, floss, fashion tape, and a stain remover pen. You never know when you might spill your morning coffee on the way to your interview.

Prepping for Questions

Now that you made it there and you're lookin' sharp, there's only one thing left to do- the interview itself. The day before the interview, look up some common interview questions online to get those juices flowing. You never know what the interviewer is going to throw at you, but it's always a good idea to prepare yourself ahead of time. Common questions include:

  • Tell us about yourself.
  • What are some of your strengths?
  • What are some of your weaknesses?
  • Why do you want to work for [insert company name here]?

Almost everyone is going to get these questions at some point in their professional life, and as you progress in your career, your answers are going to change. So, a refresher is always good. If the interviewer is asking you to tell them about yourself, this is a good opportunity to tell them about interesting hobbies you may have outside of work along with your major and professional life. Hobbies that show you are physically active, hobbies that require deep-thinking, or hobbies you need special skills for are great to mention. Your interests can show you care about your health and wellbeing, enjoy activities that make you think, and are driven to learn new skills. If you are answering a question about one of your weaknesses, mention how you have improved. This proves that you can recognize areas for improvement in your work, while also stating that you are working to better yourself.

Research the Company

Always remember to research the company before you go into an interview. This will help you be more comfortable answering questions that are about the company specifically and you'll feel more prepared. This shows the interviewer that you are interested in the company and are passionate about their initiatives.

Don't Forget the Thank You Email

After you have the interview, remember to send a "Thank You" email within 24 hours. Start off the email by thanking the interviewer for taking the time to speak to you. As you continue to write, mention specific parts of the interview that make you excited to potentially work for the company. Recounting specific details helps the interviewer remember your conversation, making them more likely to remember you. If multiple people are interviewing for the same position, you'll want to stand out.Interviews are stressful, but if you go in well-prepared, you will be more comfortable. Just remember to bring your friendly personality, check the mirror for any food stuck in your teeth, and just be confident!