Professional Confessional

A blog providing tips and resources for life after college

The Interview

Last week, you attended the career fair and connected with a few key employers. After the fair, you followed up (within 24-48 hours; I hope) by thanking them for their time and expertise, and sharing your interest in and qualifications for their company. You spoke with them by phone or during an information session. You discover they were impressed with you and your skill set.  You receive an invitation to interview. You are excited, yet nervous. (Gulp) Now what do you do? How do you prepare for an interview?

Watch the video to find out how best to prepare for an interview.

For detailed information, read further…

Before the interview:

1)      Research the company’s website. Knowing the employer thoroughly will help set you apart during the interview process. In addition to reviewing the employer’s website, useful information can be found by searching recent news and articles of the organization from one of our recommended Career Exploration Websites such as Glassdoor or Hoover’s Online and Business Source Complete, available through the ZSR Library’s online databases.

2)      Prepare…

  • Responses to questions they may ask you during the interview.  Employers will ask general questions and behavioral questions.
  • Questions you want to ask the company about the position and information not readily available on the company website or career exploration sites.

3)      Practice interviewing…ask friends, OPCD counselors, and use mock interviews to practice.  Gather feedback on your content and delivery. Another resource is interview stream – an online format for interview practice.

During the interview:

1)      Be…

  • Early.  Arrive 10-15 minutes before the scheduled interview time.
  • Professional. Appearance is important. It is best to be conservative than too casual. Offer a firm handshake when introducing yourself. An initial judgment to hire you will be made within the first 30 seconds of meeting you.
  • Confident and relaxed. You don’t want to appear fidgety and nervous.
  • Smile. Show interest and enthusiasm for the position and company.

2)      Answer questions. Ask for clarification if needed. You can request a few seconds to gather your thoughts before answering a question.

3)      Ask questions related to the position and company. Remember, don’t ask questions when answers can be found on their website unless you are seeking clarification.

After the interview:

1)      Close the interview with a firm handshake.

2)      Ask about the timeline for hiring a candidate.

3)      Follow up. Send a thank you letter to everyone who interviewed you expressing interest in the position, connecting a few specifics of the conversation, and how you make a good fit and meet qualifications they seek in a candidate.

Category: Professional Development

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