*originally posted March 2018*
Want to hear more from our campus team? Check out 8 Easy Tips for Success for Every Millennial & Gen Z
So, you’ve been selected for an interview and now it’s time to prepare. Whether that interview is over the phone or in person, below are some tips to help you get ready and present your best self.
Do your research. This includes both the position at hand AND the company! Research is key when it comes to preparation (but hopefully you already knew that!). You may ask yourself, “So where do I research?”. Google is a brilliant place to start. Have there been articles written about the organization recently? Has the organization received any rewards or recognition? Is the organization participating in any initiatives that you are interested in? Doing your research will not only show your interviewer that you know about the company and the role, but it will also help you feel more prepared! Other great places to gain knowledge include the company website and Glassdoor.
Flaunt what you’ve learned. Here is the catch when it comes to research — interviewers don’t expect you to have all the answers. Have questions about the role or company? That’s normal, but the way you pose them is very important. For example, if you’re curious about, let’s say, industry, it’s great to have a lead-in to set up your question, such as: “I saw on your website that you work with 35% of Fortune 500 companies. In ‘X’ market, what are the most common industries you are working within?”. This shows that you’ve done your research and were intrigued enough to ask follow-up questions.
Be ready to answer the question: “Why do you want to work here?” We know you are a strong candidate — that’s why you were selected for an interview! However, we have other candidates that we are assessing for the role as well. We want to hear why you want to work here and what you believe you are capable of bringing to the table. Be humble and honest.
Practice, practice, practice. There are a plethora of practice interview questions online. Practice answering some of those questions out loud! Grab your mentor, your best friend, maybe even a parent to help you. It’s one thing to think about your experiences and involvement on campus in your head, but how you verbalize them is important. Practicing various interview questions out loud will help you when it comes to articulating the answer in your actual interview.
Have questions. In debriefs, it’s never a great sign when our interviewers tell us “they had zero questions for me”. That doesn’t exactly indicate a strong interest! Be sincere with your questions. They should indicate what you are interested in and that you are taking the interview seriously. Trust me, an interviewer can tell when your question is just a ‘filler’, so be thoughtful! (Tip: Don’t be afraid to ask different interviewers the same question when it makes sense. Sometimes it’s good to get varying points of view.)
Try to relax and remain calm. We know you may be nervous, and that’s okay! Remember, you’re here because we are interested in hiring you, and we want to see you be successful. Bring your best self and remember to breathe! You know yourself better than anyone — so to help yourself stay calm, leave plenty of time before your interview,and do the “Power Pose” in the hallway beforehand if you need to. You’ve got this!