Now that you’ve applied to a few positions, you might get called in for an interview … what do you do?
Preparation is vital to your success in an interview. Start preparing early by considering these things:
- Communication and Interpersonal skills: Effective communication and interpersonal skills are important qualities in a candidate. Employers look for your ability to organize your thoughts and communicate effectively.
- Intelligence: Intelligence is more than good grades. Employers are looking for people who think on their feet. Coming up with creative ideas, learning new skills quickly, and understanding the fundamentals of a task are all things that showcase intelligence to employers.
- Enthusiasm and Energy: Qualifications are important, but are you enthusiastic and excited about the position? Your enthusiasm, energy and knowledge about an opportunity or organization can impress an employer.
- Flexibility: Employers value candidates who can adapt to the changes a company may go through, both good and bad. Applicants who are receptive to new ideas and concepts are considered an asset by employers.
- Leadership: Employers are looking for leadership qualities within new hires. They want someone who can be self-directed and has the ability to lead a team project if the need arises.
The Interview Day
For the day of your interview, be sure to dress appropriately, be on time, communicate professionally, ask questions and follow up with a thank you note.
Knowing the details of the job posting and the employer’s website is crucial. Arm yourself with knowledge about the organization, position and industry. Schedule a mock interview in the Career Resource Center to help you become comfortable with the interviewing process.
A professional appearance can help you make a good first impression. A dark suit (navy blue, black and dark gray) is best. Coordinates are also acceptable. Jeans, t-shirts and flip-flops are NEVER appropriate. Employers may request business casual attire (dress pants/khakis and button-down shirt / blouse). If you are unsure, you are better off better dressing more formally.
Don’t be Late
Arrive 10-15 minutes before your interview time. Arriving early will give you time to check the display in the CRC for location information. Sit outside the interview room and wait for the recruiter to call your name.
If you miss your appointment, you will be subject to “No Show” penalties. Review the cancellation policy to familiarize yourself with the interviewing responsibilities.
Respect is a key component in a successful interview. Use appropriate and professional language (avoid excessive “likes,” “ums” and “you knows”). Foul language does not create a favorable impression. Remember to thank the recruiter at the end of the interview.
You should always prepare well-thought-out questions for the end of your interview. Asking questions shows your interest in the position and indicates you have done your research. Avoid asking questions can be answered by reviewing their website.
Send a thank-you card, letter or e-mail within 24 hours of your interview. Sending a follow-up message shows your gratitude and helps maintain a relationship with the recruiter. Stop by the CRC for advice on how to craft a thank you letter.
- STAR provides you with an interviewing model based on questions asked to gauge your experience and expertise.
- What You Wish You Knew provides you with an infographic of things you want to know before going into an interview.