Interviews require careful preparation to assure you meet several important objectives:

  • You make a great first impression.
  • The interviewer learns the really good stuff about you.
  • You’re able to show you’ve researched the company and are interested in their organization.
  • They can envision you as part of their team – they get a sense of “fit” from the interaction.
  • You leave with no regrets regarding woulda, shoulda, coulda. You want to nail it!

To achieve these objectives, there are a few simple, essential things you need to do:

  • Research the organization. Start with their website, but feel free to look at other sources of information as well (e.g., partner organizations, Facebook, Twitter).
  • Develop some practice answers to some standard interview questions. What’s essential here is that you:
  • listen carefully to the question,
  • answer the question with substance, and
  • know when to stop talking.
  • Look the part – this will help you make a good first impression, enable them to see you as part of their team, and (because you are a student, this part is really important) see that you can present yourself professionally.
  • Come to the interview prepared – bring a pen and writing pad (or your tablet) to take notes, copies of your resume, work samples, and a few questions to ask at the end of the interview.
  • Practice with someone so you can gain confidence in your answers. Your interpersonal skills are as important as the interview itself; so eye contact, hand shake, using the name(s) of your interviewer(s), smiling, and expressing interest in their organization are things that will be noticed. If this is something that you really hate doing, take Speech Communication – SPC 1608 or join Toastmasters. Accept that it is something for which you need to develop some level of comfort.

For more great interviewing tips visit collegecentral.com/polkstate or visit the links listed.