By Nikki Schroeder
You’ve made it: your resume sparked your dream company’s interest and your skills are propelling you into the professional world—congratulations! You landed an interview!
Need some assistance to ace the interview? Here are some interview tips and tricks to help prepare.
Always Start with Research
- Who are you interviewing with? Get some background in the company history and learn about their values.
- Go back to the job description. How can you align your skills and experiences with what they company is looking for?
- Review and become an expert on your own skills and qualities! Get comfortable with your unique skills and experiences that set you apart from other candidates.
- Practice common interview questions. My personal favorite: Why should we hire you?
- Use the STAR Method to answer situational questions: Situation, Task, Action, Response. This method is amazing to showcase your unique experience in the interview.
- Practice your interview answers out loud to get comfortable speaking about your experiences and skills. When you feel ready, grab your closest buddy and talk about your professional experience with them.
- Bring some examples of your work; whether it be a polished class project or a personal venture, show what you are capable of and show your passion!
Bring Some Questions:
- In your padfolio, bring at least five prepared questions that you are curious or wondering about. Having questions prepared further shows your preparation and interest with the company.
- Pro tip: Ask some smart questions that kill two birds with one stone. Lead a question with some new information about you. For example: From volunteering at Red Cross donation events, I have become passionate about lending a helping hand to others. For a full-time employee, are there any company-wide volunteer events I would be able to participate in?
- Lastly, ask about what the next steps are moving forward in the hiring process.
Other Items to Bring:
- Multiple copies of your resume
- Notepad or padfolio with a pen to take notes
- Importantly, bring your full attention (even if that means leaving your phone in your car)
Also, set some time aside to consider what you are wearing and bring your professional style. Dress appropriately and take into consideration how colors can support you in your interview.
Send a personalized, genuine thank you letter after the interview. This follow-up is a way to thank them for their time and to keep your interaction sharp in their mind. Also, this opens the door for dialogue to ask any questions or address concerns that weren’t discussed during the interview.
Most importantly: Be excited and enthusiastic about having the opportunity to interview through the whole experience! Employers want to see that positivity, and it will show through your answers and nonverbal communication, especially starting with your first impression.
And remember, you’ve got this!