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Job Interview Tips

Nice! And Congrats!

You got an interview. That means they like you on paper, but will they like you in person? Of course they will, you're amazing and prepared. Below are some things to consider throughout the interview process.


Research, Research, Research

  • A day or two beforehand, physically scout out the location of the interview. Time how long it took you to arrive, and plan to arrive in the vicinity of the interview at least 30 minutes early. Check-in with the reception/point of contact at least 10 minutes prior to the interview. Make sure you allow yourself enough time for traffic, a late bus, a flat tire
  • What employer doesn't have a webpage these days? Read up on your potential employer's mission statement, core values, products and services, recent successes, up and coming projects, etc. Show up interested and excited to work with this specific employer!
  • Which job was this again? Refresh your memory by re-reading the job description. Have an understanding of what the job description entails, including the skills both recommended and required. Get a sense of how you would fit into the role and how you could meet the employer's needs.

Self-preparation

  • Think about questions that may be asked and prepare a concise, well thought out response for each. Come prepared with specific examples that illustrate your specific involvement/role in the scenario. Why the Questions?
  • Practice makes near perfect! Practice your responses in front of the mirror or in front of someone who will give you honest feedback. Do not memorize your responses word for word. You want to sound natural not rehearsed and ready to give the best possible answer.
  • Dress professionally and exercise good hygiene. Tips to Look the Part
  • Travel light into the interview, bring essentials only. What to Bring, What not to Bring

The Interview

  • When you are greeted by the interviewer, be personable. Make eye contact, smile, shake hands, and relax. Interviews are slightly nerve-wracking but try not to let your nerves get the better of you.
  • Listen to the question then take a few seconds to formulate a concise, relevant response. If you do not understand the question, respectfully ask the interviewer to repeat it.
  • Respect the interviewers time, avoid going off topic. Responses with points stated in sets of three can help you stay on track.
  • Show them what you know! Be confident, not cocky (LOL). Give specific examples of your contributions. State the project/scenario, your specific role, and the outcome.
  • Be honest about your abilities. If there is a skill you don't have, acknowledge it, but then focus on a comparable skill you can bring to the table.
  • Asking questions is a crucial part of the interview. It demonstrates your interest in the position, and can show you did your research. Questions for the interviewer
  • It's natural to want to know how much you would get paid and how the job would benefit you, but save benefit and salary questions for when the job is offered to you. Sometimes, meeting with a Human Resources representative is part of the interview process. An individual meeting with an HR rep is the appropriate time and place to ask benefit and salary questions. Remember, the interviewer is interested in how you can help them, not how they can help you.

Follow-up

  • Send a thank you note or email to the interviewer (and committee members if applicable) within 24 hours of your interview. Employers generally move quickly when they have an open position. Waiting too long after the interview to send a thank you will decrease its effectiveness.
  • Stay on top of “next steps” as indicated by the interviewer or Human Resources.

Be aware of your actions before, during and after the interview. Your potential employer is making note of everything from your appearance, to your thank you email. Remember, everyone you speak with during the process has the potential to give feedback to the hiring supervisor. Do not make the mistake of getting too comfortable too soon.