You did it! You landed an interview for your dream job or internship, so now it’s time to prepare. An interview is your chance to make a good first impression and showcase your individual personality and skills. While preparing for an interview can definitely be stressful, there are several ways to make sure you are putting your best foot forward. Here are my top five tips that will help you ace that important interview:
Do your research
Find out as much as you can about the company before the interview. Check out the company’s website and familiarize yourself with the company’s mission statement, goals and history. This will help prepare you to answer questions such as “Why do you want to work for us?” Also, make sure that you have carefully read over the job description and list of responsibilities of the position you are applying for. This will give you an idea of what the interviewer will be looking for, and how to show that your skills and experiences make you qualified for this position.
It is important to make sure that you prepare everything you will need to bring for the interview. Bring extra copies of your résumé and list of references, as well as your portfolio with strong samples of your work. Also, bring a notepad and a pen to jot down any important information that the interviewer may give you. Taking notes shows the interviewer that you are interested in what he or she has to say. Finally, it is helpful to bring an organized list of talking points and questions that you plan to ask during the interview.
As soon as you walk through the door, your attire serves as your real first impression. The way that you dress reflects your personality, and you want to present yourself in the best way possible. Ensure that your clothing is neat, clean and fits well— do not arrive in a stained blouse or baggy slacks. Additionally, make sure that your attire is professional and appropriate for the company and job position. If you are still stumped about what to wear, try researching the company’s dress code to get an idea about what is appropriate for your position.
Asking insightful questions shows the interviewer that you are interested in the position, as well as what he or she had to say during the interview. Also, asking questions gives you the opportunity to find out if this company is the right place for you. This is your chance to get more information about the company and the specific position you are applying for. Before the interview, write down some questions that you would like to ask the interviewer about the company or the position. Some helpful questions to ask are, “What does a typical day look like for a person in this position?” and “What are the next steps in the interview process?”
After the interview, it is important to thank the interviewer for his or her time. Additionally, a follow up email will show the interviewer that you are still interested in the position and keep you in his or her mind. In your follow up email, be sure to reinforce your interest in the company and the position. Be brief, but make sure that you let the interviewer know that you appreciate the meeting opportunity, and that you are excited about the possibility of working with the company and him or her in the future.
Getting ready for an important interview can be stressful and scary, but taking these steps to prepare yourself will ensure that you feel confident, well-organized and ready to make a good impression. Good luck!
Gloria Kiger is a senior english literature major at Waynesburg University. Gloria serves as a tutor at the Waynesburg University Writing Center, where she enjoys helping students improve their writing skills. She hopes to pursue a career in the publishing industry post graduation.