Build Your Interview Confidence!
Landing an interview with a prospective employer is a significant accomplishment. This is your opportunity to make a personal connection with the employer and show why you'd be perfect for the job. Therefore, learning how to prepare and interview well is essential. Interviewers want to see that you are able to present yourself, that you are articulate and comfortable, and that you are able to handle difficult questions and situations. They also want to see what kind of colleague you will be. After all, they'll have to work with you!
One of the best tools you can use to prepare for an interview is a called InterviewStream. It's free for Nevada students, making it easy for you to polish your interview skills and prep for the big day. Use InterviewStream anywhere you have an internet connection and a webcam.
Practice Your Skills with InterviewStream
- Create a free account at business.unr.interviewstream.com
- Conduct Interview > Choose a pre-set interview or Customize Your Own
- Follow the steps on the screen to set up your webcam and mic
- Answer the questions! > Submit
- Check your email. Follow the link to view your interview! (Scary, we know...)
- Drop by the Studio to review the interview with one of our team
Before the Interview
Do your research
- Research the position, company, and industry as much as possible.
- Know your resume inside and out. You should be ready to explain and elaborate on anything you included on a resume.
Prepare your talking points
- Walk in the employers' shoes, reflect on the qualities and experiences they are seeking, and write down just how you match these needs. Practice expressing your strengths in different ways, to different potential questions. Use as many concrete examples as possible.
- Create your "elevator speech" - two or three sentences that clearly state why the employer should hire you, articulating your strengths and demonstrating your uniqueness. An interviewer may ask this directly or imply it in other questions, so you should be able to adapt it to the situation.
- Anticipate the interviewer's questions. Prepare answers with specific examples from your resume, and practice them out loud.
- Practice, practice, practice! Brush up on your skills and work out the jitters by doing a mock interview at InterviewStream. Create a free account to record unlimited mock interviews using just an internet connection and a webcam. Review the video of your mock interview, and then drop by the Nevada Career Studio for more tips from one of our team. You can also attend one of our Ace Your Interview workshops—check the Events schedule.
On the Day of the Interview
Look your professional best
- Dress appropriately for the industry or the company. You want to be remembered for who you are and not what you wear. Consider a solid conservative suit with coordinated shirt or blouse, polished shoes, and limited jewelry. Be well groomed with little scent or makeup. Be sure to feel comfortable.
- Bring a copy of your resume, a list of references, possibly an unofficial copy of your transcript, and a list of questions for employers. Place all documents in a portfolio with a pen.
- Arrive 15 minutes early, with time for a stop in the restroom to make sure everything is in order.
- Take a deep breath, relax as much as possible, and be confident. Think of your interview as a business meeting between equals. Remember, you are also interviewing them.
At the Interview
Make a good first impression
- Introduce yourself with a strong, confident handshake. Make eye contact. Be polite, attentive and professional. Smile.
- Take your time and think through your answers. You are not expected to fire back answers as though you had memorized everything. It is also preferable to say "I don't know" as a response instead of bluffing your way through an answer.
- Be enthusiastic about the position. Even if you have your doubts about the job, the interview is the wrong time to give the impression that you're on the fence.
- When asked the most common reason for hiring someone, interviewers answered that it was because they liked the individual.
After the Interview
- Ask for business cards from everyone you meet during the interview. This will be helpful in writing thank you emails or letters.
- Send an e-mail or handwritten thank-you note within 24 hours after your interview to anyone with whom you interviewed. Express your sincere appreciation, reemphasize your strongest qualifications, and reiterate your interest in the position.
- Plan your follow-up contact based on the information the employer has provided about the search. If they are interviewing candidates for a week, follow up after that time period. Employers may take between two and eight weeks before informing candidates about the position. If the process is not clear, you can follow up with an email or phone call after two weeks.